Definition of Language - Characteristics, Nature and Scope of Language

Definition of Language – Characteristics, Nature and Scope of Language

 Definition of language: The English word ‘language’ seems to have been derived from the Latin word ‘lingua’ which implies ‘tongue’. French term ‘ langue’ and ‘parole’ also bear impression of language.

 Definition of Language

Different linguists have Defined Language Differently, stressing its various characteristics. We all know that language is a means of communicating thoughts and feelings. Man alone uses language for communication.

Characteristics of Language

Language is not parental property, Language is a learned property, It is learn from society, Language is based upon social contact, Language is based upon environment, Language is not complete in its form, Every language in unique, Language goes from simple to complex, Language is always changing and is a dynamic process, No two language are identical as they grow in different cultural background.

Nature Of Language

Language is learnt — Language Learning is neither automatic nor mechanical. It is acquired through practice. It not the type of behavior like – creeping, crawling, walking, sitting etc. Language is a system– Language is a complex whole like the human body. They system of body work through different organs, such as the heart, lungs, brain, ear and eyes.
Language is a System of System: language is undoubtedly, a system. This system is a pack of phonology, morphology and syntax. Likewise, the human body has a blood circulation system.
Language is a system of symbol: _ _ language is a system of symbols and every word, phrase or sentence represents some idea or object. For instance, at the crossing the traffic lights are of three colors: Red, Yellow, and Green. Red Signal means _ ‘Stop’. Yellow signal means _’Get ready’. Green signal means _’Go’. This system works in an effective manner.
Symbols of language are Vocal:_ _ Different symbols used in a language are vocal. The word ‘language’ itself comes from the Latin ‘lingua’ and its original meaning is that ‘which’ is produced with the tongue.
Language is Unique: since each language has its own style of functioning, it is different from any other language. Each language is unique. We make use in special sounds, vocabulary and structures in every language.
Language is a Skill SubjectLearning of a Language is a skill subject. It should be learnt like a skill. Learning of a language depends upon the proper formation of the habits. The ability to use language can be developed only after getting a lot of practice. There is a need of a lot of repetition in speaking, reading or writing of the language. All these skill can be acquired through practice.
Language is for Communication: The major purpose of a language is communication. We convey our feelings and ideas to others through language. The communication from one person to another is accurate only when language is used correctly. Ben Johnson rightly opined, “speech is the instrument of society”.
Language Change: Like all other things on this earth, language keeps on changing. This change may be either internal or external, but the change is a must. The change in language takes place when one language comes into contact of the other language.
Language is Historical: – Every language has its legacy. The tradition progresses at social level. This is not an individual effort but an effort made by all. By which language is acquired. Man takes the impression of language from society. The Development of Language which is historical takes place smoothly on the surface of time.

Scope of Language

Language makes existence of society possible, Language makes it possible to understand the speaker, Language delimits social groups, Language connects one with the external world.


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