Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Second language, Research, Teaching techniques


Language, as a universal human trait, is so second-nature to mankind, that its subtleties in interaction have often been taken as a matter of course. Deeply ingrained folklore about language has existed from the days of the ancients and persists into so-called ‘rational’ modern civilization. The affect associated with language and its role in distinguishing in- and out- groups can be annotated by historical reference; for example, the ancient Greeks used the word ‘baba’ to describe the babblings of those unfortunates not gifted with the gods’ own Greek tongue - hence the origin of the word ‘barbarian’. The supposed magical qualities of words, in spells and incantations, are thoroughly documented in anthropological studies. Today, we find numerous examples of the affect attached to words language wars, name-calling, the informal definition of a cultured person as one who can converse in a foreign language, etc. These illustrations merely point out the complex and often under-the-surface relationship between language and other phases of human activity.

Research on language has not been confined to the sphere of any one discipline. One can be led into a myriad of viewpoints within the traditional disciplines and of course, philosophy. This paper tends to be somewhat eclectic in its orientation toward language, as often the approach of one discipline proves to inadequate in insight or restrictive in treatment.

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