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The Characteristics of Language

The Characteristics of Language 

One of the most amazing aspects of human cognitive abilities is the capacity to understand, learn, and produce language.
Language can be defined as a systematic way to convey meaning using symbols and sounds. Communication and language are integral to the study of human psychology. Although there are more than 3,000 languages, spoken and signed, in the world today, all human languages share the same basic characteristics, which will be examined in this chapter. You’ll also see whether language is a uniquely human characteristic.

In order to scientifically approach the study of language, you must dispense with some false but widely held linguistic beliefs. First, many people believe that there are languages with no grammar. All human languages have a grammar. Second, many people believe that some languages or dialects are inferior to others. This is often a point of contention with people who worry about “substandard” dialects of their language. In fact, every person speaks a dialect. “Standard” usage is usually determined by the class of speakers with the most social power. There is nothing inherently superior about one dialect versus another. This also holds for different languages. There is simply no such thing as a primitive language. All languages are complex and creative systems used with full efficiency among their speakers.

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septiembre 17, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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