PostHeaderIcon What is language?


Language is a set of symbols being used mainly for communication. The symbols may be spoken or written. Language is an aspect of human behavior. In written form it is a long-term record of knowledge from one generation to the next while in spoken form it is a means of communication. Language is the key aspect of human intelligence.

Natural Language

Natural language is an ordinary language that has evolved as the normal means of communication among people. Examples: English, French, Japanese, Tamil, Arabic and Hebrew.

Constrained Language

Constrained languages are those that have a special or limited vocabulary designed for restricted types of communication. Examples: programming languages such as C, C++ and Java and languages that apply only to a certain domain.

Definitions of language

According to Noam Chomsky, a language is a set (finite or infinite) of sentences, each finite in length and constructed out of a finite set of elements.

Characteristics of Language

It is a means of communication
It is arbitrary
It is a system of systems
It is primarily vocal
It differs from animal communication in several ways
It is a from of social behavior
It is a symbol system
Productivity
Interchangeability

Spoken Language

Speech is a natural, convenient, rapid and the oldest means of communication.

Written Language

A written language is one that uses the equivalent of typed alphabetic characters. Words are clearly separated by spaces and punctuation marks.

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