Language Paper

Topics: Cognition, Psychology, Linguistics Pages: 3 (1069 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Language Paper


Language Paper
Language, though difficult to define is essential in understanding how people use it to explain what they need, feel, or want; it is how humans communicate. It is a special task that only humans can accomplish (Willingham, 2007). It is communicative, arbitrary in relationship between utterances and meaning, structured, dynamic, and lacks generativity (Willingham). Language consists of two main parts which are grammar and lexicon (Willingham). Grammar consists of rules dictating proper sentence formation; lexicon is a list of words or phrases also known as vocabulary for a language that may be used in grammar to communicate. A lexeme, or fundamental unit of vocabulary for a language may consist of a single morpheme or multiple morphemes known as compound words. The lexicon is currently represented in language by the dictionary, a list of alphabetized words with meanings and definitions provided for each word. It is by definition a way that only humans are able to communicate thoughts, ideas, feelings, needs, and wants either, verbally or non verbally, through written structure, expression, or gestures. Key Features of Language

There are five key features of language which are all critical, they include: communicative, arbitrary, structured, generative, and dynamic. Communicative is the speech or language communication between two individuals; arbitrary is the relationship between language elements and their meanings; language is structured in a pattern of symbols not arbitrary, it is the way in which you phrase a sentence; generative is the limitless number of meaning in which a lexeme may be used to build words; and dynamic describes how language is ever changing, because language is not static (Willingham). With changing of language, or the addition of words and subtle slow changes of grammar rules new languages are born while others slowly die out (Willingham). The death of a language is best represented...

References: Willingham, D.T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal (3rd ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/ Allyn & Bacon
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