Does Language Play Roles of Equal Importance in Different Areas of Knowledge?

Topics: Mathematics, Language, Ethics Pages: 5 (1501 words) Published: March 12, 2012
Does language play roles of equal importance in different areas of knowledge?

Language is a tool to communicate one’s ideas, thoughts and understanding of many different areas of knowledge and it is highly arguable that language plays an equal role of importance in the different areas of knowledge. It is important to state that language is a complex structure only used by humans. Of course animals have language too, but it not useful for the study of the areas of knowledge. The areas of knowledge, the study of mathematics, history, natural sciences, human sciences, ethics and the arts are meant. The areas of knowledge such as history, Mathematics, and ethics and whether language plays a role of equal importance in each will be discussed separately further on.

To be able to discuss the importance of language, one must first understand what is exactly meant by language. As mentioned, language is a sort of tool to transfer one’s information and communicate one’s understanding of events, ideas, and feelings. There are three key features that distinguish language from non-language. First of all, language is rule-governed. This means that it needs to have some sort of structure, such as grammar. This way, one can know in which order words must be set up to make sense. In the English language, for example, the structure is Subject (noun), then Verb, then Object (noun). This is not the grammar structure for all languages that exist. In Mongolian, on the other hand, the structure is Subject (noun), Object (noun), and then Verb. Secondly, language must be intended. To fully explain this, consider the following examples. You are bored in class and, while the teacher is writing on the board, you catch someone’s eye across the room and make a yawning gesture by putting your hand to your mouth. Or you are trying to look interested in what someone says and to your horror find yourself starting to yawn. The difference between these two examples is that one is intended, and the other is not. Thirdly, language is creative and open-ended. By this, it is meant that by the huge amount of vocabulary, combined with grammar, one can put any set of words in a grammatically correct order and it will result with a sentence that is valid. Now that the understanding of what language is exactly, one can further consider the equal importance of language in the areas of knowledge such as history, mathematics, and the arts.

The study of historic information is simplified due to written or spoken information about the past, because without it, historians could only suggest ideas and hypothesis about what happened rather than knowing exactly what was actually happening. Consider the ancient Egyptian culture as an example. Much writing about stories, events, ideas, laws and the culture was written down on papyrus, a sort of paper the ancient Egyptians used, as well as on stone. Historians have been able to discover much information by learning the language, hieroglyphs. This way, the study of history is made clearer, as well as more truthful, because historians can read what was actually happening rather than suggestions of what may have happened. If the ancient Egyptians had not written about their lives, historians would have a major difficulty in figuring out accurate information. The study of historic events is possible to understand, once information through language, in this case written language would be more reliable, is available. History could not exist without language,because language allows you to pass on information. Language is not only necessary for the study of history, but it is also a big part why history is what it is. For example, if Adolf Hitler had not been able to give such great speeches and utilize language so well, would he have been able to build such an empire? How would the understanding of the sciences be today, if Leonardo Da Vinci hadn’t written up his discoveries? Due to the fact that people were able...
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