Related topics: language

How the language we use entrenches inequalities

The rhetoric surrounding the UK's exit from the EU has become increasingly inflammatory. Some feel that Boris Johnson's use of military metaphors such as "surrender act" to describe a piece of legislation has made debates ...

Gesture as language: why we point with a finger

Pointing at an object… in one sense you might say that this simple gesture doesn't just replace a word, but that it is a word—perhaps the first word. We know that it and other such gestures play a fundamental role in ...

Can we really know what animals are thinking?

Sarah, "the world's smartest chimp," died in July 2019, just before her 60th birthday. For the majority of her life she served as a research subject, providing scientists with a window into the thoughts of homo sapiens' nearest ...

How the limits of the mind shape human language

When we speak, our sentences emerge as a flowing stream of sound. Unless we are really annoyed, We. Don't. Speak. One. Word. At. A. Time. But this property of speech is not how language itself is organized. Sentences consist ...

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Human language

A human language is a language primarily intended for communication among humans. The two major categories of human languages are natural languages and constructed languages. The term is used in the opposition to other kinds of communication used by humans traditionally called "language", such as formal language or machine language, as well as to hypothetical alien languages.

Often the terms "human language" and "natural language" are used synonymously.

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