Language and Culture: Nigerian Perspective

  • Ifeyinwa Obiegbu


The power of language to reflect culture and influence thinking was first proposed by an American linguist and anthropologist, Edward Sapir (1884-1939) and his student, Benjamin Whorf (1897-1941). The Saphir-Whorf hypothesis stated that the way we think and view the world is determined by our language. This theory also stated that some languages have specific words or concepts where other languages use several words to represent a specific concept. Culture is the totality of ways and manners people live their lives and be able to make sense of their existence. Every group and society has cultures that constitute the framework for their lives and behavioural patterns. Hence the linguistic, social and economic performance of nations can only be best appreciated and explained against the backdrop of the prevailing cultural domains. This paper opined that culture is a very dynamic and lethal force which should be driven to achieve human growth and language development. It explores how the development of language could lead to cultural enhancement in Nigeria.

Key Words- language, culture, communication, linguistics, perception


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-0083
print ISSN: 1994-9057