Language is essential

Topics: Linguistics, Human, Sociology Pages: 2 (462 words) Published: January 13, 2014
Sociology 101

Language is essential

Humans have an innate capacity for language and it's quite remarkable. Ever wonder how you learned how to talk, or how you transitioned from "goo-goo gaga" to "please pass the potatoes?" Turns out that we are born with a mental module called the language acquisition device which allows us to be open to languages of our culture. While we are just babies, our parents are talking and carrying on about their business and we are listening intently. Just by exposure, babies mimic the sound of language and eventually we learn our cultures way of communicating. Language is a key part of our social identity. It says who we are, where we came from, and is the foundation of our culture. Being able to understand someone, is as essential to them understanding you. For example have you ever seen a person try to communicate with someone that speaks a different language, or knows very little english? During the attempt at it's a complicated mess. Eventually, they seem to both understand that they don't know what one is talking about to the other. Eventually they smile, and then arms are gestured in a way that indicates they give up. I see this happen all the time between my parents. Since my mom's first language is taglog, she and my dad have developed an "in-between language" so they both can understand each other. The nature of language is not just any old communication system: it is a set of rules for combining elements that are inherently meaningless into utterances that convey meaning (Tavris, Wade 2008). Even the waving of the hands, and gesturing to indicate giving up almost seemed to have a universal meaning to two people that couldn't understand each other. Communicating effectively involves much more than words. It involves gestures, that have symbolic meaning, the tone and pitch over our voices, even the way our tongue moves in our mouth. According to the author, (1) human beings act...

Cited: Wade, Carole, and Carol Tavris. Psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.
Conley, Dalton. You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2013. Print.
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