What Is Language? Is It Simple or Complex?

Topics: Linguistics, Noam Chomsky, Language Pages: 3 (814 words) Published: June 26, 2013
INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICS – UNSE 2013

REACTION PAPER ON”THE HUMAN LANGUAGE SERIES - PART ONE` VIDEO

What is Language? Is it simple or complex?

At first sight, both questions seem so common, but beneath the surface these two and some more questions developed later in the video, make you think into deeper thoughts, especially for someone who is taking an introductory course on theoretical linguistics for the first time. The human Language series part 1” video is an extraordinary piece of art which shoots questions to develop issues as the nature of human language, the major revolutions in the field, the creativity inherent to the system of language, the relationship between form and meaning or language and thought, the universal grammar etc, explained by well-known linguists. But is this all true? How simple can language be?

Firstly, by “language” we don´t mean learning a foreign language as French or Japanese, but the extraordinary ability humans have to talk to one another. LANGUAGE: is social system formed by smaller units that can be articulated by each person to communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings. “Language is the most human thing there is about being human”. This is one of the main phrases that called my attention and struck me at all. All day long, from when we get up in the morning to when we go to bed, even when we dream, our minds are producing language in some way or another. We are linguistic beings, whether we are talking to ourselves, listening and speaking with others, or even receiving electronic or print media. In fact, this is quite a remarkable difference with animals that can communicate but do not have a language. In the same way, human language has the ability to express abstract ideas, (Aronoff in the video) that is to say the ability to discuss the past, the future, real or imaginary things.

The video clearly mentions the three major revolutions in Linguistics: 1) the realization that sound change is regular...
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