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Summary of the text: The relationship of language and culture

by Claire Kramsch
THE RELAT!"SH# !$ LA"%&A%E A"' C&LT&RE
(ritten by Claire Kramsch) professor of %erman and $oreign Language
Education at the &ni*ersity of California) the chapter+s ob,ecti*e is to introduce the
concept of language and culture that -ill be seen and used through the boo./ Three
definitions of language are gi*en in the beginning of the text/ The first one means that
language expresses experiences and beliefs of a social group/ The second definition
goes beyond and says that it creates experiences -hen people choose the -ay that
language -ill be used0 the third one sees language also functioning as a sort of badge)
-here people recogni1e themsel*es and others/ All these definitions are related because
they explain the idea that language brings information about the culture that a person
has/
$urthermore) the author presents and analy1es a poem of Emily 'ic.inson to
illustrate -hat culture is on her point of *ie-/ 2a.ing an interrelation bet-een nature)
culture and language) she defines culture as something that can be culti*ated) in contrast
to nature) that is something organically born/ Culture and language are also *ie-ed as
factors that shape things called forms of sociali1ation or acculturation) that are people3s
beha*ior) politeness) eti4uette) among others/
After-ards) a range of nomenclatures are gi*en throughout the text) such as
discourse communities) that refers to beha*ior and beliefs of a group that guide people+s
decisions and attitudes to-ards common situations/ Culture also appears as a -ay to
include and exclude people/ This is because) -hen characteristics that compose
determined community are defined by people) ine*itably some -ill fit in and others not/
Conse4uently) the feeling of belonging to a community brings to people a sentiment that
those characteristics are part of them and translate them -here*er they go/
n conclusion) the chapter finishes -ith a summary of e*ery topic de*eloped
from the poem) as -ell as a brief presentation of t-o theories/ The first one) called
theory of Linguistic Relati*ity) affirms that language has an effect on people3s -ay of
thin.ing and expressing themsel*es and the -orld around them/ This theory -as used) a
century later) as a source to guide another study) called the hypothesis of Sapir5(horf/ t
says that the structure of the language and its uses interfere influencing people3s
beha*ior and thoughts/ That is to say that all spea.ers are arrested on their o-n
language) incapable to understand another language or culture/ Conse4uently) this
hypothesis is critici1ed and seen as -ea.) -hereas the Linguistic Relati*ity is more
acepted by the author/
KRA2SCH) C/ The relationship of language and culture 6 chapter 7/ Language and
Culture. "e- 8or.: !xford) 799:/