An essay explaining an important and interesting concept: Language | My Paper Hub
Language is the
tool by which human beings commun...
Language is the
tool by which human beings communicate. It brings sanity in the way things are
done and make intercultural interactions possible. Language is an abstract
system of words meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture. It is also the
ability of an individual to obtain and use multifaceted systems of
communication. The study of language is called linguistics and is an
interesting concept to get insight on since it is an essential tool for every
individual in society. There are different types of languages in use in the
world today. They have spoken a language that is the speech, written language
including numerals and drawings, gestures and sign language as well as facial
expressions of non-verbal communication. There have been philosophical concerns
on language such as whether words can represent an experience; this has
resulted in a debate that has brought controversy since Gorgias, and Plato
during the Ancient Greece times (Bett, 569). Rousseau and other thinkers have
argued that; language can trace its origins from emotions whereas there are
others such as Kant that asserted that language originated from logical and
rational thought (Bett, 569-570). There are an estimated 5000 to 7000 languages
globally. The actual number and estimate are difficult to ascertain due to the
presence of various dialects. Natural languages are either spoken or signed.
Moreover, because it is modality-independent, human language can be encoded in
secondary media such as auditory, tactile, and visual stimuli such as the use
of Braille, graphic writing, and whistling. Below is more analysis on the
concept of language and the uses of language.
thought to have evolved when the early Hominins gradually started to change
their communication systems. The development advanced further with the
development of the human brain further and the creation of structures and rules
that control language (Kottak, 58). It led to the development of
characteristics that set the human language apart from other forms of animal
communication. The properties of language among human beings are:
·Productivity. A speaker can
use particular grammatical processes especially during word formation to the
degree. The tests of productivity on language concerns the grammatical forms
that may be used with newly coined words and are converted to other forms by
the use of productive processes (Kottak, 59).
·Recursivity. It is the
process and the ability of language to repeating items in a self-similar way.
It is a property of language whereby a structure such a phrase, or clause may
for a larger structure of the same kind. It allows for a potentially infinite
variety of constructions (Kottak, 61).
·Displacement. It is the ability of language to communicate
regarding things that are not present immediately. It can communicate spatially
or temporarily that is on things that are not here or that are not present now.
Charles F. Hocket proposed it in 1960 as one of the 13 design features of
language that separate the human language from any animal communication systems
The functions of language to human
beings and their interaction cannot be overlooked. They include:
Language plays a
vital role in communication. Communication being the process of passing ideas
from one person to another is a major importance of language. In our society,
most of our social understanding, conflict resolutions, and social guidance is
done and enhanced through communication with a common language. The Early man
adopted another language of communication through the use of signs and that
greatly enhanced trade. Different people from communities would exchange items
without the use of spoken words in barter trade (Hebert, 100).
Language can give
a strong sense of belonging or can cause exclusion. Our language is what gives
us a sense of identity and remains an absolute tool that aids our quest towards
the attainment of self-realization. All over the world, people of different
tribes invest huge resources in promoting their language (Hebert, 102). The
naming process and individual having distinct names are fundamental to people’s
identity. It is what distinguishes us from other people since different
languages have different naming practices.
Language also makes possible the exchange of
abstract and highly complex thoughts, which play a crucial role in the
maintenance of the many social relationships within human societies. Without
language, it would be impossible to socialize children into the intricate
workings of their cultures, past traditions, rituals, myths, and religious
beliefs that instill a sense of group identity and maintain social order within
provides the basis upon which our perceptions of the world are organized. It
establishes categories by which things considered similar can be distinguished
from those, which are considered different. The categories of one language will
never be identical to those of another. The classic expression of this position
is known as ‘Sapir-Whorf hypotheses’ named in honor of Edward Sapir (1884-1939)
and Benjamin Whorf (1897-1941). According to the Sapir –Whorf hypothesis, the
language a person speaks determines his or her worldview (Hellen, 99).
The role of
Language to social stratification is also significant. It is a concept
involving the classification of people into groups based on shared
socio-economic conditions, a relational set of inequalities with economic,
social, political, and ideological dimensions (Hellen, 99). It is when
differences lead to greater status, power, or privileges for some groups over
the other. It is experienced in developed societies where hierarchy may be
necessary to stabilize the social structure. Achieved by the levels of classes
created by the different use of languages hence making people depend on each
other hence stabilizing the economy in a society.
plays a significant role in entertainment. It develops an understanding of the
audience and advances communication from one party to another creating unity
among the audience, which they can share fun and leisure. Entertainment uses
language as a source of education through plays, poems, songs and other
sources. Thus, language is used to enable people understand the fun and joke
and also learn from the entertainment (Hebert, 103).
the origin of language is not certain but it has faced evolution over the
course of time. Its properties of displacement, productivity, and recursivity
have also set the human language aside from the usual forms of animal
communication. The properties have also played a role in leaving room for the
growth and evolution of the human language through the following of the
structures that control language development and production. It has also played
a fundamental role. It is not only a tool for using to communicate thoughts and
ideas but also, a means to forge friendships, cultural ties, and economic
relationships. Language, of course, is knowledge, and in our world today,
knowledge is one of the key factors in competitiveness. Brains and knowledge
are creating the prosperity and growth we tend to take for granted. In an
advanced industrial society in an increasingly interdependent world, the
knowledge of other languages becomes indispensable. Over the past years,
millions of people across the world who share common interests can communicate
with each other and exchange ideas not only are they able to do this due to the
technological advances, but because they share a common language.
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