Pediatrics

Novel software assesses phonologial awareness

Understanding sounds in language is a critical building block for child literacy, yet this skill is often overlooked. Researchers from Michigan State University have developed a new software tool to assess children's phonological ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Avoiding ableist language in autism research

Ableist language is often used by autism researchers, which assumes that autistic people are "broken" or inferior to non-autistic people. Strategies for avoiding ableist language are provided in Autism and Adulthood.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

U.S. non-English speakers less likely to have SARS-CoV-2 test

(HealthDay)—Non-English speakers are less likely to have completed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing and have a higher proportion of positive tests compared with English speakers, according ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers use artificial intelligence tools to predict loneliness

For the past couple of decades, there has been a loneliness pandemic, marked by rising rates of suicides and opioid use, lost productivity, increased health care costs and rising mortality. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its ...

Neuroscience

Reading in company boosts creativity

We process language differently depending on whether we are reading alone or in the company of another person, according to a study carried out by teachers and researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Actively speaking two languages protects against cognitive impairment

Languages are used to convey thoughts, identity, knowledge, and the way people see and understand the world. Mastering more than one language provides a gateway to other cultures, and according to a team of researchers led ...

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Language

A language is a system for encoding information. In its most common use, the term refers to so-called "natural languages" — the forms of communication considered peculiar to humankind. In linguistics the term is extended to refer to the human cognitive facility of creating and using language. Essential to both meanings is the systematic creation and usage of systems of symbols—each referring to linguistic concepts with semantic or logical or otherwise expressive meanings.

The most obvious manifestations are spoken languages such as English or Spoken Chinese. However, there are also written languages and other systems of visual symbols such as sign languages.

Although some other animals make use of quite sophisticated communicative systems, and these are sometimes casually referred to as animal language, none of these are known to make use of all of the properties that linguists use to define language in the strict sense.

When discussed more technically as a general phenomenon then, "language" always implies a particular type of human thought which can be present even when communication is not the result, and this way of thinking is also sometimes treated as indistinguishable from language itself.

In Western Philosophy for example, language has long been closely associated with reason, which is also a uniquely human way of using symbols. In Ancient Greek philosophical terminology, the same word, logos, was used as a term for both language or speech and reason, and the philosopher Thomas Hobbes used the English word "speech" so that it similarly could refer to reason, as will be discussed below.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA