Language Is Fundamentally a Verbal Communication Code Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1224 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Communication - Language

Language is fundamentally a verbal communication code. Although animals do not develop the complex lexicons humans do, many species do engage in some form of linguistic discourse. Human beings are by far the most linguistically rich species on Earth, and we use language systematically and regularly. No culture on the planet is devoid of language and therefore language is integral to the human experience. Language is far more than a canon of lexicons and system of grammatical rules, however. Language conveys culture, emotional state, point-of-view, and demographics. in-group and out-group exclusion can be accomplished through the use of language. Colloquialism and the implementation of informal languages convey hidden or subtle meanings that the words themselves do not. Similarly, formal systems of grammar and vocabulary often denote social class or social status. Language is therefore a labyrinthine set of variables governing the communication process.

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No one formal theory of language is comprehensive enough to address the multiple pathways of communication and expression. Some theories focus squarely on the biological, neurological, or evolutionary aspects of language. Its development over time, its increasing complexity, its relationship to brain structures, and other issues characterize the physiological or biological theories of language. Language and speech abnormalities stemming from brain injury, stroke, or communication-related disorders like autism provide continual challenges for formulating comprehensive neurological or biological theories.

Psychological variables give way to numerous theories of how language imparts emotion and how changes in language can induce changes in affect or behavior. New Age or pop psychology theories like neurolinguistic programming are examples of how psychological theories have creatively explored the role and function of language. Saying affirmations has been a common use of language to redirect negative emotions or to alter psychological states.

Term Paper on Language Is Fundamentally a Verbal Communication Code. Assignment

Some of the most robust theories of language explore primarily the social functions of language and how verbal communication serves social needs. Language conveys direct meanings, such as "I want food," or "You are beautiful." However, language is also used as an art form, a means of creative self-expression like painting, dance, or music. Poetry and literature, even powerful works of nonfiction, all prove that language can become a plaything, a tool to manipulate meaning. Language also denotes culture and age. Obviously, different languages imply different cultural backgrounds. Dialects and regional differences within parent languages illustrate the complex way languages serve social functions and demarcates group solidarity. Age or generation is a highly relevant use of language: a young person uses a whole set of different words and grammars than a grandparent. Oxford-style English is different from Bronx English; Canadian French differs from French spoken in Europe, and so on.

Similarly, anthropologists delve into the different uses of language in different cultures, exploring not only differential lexicons and grammatical rules but also the various ways verbal and non-verbal communication intersect. Anthropologists might also explore how language conveys religious meaning, gender, age, or social status. Some cultures have words for concepts or items that do not exist in other cultures too, proving that translation is far from being seamless. These differences also point to historical or geographic variables that characterize those cultures. For example, Inuit languages contain numerous references to types of snow, and Spanish contains a number of different words for various types of love. Finally, linguists latch onto structural, mechanical, physiological, and biological variables to form nuanced, often cross-disciplinary theories of language. Language must be understood in terms of multiple theories.

Therefore, language is a lot like food. Its ingredients, flavors, and textures may vary but ultimately language must be nourishing and satisfying to be of any use. Unlike food, language is not essential to biological survival but language is requisite for social survival.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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