Dinh Ngoc Thuy
Language as a dependent system under the influence of culture, gender and social status.
After Saussure affirmed language as an autonomous system comprising morphology, orthography, grammar and vocabulary, anthropologist Malinnowski (1923), philosopher Voloshinov (1929), linguist Sapir (1929), and Halliday (1978, 1991) proposed the influence of culture on language. In sociolinguistic view, Wardhaugh (1986) and Lakoff (1990) with their insightful analysis on human’s speech ascertained that social factors such as gender and status affect language use. This paper examines how culture influences writing and ideologies embedded in a text, especially how people of different cultures construct their ideas though they write in the same language and how different the choice of language use is under the impact of gender and hierarchical society. Analysis on texts in English textbooks in Vietnamese high schools, some Vietnamese as well as English short stories and Michelle Obama’s speech will be made to illustrate the points.
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