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The conception of human dignity is fundamentally linked to the life of the mind which in tum is closely linked to language as a basic means of communication. Language is a rudiment of consciousness and close to the core of personality; deprivations in relation to language deeply affect identity. At this point we are concerned with the deprivations imposed upon an individual because he is a member of a group with a special language. Language is broadly understood to include all the means (signs and symbols), phonetic and phonemic, by which people communicate with each other. So conceived, language is a most important instrument of enlightenment and skill and also a significant base value for the performance of many different social roles. Further, language is commonly taken as a prime indicator of an individual's group identifications. In the words of Dr. Joshua A. Fishman,
[L]anguage is not merely a means of interpersonal communication and influence. It is not merely a carrier of content, whether latent or manifest. Language itself is content, a referent for loyalties and animosities, an indicator of social statuses and personal relationships, a marker of situations and topics as well as of the societal goals and the large-scale value-laden arenas of interaction that typify every speech community.
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