Psychology & Psychiatry

Chatty kids do better at school

Young children go on to achieve more academic success when their verbal skills are enhanced, a new study suggests.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Dementia test to expand diagnosis across India

A standardised test that can now be used in the seven main languages in India will support the diagnosis of dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Babies' love of baby talk is universal, study finds

Babies love baby talk all over the world, says Michael Frank, the Stanford psychologist behind the largest study to date looking at how infants from across the world respond to the different ways adults speak.

Medical research

Household chemical use linked to child language delays

Young children from low-income homes whose mothers reported frequent use of toxic chemicals such as household cleaners were more likely to show delays in language development by age 2, a new study found.

Pediatrics

Pediatrician use of developmental screening tools increasing

(HealthDay)—From 2002 to 2016, there was an increase in pediatricians' reported use of developmental screening tools and in referral of at-risk patients for early intervention (EI), according to a study published online ...

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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.

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