chapter  6
11 Pages

Globalization and the Lao language

In this chapter, I want to explore aspects of the relationship between language, culture and society and the language-related changes that have occurred as a result of globalization and identity politics.1 I will argue against a one-dimensional view of language that reduces it either to a timeless set of rules or to a simple reflection of class relations. In some respects, language is a formalized system and thus tends to uniformity, while in other respects it is socially differentiated and closely linked to specific social groups. In any event, it is intelligible only in the context of a particular cultural background, which in turn is based on specific historical circumstances.