Language Paper

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Language Paper
Michelle Langmesser
June 6, 2010
Eboni Sheilds

Definition of Language
“Many definitions of language have been suggested. An English Phonetician and language scholar, Henry Sweet stated, Language is the expression of ideas by means of speech-sounds combined into words. Words are combined into sentences, this combination answering to that of ideas into thoughts” (language, 2010). The American linguists George L. Trager and Bernard Bloch have the following definition, a language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by means of which a social group cooperates. Any concise definition of language makes a number of assumptions and brings up many questions. The first focuses on thought and the second on arbitrary: in a specialized but genuine way” (language, 2010). “Language is both a working system of communication in the time and in the community, it is a product of its history and the source of its future development. Any account of language must look at it from both points of view. Language interacts with every part of human life. It can be understood only if it is considered as part of its society” (language 2010). “The science of language is known as linguistics. It includes what are generally distinguished as descriptive linguistics and historical linguistics. Linguistics is now a highly technical subject; it embraces, both descriptively and historically, such major divisions as phonetics, grammar (including syntax an morphology), semantics, and pragmatics, dealing in detail with these various aspect of language” (language, 2010).

Definition of Lexicon
“In its most general sense, the term is synonymous with vocabulary. A dictionary can be seen as a set of lexical entries. The lexicon has a special status in generative grammar, where it refers to the component containing all the information about the structural properties of the lexical items in a language, i.e. their specification semantically, syntactically and...
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