Linguistics

10 Characteristics of Human Language

10 Characteristics of Human Language

You Must know  what are Characteristics of Human Language, If you want to study Language.

Language is verbal, vocal:

Language is sound Language is an organization of sounds, of vocal Symbols the sounds produced from the mouth to convey some meaningful message. It also means that speech is primary to writing. There are several languages in the world which have no writing systems, yet they are languages because they are spoken. Music and singing also employ vocal sounds, but they are not language. Language is a systematic verbal symbolism; it makes use of verbal elements such as sounds, words, phrases, which are arranged in certain ways to make sentences. Language is vocal in as much as it is made up of sounds which can be produced by the organs of speech.

Characteristics of Human Language

 

Language is a means of communication.

Language is the most powerful, convenient and permanent means and form of communication. Non- linguistic symbols such as expressive gestures, signals of various kinds, traffic lights, road signs, flags, Braille alphabets, the symbols of mathematics and logic, etc. are also means of communication, yet they are not as flexible, comprehensive, perfect and extensive as language is.

Language is the best means of self-expression. It is through language that humans express their thoughts, desires, emotions, feelings; it is through it they store knowledge, transmit message, transfer knowledge and experience from one person to another, from one generation to another. It is through it that humans interact. It is language again that yokes present, past and future together.

 Language is a social phenomenon.

Language is a set of conventional communicative signals used by humans for communication in a community. Language in this sense is a possession of a social group, an indispensable set of rules which permits its members to interact with each other to co-operate  with each other: it is a social institution. Language exists in society; it is a means of nourishing and developing culture and establishing human relations. It is as a member of society that a human being acquires a language.

 Language is unique, creative, complex and modifiable.

Language is a unique phenomenon of the earth. Each language is unique in its own sense. By this we do not mean that languages do not have any similarities. Despite their common features, each language has its peculiarities and distinct features.

Language has creativity and productivity. The structural elements of human language can be combined to produce new utterances, which neither the speaker nor his hearers may ever have said or heard before any yet which both sides understand without difficulty. Language changes according to the needs of society.

Language is arbitrary.

By the arbitrariness of language we mean: there is no inherent or logical relation or similarity between any given feature of language and its meaning. That is entirely arbitrary, that there is no direct, necessary connection between the nature of things or ideas language. Furthermore, these are at variation in different languages of the world and have no uniformity.

Language is a Social Tool and Characteristics of Human Language Must be Learned

 Language is unique, creative, complex and modifiable.

Language is a unique phenomenon of the earth. Each language is unique in its own sense. By this we do not mean that languages do not have any similarities. Despite their common features, each language has its peculiarities and distinct features.

Language has creativity and productivity. The structural elements of human language can be combined to produce new utterances, which neither the speaker nor his hearers may ever have said or heard before any yet which both sides understand without difficulty. Language changes according to the needs of society.

Language is systematic.

Although language is symbolic, yet its symbols ar arranged in a particular system. All languages have their system of arrangements. Though symbols in each human language are finite; they can be arranged infinitely, that is to say, we can produce an infinite set of sentences t a finite set “of symbols.

Language is symbolic.

The symbolism of language is a necessary consequence of the feature of arbitrariness discussed above. A symbol stands for something else; it is something that serves as a substitute. Language is a system of arbitrary symbols. For concepts, things, ideas, object, etc. We have sounds and words as symbols. Language uses words essentially as symbols and not as signs (e.g. in Math.) for the concepts represented by them.

Language is both linguistic and communicative competence.

A language is an abstract set of psychological principles and sociological consideration that constitute a person’s competence as a speaker in a given situation. These psychological principles make available to him an unlimited number of sentences he can draw upon in concrete situations and provide him with the ability to understand and create entirely new sentences.

Hence language is not just a verbal behavior; it is a system of rules establishing correlations between meanings and sound sequences. It is a set of principles that a speaker masters; it is not anything a speaker does. In brief, a language is a code which is different from the act of encoding;

It is a speaker’s linguistic competence rather than his linguistic performance. But mere linguistic or communicative competence is not enough for communication; it has to be coupled with communicative competence. This is the view of the sociologists who stress the use of language according to the occasion

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