What is Language?


wiseGEEK Writing Contest

Language is communication. It is still unknown how long ago we began to speak, and the origin of language is still to be confirmed. It is believed that human language originated somewhere between 40,000, and 2 million years ago One can only assume it was out of necessity, and progressive development. There are many hypothesizes which attempt to explain the origin of human language. Languages all share common components with other languages. In the beginning, the first humans uttered a very simple vocabulary in order to communicate. As language, intelligence, and the need for further communication increased, so did the complexity of the spoken word. The languages are a communication technology which have been molded by the users of any particular language. Use of language is one of the most evident traits that distinguishes humans from all other animals. However, animals have languages, and communicate as well. Speech is believed to have replaced scent markings. Scent markings have much in common with audible communicational meanings such as, defending/establishing territory, attracting mates, and provoking attacks/retreats. Human communication is not wholly dependent upon the words spoken. The majority of communication is "transmitted" through body language in conjunction with speech. There are currently 5,000 or more languages in use all over the world. If you take a close look at current language usage, they in a sense show the origin of human communication. Languages range from very basic, to extremely complex. They allow for precise technical presentation of fact, and the ability to extract emotions from deep within us. The relationship between the individuals communicating, experiences they have had, and intelligence, greatly affect the outcome, and meaning of the conversation. Modern circumstances demand people utilize their intelligence, and body language knowledge to decipher language, and create what they think the meaning of the delivered message is. An example of where this commonly occurs is in lying. Liers deliver meaningless, or false words in order to deceive, or selfishly gain. I'd like to share a few quotes pertaining to truth, and lies.

"But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of apperaring."

- Thomas Paine

"The reason why truth is so much stranger than fiction is that there is no requirement for it to be consistent."

- Mark Twain

"Beauty is truth, truth is beauty. That is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know."

- John Keats

"Language is the landscape of communication, which is forever changing on all fronts."

- Jimmy Bonner

submitted by J Bonner