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James Baldwin claims that language ” is the most vivid and critical key to identity





Is language a culture?

The argument brought forward by James Baldwin is standalone believe, which this paper totally agrees with. Consequently, this argument could be improved hence, this paper shall attempt to do exactly that. This argument shall attempt to establish some stamina through appreciating the works of James and those of other writers with respect to language. It shall do so in hope that it evidences the masterly of at least the language, it shall use (English).

In her description of what language is and what it entails, Terry believes that to challenge the stand one takes on a language, it must be driven by some true stamina that can only be bred through critical research and natural learning. That she argues, is what made James standout in his works. This experience evidenced the way he would always have his ears open in such of the language details (Lamb T, 149).

Research indicates that, there are numerous characteristics that cut across every language. This includes the wording, the pronunciation, relation of vocabularies with each other and the environment among other things. To establish a masterly of these characteristic an individual needs total exposure to a language for some time. The characteristics can then be used to establish the stamina argued in this paper, since it is tied within time, as one has to be exposed to a particular language for some time in order learn and understand it fully. Therefore, one may not have the full understanding of a language when all they have done is conduct petty research on it. This means that you have to grow in and with a language for you to pass as its master and its critic.

Again, language to some extent is seen as a determinant or influencer of culture. This is because, unlike language, culture is one thing that a person is born in, oriented through and continues to live with. When one is that much exposed to something from a tender age, the best they can do is have their identity attached to it. Language is not like an innovation that amerces the uniqueness of the creator; language is an entity that holds some common characteristics among those who speak it. This means that it is normally harder to attach the masterly of a language to any single individual across the globe.

Shaw et al stresses that individuals born and grown in a particular language setup, have a better mastery of the language than those who could have joined the community at a later stage in their lives. Again, research has indicated that there is difficulty in understanding language and what comes with it especially to those individuals who always join the community and other particular language setup at a later stage, while it is commonly being in use. Thus it should be noted that the diverse meaning of words within a particular language may prove very challenging to the newcomers (Lamb T, 567).



Lamb, Terry. Learner and Teacher Autonomy Concepts, Realities, and Responses. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub., 2008. Print.

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