Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Language Ideology in Cross-cultural Communication

  • Author(s): Yanka, Amelia
  • Rex, Ed
  • et al.

According to Franz Boas, the socio-cultural context within which a speech community thrives and upon which its collective preferences and linguistic prejudices are established should be considered only as a "secondary rationalization" and should be relegated below the more important aspect of studying the inherent dynamics of the language itself. In the process, Boas developed an alternative linguistic model where race, language, and culture may be separated from-and can function independently of-each other. This model allows an external observer to develop a keen understanding of any given language without the need to solicit value-laden information-such as cultural, religious, or social judgments-from native speakers. Thus, secondary rationalizations, while important, may be bypassed in any attempt of a non-native linguist to understand and reconstruct a given language.

Main Content
Current View