Native American Culture And Language

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Culture and Language
In order to access a culture, language is the key. You cannot fully understand a culture without speaking its language. This is because the values and worldview of a particular cultural group are embedded within their language use. For example, highly individualistic cultures often use "I" statements, while collectivistic cultures would use
"we" and "our" more frequently.
Intercultural scholars have posited two worldviews that divide Western and nonWestern cultures. These are the linear worldview and the relational worldview. In a linear worldview, rational or analytic thinking based in objective reality is valued. In a rational worldview, holistic, or connected, thinking is valued as stemming from a contextual reality.
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Conversely, many Asian and Native American cultures may prefer the understated spiral reasoning style, which includes subtlety, implication, reservation, and tactful nonverbal cues to convey an intended meaning.
There are additional reasons why language is the key to accessing a culture. Much research has concluded that language shapes our thinking – not only what we think, but how we think. It shapes ideas. Cultures without certain words in their lexicons are also lacking that concept in their minds. Further, language is an emblem of group identity and solidarity. On pure linguistic principles, all languages and all language varieties are created equal. But social hierarchies are often constructed and reinforced through the language, and variety of that language, one speaks.
Additionally, social change is reflected in linguistic evolution. Aside from the jargon the digital age has brought with it, social change is reflected in the move away from use of certain racialized and gendered terms in common prose and speech. In these ways as well, language reflects culture, and culture shapes language and its use.
Cultural characteristics with in language
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In a low context communication , there is a greater reliance on direct, explicit verbal communication. This is a system of
"say what you mean" and "be specific about it."
In a high context communication , on the other hand, communication relies to a much larger extent on indirect and nonverbal cues. In low context communication, communication is direct, delivered in a matter-of-fact tone, transparent, assertive, and sender oriented, where the responsibility for clear communication rests with the sender. The speaker is responsible for constructing a clear persuasive message that the listener can easily decode. In high context communication, communication is indirect, delivered in a tactful nonverbal tone, diplomatic, self-humbling, and receiversensitive, where it is the receiver's responsibility to infer the hidden or contextual meanings of the message. The value priority is to not say anything that will offend the listener. Verbal styles can vary among individuals, and be direct or indirect. In a

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