A product of the rational mind, language is considered by Dante to be a medium shared by all men that serves to unite them. As a uniquely human attribute, language – like man – is never defined as inherently good or inherently evil. Indeed, its moral standing is determined by the way in which it is used. Readers are never shown a definitively correct and moral speech.
The breakdown of Virgil’s "persuasive word" affects his language in the ensuing cantos and results in a marked lessening of his pride.
Although one’s idiosyncratic way of speaking can illustrate regional pride, for Dante and the sinners, individualized speech is a cause for shame.