The Ethical Power of Word

By Indira Y. Junghare.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 1, 2015 $US5.00

Language presents concepts by using words made up of sounds. All species communicate in some form of language in order to express diverse needs of the self and the needs of other similar selves (beings). Sounds are transformed into verbal and written words, supplemented by gestures and other physical clues. Language is the primary tool for survival at all levels of existence—physical, psychological, spiritual, and societal. Linguists have debated for decades whether language came first or culture came first. This paper assumes that cause and effect are two sides of the same phenomenon; simply put, language is culture. The purpose of the paper is to examine the power of words, both positive and negative, in the context of diverse socio-cultural environments. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the paper will analyze the status and power of word and focus on the semantic and pragmatic implications of the use of language for intercultural and cross-cultural communication.

Keywords: Words, Ethical, Power, Semantics, Pragmatics, Diversity, Context

The International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.27-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 1, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 571.456KB)).

Dr. Indira Y. Junghare

University Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA