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Language Analysis

Essay by 24  •  December 19, 2010  •  632 Words (3 Pages)  •  631 Views

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What do I know when I know a language? When I think of a language, the first thing that comes to my mind is that it is a ways of communicating. According to the Oxford Dictionary, language is "the system of communication in speech and writing that is used by people of a particular country or area". After further researching, I realized that there is way more to a language than people perceive it to be. Its complexity is astonishing; the structure and elements that make up a language makes it not only a way of communicating, but also a work of art.

When I think about a language, I know that it is composed of many components including phonology, morphology, and syntax. These components formulate a grammar and representational system used to combine words together to create phrases and sentences that people use for internal representation (thinking) and external representation (communicating). Although languages are complex, they do have rules and principles that allow them to be understood and mastered. Through my extensive research on historical influential figures such as Adolf Hitler, I realized that if used efficiently, language can also be used as a weapon; it does not only allow one to communicate with other people, but it can allow one to persuade, intimidate, or charm others. (As for Adolf Hitler, he used language to manipulate people.) This ultimately makes tool of expression; the words and sentence structure we use to speak to people allows them to convey various feelings and thoughts about us and to act a certain way towards us.

There exist many languages in the world. According to online statistics, there are over "6000 living languages in the world". It is shocking to know that there are these great amounts of languages still being around the globe. Though I do not know all of these languages, I do know that they share a number of characteristics that facilitate to fill out the concept of what the language is. Some of these characteristics include patterning, displacement and predication. For example, I know that in any language, there has to be a subject and a predicate in a sentence. Also, I know that language is patterned at a number of levels of organization: words proceed to phrases, phrases proceed to sentences, and sentences proceed to larger units of discourse. In each form of structure,

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