What Is Language?
Today I am SEO Anyaran volition provides explanation most Language by Susan Dostert. This article hopefully tin give us most the noesis of Language is. Ok… read carefully!!
The term ‘language’ tin hold out used to refer to a multifariousness of concepts / things, such every bit “the detail shape of words together with phonation communication used past times the people of a country, surface area or social group”, or “the method of human communication using spoken or written words”. In other words, nosotros tin verbalize most a specific linguistic communication e.g. English, German, Swahili etc. or most linguistic communication every bit such. In linguistics, nosotros are interested inward both of these fields, whereby General Linguistics volition tend to concentrate on the latter topic together with the private linguistic communication departments on their specific linguistic communication e.g. English linguistic communication linguistics. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 farther pregnant of ‘language’ is “the way or types of words used past times a somebody or group”, which is a topic mostly studied inside sociolinguistics.
Language every bit a shape of human communication
Most linguists would belike grip that although many animals are able to communicate, they practise non genuinely select ‘language’ inward the feel that humans do. Birds may sing, cats miaow together with purr, dogs bark together with growl, apes grunt, scream together with fifty-fifty chatter, but they are non assumed to hold out using these sounds inward the way nosotros do. ‘Language’ is so a major attribute distinguishing us from the residual of the brute kingdom.
Yule’s v characteristics of human language
This is the mightiness to role linguistic communication to verbalize most times, places together with people other than the ‘here together with now’. It every bit good enables us to tell things which nosotros know to hold out fake i.e. to lie. Bees are said to hold out able to select just about of this data inward their ‘dance’ which they employ to move past times on data most nutrient sources.
This agency that at that topographic point is mostly no natural, inherent human relationship betwixt the signs (i.e. sounds or letters) nosotros arrive at together with their meaning. For this argue dissimilar languages tin role dissimilar signs to refer to i together with the same matter e.g. a bloom inward English linguistic communication is a Blume inward German linguistic communication or a fleur inward French. Occasionally nosotros uncovering examples of iconicity, where someone has tried to overtly practise a resemblance betwixt the sign together with its meaning.
Examples: small-scale tall fat
When linguistic communication tries to mirror or ‘echo’ the sounds made past times animals together with objects this is called onomatop(o)eia.
Examples: cuckoo squeeze ticktock
Arbitrariness every bit good enables languages to evolve, both inward the feel that existing signs tin come upward to hateful novel things (e.g. pen which used to refer to a quill), but every bit good that novel signs tin hold out introduced for existing things. Animal languages, inward contrast, are to a greater extent than probable to select fixed reference i.e. a surely sign has a specific together with fixed meaning.
This is an of import characteristic of human linguistic communication allowing us to continuously practise novel utterances, combining the ‘building bricks’ of linguistic communication inward always novel ways, whether these hold out sounds, words or sentences. Human languages are so continually evolving.
This refers to how languages are acquired past times our children. The supposition is that at that topographic point is no genetic constituent (although Noam Chomsky challenges this amongst his theory of Universal Grammar) which would enable a kid to only start speaking e.g. English linguistic communication at a surely age, but rather that children involve to hold out exposed to a linguistic communication (and culture) inward social club to acquire it. This means, for example, that a kid born inward Korea to Korean parents but so adopted past times French parents inward French Republic volition tend to grow upward speaking French every bit his/her foremost linguistic communication together with non Korean (unless the French parents brand surely the kid is every bit good exposed to Korean). Many animals, however, practise look to move past times the mightiness to communicate on to their offspring genetically e.g. dogs volition bark fifty-fifty if they select never heard just about other dog.
Duality (or ‘double articulation’) refers to 2 dissever layers of linguistic communication working together to supply us amongst a puddle of sounds which nosotros tin combine to communicate amongst i another. On the i hand, nosotros select a express let on of discrete sounds (e.g. the 44 phonemes inward English) which inward isolation select no inherent pregnant e.g. b, i, or n. On the other hand, nosotros select a virtually unlimited let on of distinct meanings which nosotros tin practise past times combining these sounds inward surely ways e.g. bin, or nib. Various other combinations such every bit *bni are non meaningful inward English, but could perhaps hold out inward other languages.
Other features of human language
A farther characteristic of human linguistic communication is reflexiveness, which agency that nosotros are able to role the linguistic communication to verbalize most linguistic communication – which is typically what linguists do. Discreteness is every bit good something that is said to distinguish human languages from other forms of brute communication. It agency that the sounds of a linguistic communication differ sufficiently from i just about other for a (native) speaker to distinguish them together with thereby know which sign amongst which pregnant is existence used at whatever i time.
Language together with the brain
Language is a cognitive science together with i so whose roots are situated inward the evolution of the brain. We practise non know precisely when our ancestors began to speak (estimates vary from 30,000 – 100,000 years ago), or fifty-fifty what triggered them to practise so, but i time they started, at that topographic point was no stopping them. From such humble beginnings the 5,000 – 6,000 languages nosotros assume to be today select evolved.
Research mainly on language aphasia has been able to demo that at that topographic point are 2 major areas of the encephalon specialized inward linguistic communication processing, production together with comprehension: Broca’s together with Wernicke’s areas, situated inward the left hemisphere together with named subsequently the 2 physicians who foremost discovered them inward the 19th century
What is linguistics?
Linguistics is the scientific discipline of language(s). It is mostly a descriptive dependent rather than a prescriptive one, which agency that linguists practise non lay downwards difficult together with fast rules most how to role a surely language, but rather concentrate on describing the rules which (especially native) speakers look to select internalized. Apart from this, at that topographic point are diverse dissimilar ways of ‘doing’ linguistics. For example, nosotros tin concentrate on linguistic communication every bit used at a surely betoken of fourth dimension e.g. inward 1989; this is called synchronic linguistics. Alternatively, nosotros tin await at linguistic communication from a diachronic point of view, which involves analyzing the evolution of a linguistic communication during a surely menses of fourth dimension e.g. during Middle English, or inward the 1950s etc. Linguistics is a scientific discipline which tin either hold out studied inward a theoretical or a to a greater extent than applied way. For example, someone may hold out interested inward finding out precisely how questions are formed inward English linguistic communication (= theoretical). Once this is known the noesis could hold out applied e.g. to linguistic communication teaching, thereby (hopefully) enabling teachers together with pupils to larn the linguistic communication to a greater extent than effectively.
Yule, George (2006). The Study of Language: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch. 1-2
Kortmann, Bernd (2005). English linguistic communication Linguistics: Essentials. Berlin: Cornelsen Verlag. Ch. 1.
Finegan, Edward (2004). Language: Its Structure together with Use. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Ch. 1.
Bauer, Laurie & Trudgill, Peter (Eds.). (1998). Language Myths. London: Penguin. Herrmann, Christoph & Fiebach, Christian (2004).
Gehirn & Sprache. Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer. Pinker, Steven (1994). The Language Instinct. London: Penguin.