Discuss the similarities and differences between language and communication. Consider whether language is solely the property of humans. You should draw on research and evidence to support your answer.
According the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the word “communication” refers to the process of expressing ideas and feelings or of giving people information through various mediums. Language is one of the most commonly used medium by people in all written, spoken and non-spoken form. The similarities between language and communication are that they share the same purpose, and how it is easily influenced by other defining factors which can be considered as other modes of communication. The differences between the two can be seen in which communication can occur even without language. Many linguists consider language to be unique to human and this can be seen through various theories such as Noam Chomsky’s “Universal Grammar” and Critical Period Hypothesis. Unlike language, communication is not solely the property of humans, but it can be found in animals.
Ferdinand de Saussure has created a structuralist view on language. This allows many theories and approaches to be invented towards breaking down as well as understanding how language works. Language has since been broken down into four divisions — Semantics, Pragmatics, Syntax and Phonology. Unlike communication, language has a pre-determined structure that is required to be followed. For example, in English, there is a “subject-verb-object” order. In Japanese, the order is switched to “subject-object-verb”. This order is part of syntax where sentence has to be structured in a particular order in varying languages. Sign languages also follows the same structure that languages has. For example, American Sign Language (ASL) follows the spoken Japanese syntax more closely as compared to English. This cannot be found in communication as it is purely a concept in which one is able to get a message...
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