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Language in Time of Revolution$
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Benjamin Harshav

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780520079588

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520079588.001.0001

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The Social Existence of Language

The Social Existence of Language

Chapter:
(p.89) Eighteen The Social Existence of Language
Source:
Language in Time of Revolution
Author(s):

Benjamin Harshav

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520079588.003.0018

The base language serves also as a common ground for all the social, ethnic, and immigrant groups composing a nation. Such groups, too, may form their own “secondary languages,” or fragments of such, but those are deviations from and anchored in the common base language. This was, eventually, an extremely important factor in the revival of one Israeli nation from tribes arriving after two thousand years of separation, who attached their particular “accents” or idiolects to the common base. The base language may also accommodate foreign languages, embedded in it to various degrees, for example, in pop music, science teaching, computer software, or technical manuals—a common feature of the cultures of small nations in this “age of America.” Thus the base language is the “lifeblood” of the entire ramified network of social and cultural systems that constitute a living nation.

Keywords:   base, language, Israeli, tribes, accents, cultures, America, systems

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