Do you agree that linguistic creativity may create and strengthen social bonds?

Do you agree that linguistic creativity may create and strengthen social bonds?


The term creativity is now widely used to identify different human activities, requiring extraordinary and non-standard solutions for their implementation. In the modern interpretation, the concept of creativity often characterizes the very mechanisms of thinking as a process that allows you to create something new that did not be in the previous human experience. In other words, creativity refers to the manifestation of the imaginative potential of an individual. The space of linguistic creativity is found in different types of native speakers’ activities, which are difficult both for translation and for understanding. Considering language from the point of view of the linguist Baudouin de Courtenay, it should be mentioned that language is possible only in human society, which means that in addition to the cognitive functions of speech, we must always note the social side in it. Linguistics should be based not only on individual psychology but also on sociology.

In the modern world, intercultural communication is becoming a necessity. Millions of people study-, work-, and live-in countries with a different culture. At the same time, knowing the local language often does not help to avoid conflicts or the emergence of a tense situation.

The rapid development of communicative reality, the specific features of which are its polyphonic and multicultural base, significantly transforms social communication, generates new foundations for creative potential.

The purpose of this work is to understand whether linguistic creativity in general and humor, in particular, can overcome obstacles on the way to effective communication between representatives of different cultures.

Intercultural communication

So, to create a convincing paper, I want to start by defining all the terms used. The term communication appeared in the scientific literature in the early 1920s. Along with the general scientific value – as a means of information exchange of any objects in any system – it has acquired a broad socio-cultural meaning and is used in all areas of human activity. Communication comes from lat. communication – message, transmission; communicare – to share, to communicate, to talk. This term is used both to describe the various processes associated with the transfer of information and to state the presence or absence of some connection between two subjects (systems) (“Communication Research”, n.d.).

The term ‘intercultural communication’ refers to the knowledge, ideas, thoughts, and emotions exchange between people from different cultures. The first definition of intercultural communication was proposed in 1972 by Larry Samovar and Richard Porter in the book ‘Communication between Cultures’. According to these scientists, intercultural communication is a type of communication in which the sender and recipient belong to different cultures (Samovar, Porter, McDaniel, & Roy, 2013: 19-20).

At its core, intercultural communication can be characterized as the entirety of human achievements. That is, intercultural communication is a particular form of communication between two or more representatives of different cultures in which an exchange of information and cultural values ​​of interacting cultures appear. Holmes and de Bres explored the process of building, maintaining, and strengthening the boundaries between the Maori cultures (the indigenous people of New Zealand and the main population of the country before the arrival of Europeans.) and Pakeka (European emigrants who went to New Zealand in the 19th century) (Demjén & Seargeant, 2017: 54).

The examples given in the work reflect that intercultural communication is a complex phenomenon that includes various directions and forms of communication between individuals, groups, states belonging to different cultures.

The process of intercultural communication involves not only knowledge of foreign languages, but also the material and spiritual culture of other people, their religion, values, moral attitudes, worldviews, etc. It determines the model of the behavior of communication partners. The combination of language and cultural knowledge ensures effective and fruitful communication, serves as the basis for effective intercultural communication.

The purpose of intercultural communication should be to create conditions for constructive dialogue, equality concerning representatives of other cultures.

Sociology understands culture as the languages, customs, beliefs, rules, arts, knowledge, and collective identities and memories developed by members of all social groups that make their social environments meaningful[1].

A culture constantly turns either to its past or to the experience of other cultures. Culture and communication are closely related. Culture does not only affect communication, but it is itself subject to this influence. This influence often occurs in the process of inculturation, when a person, in one form or another of communication, assimilates the norms and values of a culture. Reading, listening, observing, exchanging opinions, and news with friends or strangers, we influence our culture, and this influence becomes possible through some form of communication.

So, we come to a new question in this study, which is more influenced by language or culture? In other words, it is clear that these two phenomena have a mutual impact, but what is more likely to change under the influence of the other? Is the language of the communicants changing, or will their cultural norms change?

Language and intercultural communication

One of the complex and urgent problems in this analysis is the relationship between language and culture.

