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What is language?


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Answered 2016-11-18 03:25:01

Basically, language is the symbols we use in order to communicate with one another, and the rules that govern how we use them.

We are wired to learn language from our earliest moments, and we learn with lightening speed (it may not seem so when you look down at your baby brother who is already 5 months old and can't say a thing, but we forget how monumental learning a language really is).

We all learn language, but there is something deeply mysterious about language even though we can learn to use it. All of language is "something" standing for "something else".

How do we know that my "something else" is the same as your "something else"? It may be easy to work out for things like "apple" and "orange", but how about "ennui" or "motive"?

In other words, all language is metaphor. This is part of what makes linguistics such a fascinating study.

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