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Title: The Identifying Function of Language
Other Titles: O funkcji identyfikacyjnej języka
Authors: Lubaś, Władysław
Keywords: functions of language; political changes and conflicts; community; ideology
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Citation: Forum Lingwistyczne, Nr 3 (2016), s. 117-125
Abstract: The linguistic literature (Bühler, Jakobson) mostly mentions six functions of language, paying little attention to the identifying function. Following the assumption that language is not an ‘ordinaty’ element of culture, but is its main basis, we believe that it has more and less stable elements, whose functions are arranged hierarchically. The identifying function has medium stability, is historically variable and becomes particularly important during intensive political changes or (nationalistic) conflicts. An example might be the recent split of Serbo-Croatian into tree languages. The identifying function is always connected with evaluation, which often exaggerates the positive character of a group and its language. Other groups and other languages can be perceived as worse. The identifying function is realized both individually (it can be identified with the expressive function of an individual then) and in a group. In this role it is often used or even abused in modern culture and especially politics. Instead of synonyms and periphrastic expressions we suggest that Polish linguists should make use of the term identifying function of language defined as a nationally or internationally protected function (based on cultural, ideological, or – less frequantly – religious elements) which enables a group of people of common aims, beliefs, ideas and interests to create a community.
ISSN: 2449-9587
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (W.Hum.)

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