Language is the human capacity for
acquiring and using complex systems of
communication, and a language is any
specific example of such a system. The
scientific study of language is
Every human knows at least one language, spoken or
signed. Linguistics is the science of language,
including the sounds, words, and grammar rules.
Words in languages are finite, but sentences are not.
It is this creative aspect of human language that sets
it apart from animal languages, which are essentially
responses to stimuli.
The rules of a language, also called grammar, are learned as one
acquires a language. These rules include phonology, the sound
system, morphology, the structure of words, syntax, the
combination of words into sentences, semantics, the ways in which
sounds and meanings are related, and the lexicon, or mental
dictionary of words. When you know a language, you know words in
that language, i.e. sound units that are related to specific meanings.
However, the sounds and meanings of words are arbitrary.
Alternative Definitions of Language
“Language is a purely
human and non-instinctive method of communicating
ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols.”
“A language consists of symbols that convey
meaning, plus rules for
combining those symbols, that can be used to generate an infinite variety of
"We can define language as a system of communication using sounds or
symbols that enables us to express our feelings,
thoughts, ideas, and
E. Bruce Goldstein
"Language is the mother of thought, not its handmaiden."
Productivities / creativity / open endedness :
Whatever we speaking or creating along with speaking is productivity
Any one create or discuss a new thing called open endedness.
Cultural transmission :
Human being acquire language from there surrounding , culture but
not from genes while animal acquire language through genes.
We human being can talk about the things like past , future and things which we never
seen , moon , stars , thing that are imaginary … only human being have this quality.
There is not as direct association between a word and the object that is denote (to refer).
Languages are arbitrary because there is no necessary or natural relationship between the
words and the concepts they represent. For example, there is nothing in the word "tree"
that connects it to the concept of a tree. Also, languages are arbitrary because the rules
for the combination of signs in order to produce complete thoughts are different from one
language to the other, and no set of rules can claim to be correct.
Duality or double articulation:
Human language has two level. The first level is of sound and phonemes and the second level is
the combination of sounds , into words and sentences . In animal there is only one level that is
There is no physical involvement in human language or communication. They can speak while
working, while there is special physical involvement in their communication. Animal do this without
Sounds in human language are distinct separate from one another. Sounds of animal can not be
Structure Dependence :
Human language is structure dependent . It dependent on grammar.
Means that sounds and word not combined in random way in human
Reciprocalatary / Interchangeability :
There is an exchange ability in language. The speaker may be the audience . The sender may
be the receiver and vice versa
Linguistics feature that are produced , disappear quickly, they don't stay in the air.