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HOW LANGUAGE FUCTIONS?

Many persons try to define the language.The simplest definition could


be the language is means of communication..Communication is actually
process,which includes speaker and hearer.They share sounds,wordsThe
word language derives from atin word lingua!language,tongue".
Natural or human language (the forms of ommuniation
onsi!ere! "euliar to human#in!" is opposite of animal $ computer
language.There no e#ist e#act definition of language.
There are laymens definitions of language$
%anguage is what we do things with
%anguage is used for communication
%anguage is what & think with
%anguage is what & speak with
%anguage is what & write with
'rofessionals try to define it from their own point of wiew.
(ducators say that$
%anguage is medium of knowledge
%anguage is medium of learning
%anguage is an element of )uality education
%anguage is part of ones cultural )uality
%anguage is part of the many re)uirement for a future citi*en
There some of le#icographical definitions$
%The common features of all human languages,or to be more
e#act,the defining feature of human language behavior as contrasted with
animal language systems of communication,or any artificial language.
e.g. +e studies language
!+e studies the universal properties of all speech ,writing
systems,not -ust one particular language."
%anguage is a particular variety or level of speech or
writening.
e.g. scientific language.trade language.formal language
%anguage is a consistent way of speaking or writing/the
whole of persons language.an individuals personal dialect called idialect.
e,g, 0nakespeares language,1aulkners language
%anguage means what a person says s or said/concrete act of
speaking in given situations.
2
%The abstract system underlying the totality of the speech ,
writing behavior of community. &t includes everything in language
system!its pronunciation,vocabulary,grammar,writing"
e.g.(nglish language.the Chinese language.childrens language.
inguists gave a many definitions of language$
%Noaf Webster said that the language was the immediate gift
of 3od
&n his whole life man achieves nothing so great and so
wonderful as what he achieved when he learnt to talk.!Otto Jespersen"
4ne of the most important definition is definition of Edward Sapir%
&5 purely human and noninstincive method of communicating
ideas,emotions,and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced
symbols!a symbol is something such an ob-ect, picture, written word, sound
or particular mark that represents something else by association,
resemblance, or convention.
%5 set !finite or infinite" of sentences each finite in length and
constructed out of a finite set of elements!Chomsky"
%anguage can be compared to a sheet of paper. Thought is
one side of the sheet and sound the reverse side. 6ust as it is impossible to
take a pair of scissors and cut one side of the paper without at the same time
cutting the other, so it is impossible in a language to isolate sound from
thought, or thought from sound. !Ferdinand de Saussure"
4ne more definition of Otto Jespersen is$
%5 set of human habits has a propose of giving e#prresion to
thots and feelings.
%5 symbolic system in which sounds and meanings are
assigned to each other, allowing humans to communicate what we are
thinking and how we are feeling. !Finegan & Besnier"
%5 system of conventional spoken or written symbols used by
people in a shared culture to communicate with each other. !Encycopedia
Britannica"
%anguage is the highest and most ama*ing achievement of the
symbolistic human mind. The power it bestows is almost inestimable, for
without it anything properly called 7thought8 is impossible. The birth of
language is the dawn of humanity. The line between man and beast 9
between the highest ape and the lowest savage 9 is the language line.
!Susanne !" #anger"
There are no complete and comprehensive definitions.
e.g.anguage is a set of rules.
:
This is true,language has rules but it doesn,t say anything about
fuctions of language.
5lso one of the important definitions of language is the ne#t
definition$
&Language is a s'stem of ar(itrar' )oal s'm(ols use! for
human ommuniation*
This definition indicates on some important features of human
language.(very word in this definition has been chosen with great care to
capture an important aspect of language.
%S'stem means that the language elements are arranged according to
certain rules.They cant be combined at will or deliberaty. &f language were
not systematic, it could not be learned or used consistently.
%Ar(itrar' language is arbitrary in the sense that there is no
intrinsic,natural connection between the word pen and the thing we used to
write with.
%S'm(oli this means that words are assosiated with
ob-ect,actions,ideas..
%+oali language is primarly vacal.all pruves show that the writing
form of language came much later then spoken form and the fact,that
children first begin to talk and later thae learn to write,also indicates on this.
%Human language is human%specific.it is very different from the
another communications systems,for e#ample,bird song and animal cries...
Some features of anguage
Ar(itrariess
There is no connection between tha word or sound and the thing it
donates,which means we cannot tell what is the meaning of the ward simply
by looking at it.(#ceptions are onomatopoeias!words which imitate sounds"
,is"laement
5bility of language to speak about situations in future or past,about
real and unreal situations.
-ro!uti)it'(reati)it'.
5bility to say things that have never been said before,or some
imaginary things or laies.
Cultural transmission
;
+uman language is not something inborn.'eple are born with ability
to learn language,and they must learn,or gain knowledge about it from their
parents,for e#ample.
