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Building preschoolers' language learning confidence

Known as the Wellington Translanguaging Project, the program involves researchers from the University's School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies—as well as Te Kawa a Māui—working with communities to collect ...

Researchers decipher small Dead Sea mammal's vocal communication

In nature social living is strongly connected to the ability to communicate with others. Maintaining social ties and coordinating with group mates require frequent communication. Therefore, complex social systems are usually ...

Face time innovates online language learning

Learning another language can take years of commitment and effort amid our busy lives. A new online learning innovation pairing students face-to-face with native speakers is helping to speed up progress because it is tailored ...

How does language emerge?

How the languages of the world emerged is largely a mystery. Considering that it might have taken millennia, it is intriguing to see how deaf people can create novel sign languages spontaneously. Observations have shown that ...

Body language key to zoo animal welfare

Watching the behaviour and body language of zoo animals could be the key to understanding and improving their welfare, new research suggests. Traditionally, zoos have focused on more straightforward measures such as whether ...

Why words make language

From hieroglyphics to emojis, and grunts to gestures, humans have always used multiple modes to communicate, including language.

The financial benefits of being bilingual

Financial transactions between people who speak different native languages are more common than ever with more than one in five Americans speaking a language other than English at home. But finding a price that buyers and ...

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Language

A language is a system for encoding information. In its most common use, the term refers to so-called "natural languages" — the forms of communication considered peculiar to humankind. In linguistics the term is extended to refer to the human cognitive facility of creating and using language. Essential to both meanings is the systematic creation and usage of systems of symbols—each referring to linguistic concepts with semantic or logical or otherwise expressive meanings.

The most obvious manifestations are spoken languages such as English or Spoken Chinese. However, there are also written languages and other systems of visual symbols such as sign languages.

Although some other animals make use of quite sophisticated communicative systems, and these are sometimes casually referred to as animal language, none of these are known to make use of all of the properties that linguists use to define language in the strict sense.

When discussed more technically as a general phenomenon then, "language" always implies a particular type of human thought which can be present even when communication is not the result, and this way of thinking is also sometimes treated as indistinguishable from language itself.

In Western Philosophy for example, language has long been closely associated with reason, which is also a uniquely human way of using symbols. In Ancient Greek philosophical terminology, the same word, logos, was used as a term for both language or speech and reason, and the philosopher Thomas Hobbes used the English word "speech" so that it similarly could refer to reason, as will be discussed below.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA