Aspects of language

Seminar Paper, 2001

13 Pages

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Table of contents


Historical development page 06 English as a world language page 08 Social aspects of language page 10 The power of language




Language is an important part of culture, if not the most important one. Therefore I pick out this issue of the field of “Great Britain’s culture and style” which I already treated in my report.

The objective is to show that language is far more than just grammar, vocabulary and phonetics. This also aims at encouraging a certain awareness of the language we use and what effect it has, when we use it in a certain manner. A successful conversation requires more than grammatical and lexical knowledge: the so-called “intercultural competence” or “sociolinguistic technique”.

Thus, I start by giving a short overview of the history of the English language. This will show how it developed and which impacts there were – namely the invasions by Romans and Anglo-Saxons.

Subsequently I will try to explain how English became today’s lingua franca and how it obtained the authority that it has now. I shall also describe the present situation of this language all over the world and the varieties that came up.

As a consequence, certain social aspects of language and its varieties will be talked about. Not going too much into linguistic details, I want to introduce the reader very briefly into the field of sociolinguistics.

Finally, I will make some comments on the issue “power of language” and give essential examples: New Labour’s “media spin”, George Orwell’s “1984” and the role of language in the process of devolution.

The conclusion will resume the paper and provides a list of recommended literature used for this work.

Note:Numbers in square brackets indicate the source – please refer to the list of literature.

13 of 13 pages


Aspects of language
University of Leipzig
Seminar Aspects of Britain
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
412 KB
Aspects, Seminar, Aspects, Britain
Quote paper
Alexander Drechsel (Author), 2001, Aspects of language, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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