facts about language

Topics: Ear, Auditory system, Sound Pages: 3 (993 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Language should be considered the most precious gift to humans, the one thing that truly distinguishes one ethnicity/culture from the other. Without language, communication would be obnoxious and/or complicated. Throughout this essay I will review the analysis of W.F. Bolton Language: An Introduction; Chapter two of the seventh edition of Language introductory readings. In this chapter Bolton introduces to the readers a series of interesting topics pertaining to language such as “speech breathing” and “quiet breathing,” which I will be discussing later. First I want to discuss a property of language called productivity. According to the text, Productivity in a summarized definition is when users create sentences never before known, yet perfectly understandable to their receivers. So take this sentence for example: “the wild blue cat was hanging by its tail.” Now I hope that this is new sentence to those of you who are reading. If not then I sincerely apologize, but try to pretend for me. So as you can see from the example sentence above, we can create sentences never before known (seen) yet perfectly understandable. Humans use productivity in their everyday lives. According to Bolton we take this productivity for granted in our uses of language, but in fact it is the one thing that make human communication unique (p22). The next property introduced by Bolton, Language is arbitrary, where the word for something is not necessarily connected with the thing itself. According to Bolton the Chinese say yi, er, san but we say one, two, three. Neither language has the “right” word for the numerals, because there is no such thing (p23). I hope the previous sentence helps you to understand how language is arbitrary. This property can also be examined even further; according to the text even the sounds of language are arbitrary. Bolton states how English can be spoken using only 36 significantly different sounds, the sounds turn arbitrarily by 26 letters, some standing...
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