News tagged with language

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Ga-ga, goo-goo, why a baby likes you

By the age of one, infants already prefer speakers of their native tongue, but do not necessarily view speakers of an unfamiliar language negatively, according to new UBC research. The findings suggest that, while positivity ...

Jul 13, 2017
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Gene mutation can cause brain malformation in children

Researchers from Cardiff University and Université Libre de Bruxelles have identified how the function of a key gene significantly impacts nerve stem cell growth, and how it can lead to abnormal brain development in unborn ...

Jul 06, 2017
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Communication gap puts Indigenous health at risk

The need for health professionals to have a stronger focus on communication with Indigenous people has been highlighted by the University of Adelaide's Head of Linguistics, who says some lives are being put at risk because ...

Jul 03, 2017
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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

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