12 Language Functions in Psychology in General

Language is central to all of our lives and is considered a cultural tool that differentiates humans from other species. In some ways, language is a behavior that allows human singularities to emerge such as religion and science. We use language to shop at the supermarket, get a job, buy train tickets, compile emails, make phone calls, and so on. Language allows us to make friends, even enemies, pass the time of the day, and so on. In everyday life we ​​produce and understand language at a level that is taken for granted.

It doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor, white or black, we need to have at least one language. It may be impossible even to imagine any place or situation in life where language is not used to function as a means of expression and communication. The social and psychological functions of language are also very crucial and are becoming increasingly important. It is even possible that the function of language in psychology becomes mixed with the functions of language in other fields. Some of the functions of language in psychology include:

1.Communication function

The most basic function of language including the function of language in psychology as we already know is to express something, an attempt to express changes in statements, fear, pleasure, pain or confusion. In many cases the language also serves as a means of communication with other members of the group especially in dangerous situations. It is most likely a response to an automatic instinctual function, and is also found in lower organisms as well. At the human level, the role of communication carries a more crucial importance. Also find out about the discussion of psychological approaches in language learning and the relationship between linguistic psychology and psycholinguistics .

  1. Interpretative Functions

The function of language in psychology is very clear in human life, when certain expressions serve as a stimulus to others to interpret certain situations. This interpretive function itself serves to restore cognitive balance. If the stimulus itself creates conditions of uncertainty or new situations, interpretation can explain the situation and restore balance. Certain interpretations will help to place information in an appropriate position in a person’s cognitive world. Also check out the benefits of psychology in learning Arabic and early childhood language development .

  1. Control Functions

Talking about the control function, there is a social dimension apart from the individual dimension. Gradually when a relationship is formed between a particular being and a stimulus it produces a reaction. This is where control occurs at a simple level, this control function may be involuntary and conscious but as a person grows and the environment becomes more organized, the language control function becomes more and more centralized. Know some psychological terms in love that use the function of language in psychology.

  1. The Function of Remembering and Thinking

Imagine if we were able to think and remember without using words. It is almost impossible to repeat or remember, even think without the use of words and language. Language is what helps us encode experiences, store them and remember and decode them. Language is also what helps us translate experiences into thoughts and engage in the process on different types. Also know about the stages of language development in children and how to deal with language development disorders in children .

  1. Someone’s Name Discovery Function

One of the most important stepping stones in the development of a child is the discovery that he has a name and this is the initiation of a sense of self-identity, which will lead to the development of feelings such as’ I ‘,’ I ‘,’ mine ‘,’ other ‘,’ not me ‘and so on. The discovery of a person’s name is a function of language in psychology which plays a very crucial role in the overall psychological development of an individual. This is the initiation of self-identity and the attempt to see oneself as objects. This is what essentially makes the distinction between human and non-human organisms, as well as between early childhood and an adult or mentally disturbed adult. This issue regarding the formation of self-concept and self-identity has been tested in greater detail elsewhere,

  1. Social Functions

Psychologically, a human being will always need other people in his life and this is also related to the field of social psychology. Apart from fostering a sense of personal identity, language also serves to develop feelings of social identity, a sense of belonging to a particular group, marking different levels of social closeness and distance. We are all part of a social group that speaks the same language. Likewise the national anthem which consists of a series of words is coined and maintains a feeling of social identity. However, sometimes this feeling of social identity is too narrow and results in social conflict and confrontation between different groups.

  1. Creative Functions

Language plays a very crucial role in imagination and creative activities. Novels and poetry cannot be written without language, which not only helps us to control and regulate our cognition but also allows us to break free and enter the creative imagination. Again, language paradoxically also contributes to the emergence of creative delusions and beliefs in people with mental illness. On the whole, one can see a very critical and crucial role of language in our lives. It is impossible to think of a place or situation in life where a person could function without the aid of language. Apart from the general functions of language and communication, the psychological and social functions of language are of great importance and are becoming increasingly important in today’s world. Also know aboutthe role of cognition in language development and psycholinguistic relationships with language acquisition .

  1. Briefing function

This function aims to influence the behavior or behavior of others. The most direct example of a redirect function is giving commands and requests. This function of social control places emphasis on the recipient rather than the source of the message, but resembles the expressive function in less importance overall, to the conceptual meaning than to other types of meaning, especially affective and connotative meanings. For example, the words ‘close that door’ or ‘I want a cup of tea’ are when we use language in a directional way and immediately ask someone to do something with linguistic intelligence .

  1. Phatis function

This function opens the lines of communication and maintains a good level of social relations, for example, such as small talk that opens a conversation. This function is usually used for normal conversation, for example when two people meet in a place accidentally and start talking about something that is not important for the purpose of smooth communication. This type of daily conversation is usually meaningless but great for maintaining good relationships with other people. The function of language signifies several ways of important events or stages in all societies, normally part of a celebration that involves the repetition of written, forms of language. For example in funerals, weddings, words in prayer, national anthem, theme songs and so on.

  1. Adaptation and Integration Functions

Language allows people to live together in a certain bond, for example in an institution, department, family, business cooperation, as well as in the nation and state. When adapting to a social environment, a person will use a different language when talking with friends and colleagues, or with parents and family. Mastery of language will make it easier for a person to mingle and adjust. Language allows a person to learn a particular culture and social environment and as a medium to connect with other people.

  1. Social Control Function

The function of language in psychology also acts as a means of social control that allows for controlling communication, so that people who communicate can understand each other. Each person will observe speech, behavior and other symbols that indicate the direction of communication. Language can be a medium that influences a person’s attitude, behavior and personality. For example, when we want to reprimand someone who smokes in a public place, we can use language to convey our meaning and show the rules listed in that public place.

  1. Self-Expression Functions

The function of language in psychology also acts as a means of self-expression, starting from the simplest level to the most complex or very high difficulty. With language, a person is able to express his images, intentions, ideas and feelings. Language allows us to express everything that is in our hearts and minds, as a means of self-expression to pour out thoughts on others. Find out how to deal with expressive language disorders , how to eliminate expressive language disorders and the role of Indonesian in character education for the younger generation .

Overall, the critical and crucial role of language lies not only in the function of language in psychology, but also in all fields where the use of language is possible. In this case, of course, almost all aspects of our life. Therefore, this discussion of the function of language in psychology can only be done briefly, because it is difficult to mark all the existing functions of language because it relates to all areas of our lives. So it is not surprising that freedom of speech is underlined as a fundamental human right.


by Abdullah Sam
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