Language is both a component and, at the same time, an instrument of culture. However, it is autonomous concerning culture and can be considered as an independent semiotic system. Perhaps one of the central properties of the language is its versatility, which allows intracultural communication implementation. Language acts as an essential means of communication between people. Together with this, the language is a significant carrier and a powerful translator of culture. Thus, all components of culture can be expressed through language. In the process of cultural evolution, it appears as a means of inter-human communication and communication in space and time. There is no culture outside the language, and culture at each stage of its development is symbolically formed, finds its expression, primarily in the language[2].

Since language is the leading tool of communication, thanks to which contact occurs between individuals based on the knowledge and understanding of two languages ​​and cultures, in the implementation of intercultural communication, some linguistic rules should adhere to that will ensure its effectiveness. There are similarities and differences between cultures. The semantic areas, to a greater extent subject to universalization, and semantic areas, to a greater extent, showing originality, are distinguished. Culture forms and organizes the thought of a linguistic personality, forms linguistic categories and concepts. This is confirmed by the Kövecses study presented in Semino: has proposed a more specific conventional conceptual metaphor for pain which he expresses as PAIN IS DARK. However, this applies to different European cultures, as in Asia, white is the color of mourning. Additionally, there are semantic areas that are more distinctive. Culture forms and organizes the thinking of a linguistic personality forms linguistic categories and concepts. It turns out that language and culture are so closely related to each other that they are inseparable. But I can refute this through Latin – a dead language. It is now the official language of the Vatican and partly of the Roman Catholic Church. On its basis, an independent scientific language was created, which doctors use, designating the names of diseases, organs, and so. They do this to create a unified international system and partly because the first scientists in these fields were native speakers of the Latin language. The Roman Empire fell, Latin was slowly fading away, was supplanted in the 19th century by national languages, but is still used in particular human activity. It turns out that language is easily separable from culture? I think no, despite the lack of two-way communication with culture, this language is its keeper. In my opinion, this confirms that language and culture are a single system, but the language is more mobile and influenced than culture, which is transforming more slowly and under the influence of more global factors.

Humor and culture

Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation (Kessler, 2013). Based on this definition, creativity in the language is an act that allows the free use of a variety of linguistic techniques; non-standard use of the language sign. A language game reflects a person’s creativity, manifested in a speech to create an original utterance. The variety of forms of language play includes humor and various types of metaphors, etc. The language game is widespread in fiction or media language, and advertising performing the function of attracting attention and decoration.

The language expresses such a universal aspect of human life, which is present in all cultures and is characteristic of literally every person as humor.

As a cultural concept, humor has value characteristics, which are associated with central life guidelines. Jokes are one of the most convenient ways of adapting a person to changing circumstances; it is a reaction to unexpected events. At its core, humor is a reconciliation with reality, and with the experience of positive emotions, which, as you know, contribute to the strengthening of human health. Thus, humor is an organic defensive characteristic of the human psyche, a rather subtle and complex emotional phenomenon associated with the survival of a person, i.e., humor is associated with vital human values (Abril, Szczypka, & Emery, 2017).

On the one hand, a sense of humor is a purely individual property of everyone. Often, jokes that seem ridiculous to one person will not provoke any reaction from the other, or may even cause conflict. On the other hand, humor can be culturally determined, since culture is of decisive importance in the formation of a person’s attitude to reality. This area is interesting for everyone who is concerned in one way or another with


  1. Astraguna, I., Listiawati, N., & Wijana, I. (2020). Dynamics of inter-cultural communication at multicultural societies in transmigrant territory. International Journal Of Social Sciences And Humanities, 4(1), 47.
  2. Demjén, Z., & Seargeant, P. (2017). Creativity in language: from everyday style to verbal art (2nd ed.).
  3. Kessler, S. (2013). Noam Chomsky: Language and Freedom (Review). Retrieved 7 January 2021, from
  4. Samovar, L., Porter, R., McDaniel, E., & Roy, C. (2013). Communication between cultures. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
  5. Bell, N. (2006). Interactional adjustments in humorous intercultural communication. Intercultural Pragmatics, 3(1), 1-28. doi: 10.1515/ip.2006.001
  6. Zhu, S. (2019). A Contrastive Analysis of Chinese Humor and English Humor in Intercultural Communication. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 9(12), 1595-1599.
  7. Communication Research. Retrieved 7 January 2021, from
  8. Culture. Retrieved 7 January 2021, from
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  2. Srivastava, S. B., & Goldberg, A. (2017). Language as a Window into Culture. California Management Review60(1), 56-69.

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