Language: consists of symbols that convey meaning, plus rules for combining those symbols, that can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages. Language is symbolic; sounds & written words are used to represent objects, actions, events. Language is generative; symbols combine to generate a message. Language is structured; a limited number of ways to structure language rules. Phonemes: the smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished. humans are capable of recognizing only about 100 basic sounds. morphemes: the smallest unit of meaning in a language. Approximately 50 000 english morphemes including prefixes and suffixes. Semantics: the area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words/word combinations. Syntax: a system of rules that specify how words can be arranged into sentences. 3-month old infants can distinguish phonemes from all of the world"s languages. This ability gradually disappears between 4-12 months www. notesolution. com.