The meanings of beauty: Studies of a cultural concept and its variations in multi-lingual societies of Africa illustrating the diversity in esthetics and ethnic terminology


Methods and Object of Study: Methodologically, from a diachronic linguistics perspective regarding the language change we compare meanings a) historically in the local language and b) compared to the meanings of the English language for equivalent terms. Argumentation: Based upon the set of meanings found in the local language and the compared to the set of meanings we will argue for a variety of meanings as sets associated to a term in a language that shows a certain degree of uniqueness compared to equivalent terms in another language with another set of specific meanings. Conclusions: Observed changes in the particular local languages show the continuity of the local set of meanings. Multi-lingual communities rather tend to integrate new words in order to increase the thesaurus with new meanings than to change the set of previous existing meanings in the languages. English as a second language is a typical example for such a language that serves as a tool to implement new meanings.



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