The Properties of Language

Topics: Language, Linguistics, Semiotics Pages: 2 (691 words) Published: May 1, 2013
The physical aspects of human organs of speech are not shared by other creatures and may explain why the human creature has the capacity for speech. Displacement
This property of human language called displacement allows talking about things and events not present in the immediate environment. Now, human language-users can refer to past and future time, and to other locations. The factors involved in the property of displacement, are much more comprehensive then the communication of a single location. It enables us to talk about things and places whose existence we cannot even be sure of, like: mythical creatures, demons and recently invented characters such as Superman. Displacement allows the human, unlike any other creature, to create fiction and to describe possible future worlds. Arbitrariness

It is generally the case that there is no “natural” connection between a linguistic form and its meaning. A property of linguistic signs is their arbitrary relationship with the objects they are used to indicate. The forms of human language demonstrate a property called arbitrariness: they do not “fit” the objects they denote. Although here are some words in language which have sounds which seems to “echo” the sounds of objects or activities. We have already noted these onomatopoeic sounds as part of the “natural sounds” theory of language origin. Productivity

It is a feature of all languages that novel utterances are continually being crated. The language-users manipulate their linguistic resources to produce new expressions and new sentences. This property of human language is productivity or creativity and it is linked to the fact that the potential number of utterances in any human language is infinite. Non-human signaling appears to have this flexibility and nor does it seem possible for animals to produce new signals to communicate novel experiences or events. Cultural Transmission

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