To understand our humanity, one must understand the nature of language that makes us human. According to the philosophy expressed in the myths and religions of many peoples, language is the source of human life and power. To some people of Africa, a newborn child is a kintu, a "thing," not yet a muntu, a "person." Only by the act of learning language does the child become a human being. According to this tradition, then, we all become "human" because we all know at least one language. But what does it mean to "know" a language?
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