[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]


"Language is a virus from outer space." --William S. Burroughs

Related: definition - context - connotation - communication - conversation - denotation - dictionary - discourse - etymology - expression - euphemism - film language - glossary - grammar - linguistics - literature - meaning - metaphor - mouth - name - phrase - political correctness - printing - proverb - saying - semantics - speech - text - thesaurus - term - tongue - translation - verbal - vocabulary - writing - word


Language is a system of gestures, grammar, signs, sounds, symbols, or words, which is used to represent and communicate concepts, ideas, meanings, and thoughts. It can be thought of as a "semantics code". The study of language as such a code is called linguistics, an academic discipline introduced by Ferdinand de Saussure. Those who speak or otherwise use a language are deemed (by the self-appointed linguists) to be part of that language's theoretical linguistic community. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language [Aug 2004]


Sociology of language focuses is on the language's effect on the society. It is closely related to the field of sociolinguistics, which focuses on the effect of the society on the language. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_language [May 2006]


A register is a subset of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, the average English speaker will likely adhere more closely to prescribed grammar, pronounce gerunds and present participles with a /N/ sound, and refrain from using the word "ain't" when speaking in a formal setting, but the same person could violate all of those restrictions in an informal setting; these two varieties of speech are separate registers of English. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Register [Dec 2004]

Is language innate?

The manner in which a child acquires language is a matter long debated by linguists and child psychologists alike. The "father" of most nativist theories of language acquisition is Noam Chomsky, who brought greater attention to the innate capacity of children for learning language, which had widely been considered a purely cultural phenomenon based on imitation. Nativist linguistic theories hold that children learn through their natural ability to organize the laws of language, but cannot fully utilize this talent without the presence of other humans. This does not mean, however, that the child requires formal tutelage of any sort. Chomsky claims that children are born with a hard-wired language acquisition device (LAD) in their brains. They are born with the major principles of language in place, and with some parameters to set (such as whether sentences in the language they are to acquire must have explicit subjects). According to nativist theory, when the young child is exposed to a language her LAD makes it possible for her to set the parameters and deduce the grammatical principles, because the principles are innate. --http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_acquisition


  1. Verbal Behavior (1957 - B. F. Skinner [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    See entry for verbal

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications