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What is Language?
• Direct it at someone
• Purposeful behavior
• Allows us to exchange information & ideas
• Displacement- higher level language function that only humans use
• No resemblance between a word ( symbol) and its referent (what the word stands for)
• Allows us to be more descriptive- allowing us to describe one object using multiple
• Can be confusing e.g -> bedroom vs. mushroom
• Pattern based on rules.
• Rules determine sounds to make words, words unto sentences, and sentences into
discourse. e.g -> Grammar, spelling,
• Putting words in the right order
• Speech sounds
• Language can always be broken down e.g -> A is a letter, but can be broken down to a
• Limited set of sounds can create unlimited set of words
• Small set of words can be used to generate a limitless number of sentences
• e.g-> The man killed the lion/ or the
Language is always changing
• Changing more rapidly now due to pop culture, advertising technology, and science
generating new words.
• As we generated industries, new technologies, new activities new words are being
• e.g to help understand -> the cross breeding of dogs, coming up with names for new
breeds is more prominent than years back
• Borrowing words from other cultures
• Combining words
• Not just oral, but can be in other forms such as sign language etc.
Your ideas, your thoughts =SYMBOL
Written, spoken, gestures
REPAIR- automatically repeat but in the proper form
What are the characteristics of language
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