n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Language, war and peace : an overview : research article

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



War and peace are an integral part of the history of humankind. Wars can have a major effect on language as they bring about language contact situations which can disturb and change the language ecology of a region. This can lead to either the death of languages or the creation of new languages. Wars influence language change in various ways, and are responsible for the creation of new words and expressions. Warmongers manipulate and use language as one of their weapons. Peacemakers have also seen the potential of language for promoting peace. Political battles are often fought over language rights. Language issues are often inseparable from other struggles. The relationship between war and language can be viewed from many angles and this theme offers many possibilities for fruitful research.

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