The Role Of Language Essay

396 words - 2 pages

Language, the means through which humans communicate, is much more than spoken or written words. Five distinct characteristics comprise its true definition. Language is a system, is dynamic, has dialect, is sociolect and idiolect.Within a language's system are varying linguistic levels. The phonological level is the most basic. It relates differences in sounds to differences in meanings. Next,the lexical level comprises morphemes, or whole words with attached definitions. On the syntactical level, words are specifically arranged in sentences to convey a thought. ...view middle of the document...

Language is always changing; it is dynamic. Words that the "screen-technology" demographic use to communicate are quite different from those of the "baby boomers". So much so that certain words and phrases are lost in the past. The literature of Shakespeare exemplifies this.The third characteristic, dialect, describes the regional differences of language. Southern American English is very distinct from Northern American English, as is English spoken in other countries such as Australia and London. These differences are as much auditory as they are definitive.Sociolect is directly related to the speaker's social class. A king and queen may use different phrases and intonation than a pauper, for instance, and the hip-hop generation's language is easily distinguished from those of the "valley". Lastly, idiolect is the most specific characteristic of language. It refers to the speech habits of an individual. From this view, even twins who have lived together all their lives will use language differently. It includes voice quality, pitch, intonation, word choice and many other factors. Language is the collection of all efforts human use to communicate. Whether spoken, written, or insinuated by movement and gesture, the five characteristics of language remain relevant and important to human communication . (www.reference.com )

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