The Impact of Language Development and Global Peace Initiative in the 21st Century: The Linguistic Perspective

  • Stellamaris C. Ugoji
Keywords: language, peace, development, linguistic, conflict and resolution, linguistic relativism

Abstract

The indisputable nature of language in social contacts cannot be over-emphasized. Language is regarded as key to peoples’ hearts because it is used to appeal to their emotions. Language is not only specie-specific but a window to our innermost self. It is an x-ray with which our innermost mind can be inferred. Language can be used to ignite conflict and can also be used to restore peace. Provocative language can be used to cause conflicts and at times even wars, but appropriate use of language can restore peace. Our present world has been bedevilled by conflicts, distrust and even wars. Most often when peace is needed, avenue for dialogue is created and the only instrument used in this dialogue is language. However, it is surprising that in most cases, the issue of language is not considered as a veritable tool for conflict resolution and as such most often, this is not always one of the things that are focused at in global peace initiatives. The study focused on how language and most importantly language development can be used not just to achieve peace but also to inculcate the habit of using appropriate language at all times. In the 21st century where it appears there is a growing trend of violence and eroding of our cultural values and norms, the paper identified language, and more, linguistic politeness strategies as significant means of resolving conflicts and initiating peace. The paper combined insights from the theory of linguistic relativism by Sapir and Whorf and thus advocated the inculcation of peace and the need to use appropriate language while the children are still acquiring and learning language(s).

Key words: language, peace, development, linguistic, conflict and resolution, linguistic relativism

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