If you are a language student, you must have to learn the Characteristics of language. Language is the most powerful and dominant system of communication.
In addition, language is the system of conventional, spoken, and written symbols using which human beings communicate with each other, from one country to another country or one culture to another culture. It is the best way to express emotions, thoughts, feelings, and desires.
With the change of time, language is also being changed in its form. Speech is human, so it differs from animal communication in a few different ways. Every language has its characteristics and objectives.
Characteristics of Language
Let us know the characteristics of the language in brief: language is arbitrary, productive, creative, symbolic, systematic, vocalic, social, non-instinctive, and conventional; language is a system of communication, and language is human structurally complex, and modifiable.
10 Characteristics of Human Language
The ten characteristics of a language are given below. Please read carefully for proper understanding.
1. Language is Arbitrary
Language is undoubtedly arbitrary as there is no inherent connection between the nature of things or concepts the speech deals with. However, those things and ideas are expressed, and there is no reason why different communities pronounce a ‘single term’ differently.
A word was chosen to mean a specific thing or idea is arbitrary. It might be noticed that if a language had not been arbitrary, there would have been just a single language that remained throughout the world. That is why we can consider language as an arbitrary vocal symbol.
2. Language is a Social Phenomenon
In a sense, language should be considered a social phenomenon. Language is social in our human society; it is a means of nourishing and developing culture and establishing human relations.
As a member of a particular social group, we human beings interact with each other, allowing us to identify with one another and connect and coordinate with one another. This is how language is part and parcel of our society.
Language exists in the public arena, is a method for feeding and creating a society, and sets up human relations. As a member of the community, we acquire a language permanently.
3. Language is a Symbolic System
Language signifies a symbolic system, and it consists of different sound symbols for concepts, things, ideas, objects, etc. Language has sounds and words as their symbols.
These symbols are picked and routinely acknowledged and utilized. The words in a language are not just patterns or images but symbols that denote meaning.
The language uses words as symbols and not as signs for the concept represented by them. The core value of a language sometimes relies on the proper explanation of these symbols.
4. Language is Systematic
Although the language is symbolic, its symbols are arranged in specific systems. All languages have their arrangement of plans, and each language is an arrangement of systems.
Furthermore, all languages have phonological and syntactic systems, and within a system, there are also several sub-systems.
For instance, we have the morphological and syntactic systems inside the linguistic system. Inside these two sub-systems, we have systems, such as plural, of mindset, or perspective, of tense, etc.
5. Language is Vocal, Verbal and Sound
Language is a system of vocal and verbal symbolism, and it is essentially comprised of vocal sounds just created by a physiological articulatory component in the human body.
First and foremost, it shows up as vocal sounds only. Language takes verbal elements such as sounds, words, and phrases fixed up in specific ways to make several sentences.
Language is vocal and sound, which is produced by different speech organs. Writing can be considered as an intelligent platform to represent vocal sounds, and it is the graphic representation of the speech sounds of the language.
6. Language is Non-Instinctive, Conventional
No language was made in multi-day out of a commonly settled upon recipe by a gathering of people. Language is the result of advancement and tradition, and every age transmits this tradition onto the following.
Like every human organization, languages may also change and pass on, develop and extend. Each language has a circulation in a particular community around the globe. However, we can consider language as non-instinctive because, naturally, it is acquired by us.
7. Language is Productive and Creative
Language has its efficiency and innovativeness. The auxiliary components of human language are joined to create new expressions that neither the speaker nor their listeners may have made or heard previously.
Honestly, the two sides comprehend without trouble. Language can be changed as indicated by the necessities of human society. After all, language has the power of productivity and creativity.
8. Language is a System of Communication
Language is strong, convenient, and the best form of communication for no doubt, and it is the best way to express everything. Through language, we human beings express our thoughts, desires, emotions, and feelings.
Further, we can interact easily through the welfare of language. After all, we may say that language is the best communication system around the world.
9. Language is Human and Structurally Complex
Human language is open-minded, extendable, and modifiable, contrary to animal language. Language should be modifiable from time to time.
No species other than human beings have been endowed with language. So we can say that language is naturally human, structurally complex, and modifiable in some cases.
10. Language is Unique, Complex, and Modifiable
Language is indeed a unique phenomenon in the world. Every language has its characteristics and distinctive features. Furthermore, each language has its creativity and productivity to deliver the best ways to communicate.
And this is how language has the potentiality to be unique, complex, and modifiable by the change of time and culture.
After the above discussion, we conclude that these language characteristics are part and parcel of building the authenticity of any language.
Have a look at these useful links:
- Best grammar checker online for free
- Definition of Language
- Child Language Development
- Elaborate Definition and meaning of Syntax
- What is Psycholinguistics?
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.