<uality
+uman languages have two lewels$
2.Minimal unites in language which dont have meaning.%The letters
of alphabet.
:.Combination of minimal units,we have the word,which have
meaning.
The term languageis ambiguous
$e Saussure%s e#plenation$
langage !human speech as a whole or the language faculty" as
composed of two aspects$
langue !the language system"
"arole !the act of speaking"
Chomsky%s e#plenation$
language om"etene !the system"
language "erformane !the actual utterances"
#inguistics and in&estigations in anguage
ingvistics is a social science that studies languages. inguistics
studies main principles in human language and description of individual
languages.Chomsky is a founder of generative lingvistics.The historical
records of lingvistics begins in &ndia.
The general questions in lingvistics are:
What is language?
What did does it envolve?
How does language serve as a medium of communication?
How does language serve as a medium of thinking?
What is common to all languages?
How do languages differ?
The modern field of linguistics dates from begining of the 2=th
century.The branches in linguistics are$
Phonetics
Phonology
orphology
!inta"
>
!emantics
!tylistics
Pragmatics
Phonetics study of the different voices that use human languages.
Phonology study of the different unites between basic voices.
orphology study of the internal structure of words.
!inta" study of how words combine to form grammatical sentences
!emantics study of the meaning of words!le#ical semantics",and how
they combine to form the meaning of sentences.
!tylistics study of style in languages
Pragmatics study of how utterances are used!litterally.figuratively or
otherwise" in communicative acts.
&n a begining people didnt know to speak, they communicate with
symbols,sounds,mumic sounds...5lso they drawn in caves, and that
drawings show names of ob-ect, some actions e.g. man hunter in the moment
when he hunts animal.
The first ma-or investigations were grammar books.
The anicient In!ia and Gree# had a remarkable grammatical
tradicion.
-anini!?th century" was the most important grammarian.+e
formulated ;,=?= rules og Sans#rit morphology.'anini grammar is highly
systemati*ed and tehnical.&n this grammar are terms and e#plenations about
morpheme.phoneme and the root.
Tamil!Talkappiyam" described articulatory phonetics.+e classificated
consonants,vowels,and elements as nouns,verbs into classes.
Si(a/a'h wrote The @ook on 3rammar.&n this book he make a
different between phonology and phonetics.
&n west also grammarians have interest in study linguistics,but they
dont have a same methodes.The most important western linguistcs are$
Wiliam 0ones,he used comparative method!the easten and westen
combination of linguistics".
Fran1 2o"".0ao( Grimm,who wrote 3,eutshe Grammati3
(arly in the :Ath century 1erdinand de 0aussure introduced the idea of
language as a semantic code.4n this work H4elmsle).Emile
2en)eniste.5oman 0a#o(son.
3reek grammarians,<ionysius.Thra#.5pollonius.<yscolus, also
investigated in language.
&n 2BCD was made an ama*ing discorevy$
There are some sounds in,e.g.,(nglish language,which
correspondences to a sounds in many other languages.
?
1or e#ample, (nglish f correspondences to a p in atin or 0anskrit.
Engish #atin Sanskrit
father pater pitar
for per pari
These languages comes from common ancestor,and because of that
they have correspondences sounds.&n the 2=th century linguistcs work on
investigation of "arent language3,which about D,ooo years ago.Today that
language is 3-roto6In!o6Euro"ean37which developed into
(nglish,Eussian,+undi and other modern descendants.inguistics are
grouped about ?.ooo languages into a several family language with common
ancestor.
Language famil' F a group of related languages with a common
ancestor
anguages in the same (ranh of the same famil' are sister
languages
anguages in !ifferent (ranhes of the same famil' can be referred
to as ousin languages
Language isolate F a language that cannot to our knowledge be
assigned to any larger family e.g.@as)ue
anguages in the same family have many common grammatical
features.Many of words show their common ancestor.
e.g.Gords for family members in several &ndoF(uropean languages
8o!ern
English father mother sister brother daughter son widow
Ol!
English faeder modor sweostor brothor dohtor sunu widuwe
German Hater Mutter 0chwester @ruder Tochter 0ohn Gittwe
Latin pater mater soror frater FFFFFF FFFFFF vidua
Gree# pater meter FFFFFF phrater thugater huios FFFFFF
5ussian FFFFFF matI sestra brat FFFFFF syn vdova
D
The In!o6Euro"ean Famil' include$
(nglish, 0panish, 'ortuguese, 1rench, &talian, Eussian, 3reek, +indi,
@engali, 0erbian etc.5lso include atin, 0anskrit,and 'ersian.
0ome other language families$
The Jralic 1amily
The 5froF5siatic 1amily
The Caucasian 1amily
The <ravidian 1amily
KigerFCongo 1amily
B