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"Changes in word usage and meaning in the English language reflect the evolving nature of society's values."Examine how societal and cultural values influence our language.

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  • Essay length: 3259 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Political & Economic Sociology

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"Changes in word usage and meaning in the English language reflect the evolving nature of society's values."

Examine how societal and cultural values influence our language.

The English language has been formed and developed over many centuries into the form with which we now associate, and recognise, it today. The development and change of language can be primarily attributed to societal and cultural pressures, which are occurring and influencing its speakers, which is the primary claim of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. The pressures influencing language modification can be seen to arise from a multitude of sources, be it internal or external ones, with their overall result-varying dependent upon their impact on the population of that language region. Change within the English language can be seen to have come about as a result of the various influences it has seen, such as that of invasion and the movement of people, technological development, changing social attitudes, general changes in attitude to what is perceived to be acceptable or not and the changing of word usage and meaning.

Language is a relative concept that is constantly adapting and changing to reflect the societal and cultural influences that affect its

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