These help understand the essential
element of human language
Lg is complex thus it is difficult to see the
similarities among them
Lg is a system of signs and every sign is a
A phrase coined in the 1960s by the American
linguist Charles Hockett.
Hockett isolated 16 features (originally13) that
characterize human language and which
distinguish it from other communication systems.
the final 4 features (Displacement, productivity,
cultural transmission, and duality) are reserved for
January 17, 1916
Columbus , Ohio, EEUU
November 3, 2000(2000-11-03)
contributions to structural
Total Feedback - Individuals are able to
hear and internalize a message they
› Not from animals & traffic signals
Semanticity- Speech sounds can be
linked to specific meanings.
› EX: sal/salt/sel(French). It is recognizable in
Arbitrariness- There is no direct
connection between the signal and its
› = in animal sounds (dogs)
Discreteness - Each unit of
communication can be separated and
unmistakable. parts (sounds, letters)
Specialization- Speech is produced for
communication, not chiefly for some
other function, such as echolocation.
› Special sounds
› Human organs
› Not for animals
Displacement- The ability to talk about
things that are not physically present.
› Don’t exist
› Not present
Traditional Transmission - The learning of
language occurs in social groups.
› Probably LAD
› transmission is necessary
Duality of Patterning – It is the ability to
recombine small units. (sounds/
words)Similar to productivity (new
Prevarication- The ability to make false
statements (to lie).
Productivity - The ability to create new
messages by combining already-existing
› Human are creative
› Example: 3 sentences any
› (proficient speaker) can understand
the speaker can both
broadcast the same
A language signal does
not persist over time.
fade rapidly and
cannot be heard after
Reflexiveness - Language can be used to refer
to itself. (metalanguage)
Blending - was not considered one of the
design features, however it is a phenomenon
of language. Blending occurs when two words
are mixed together to form a new one.
Learnability- Speakers of one language can
learn to speak another.
channel : human
language occurs as
a vocal (making
sounds with the
: language signal is
sent out in all
directions, , while it is
perceived in a