Language Paper

1544 Words Sep 10th, 2010 7 Pages
Language Paper
Michelle Langmesser
June 6, 2010
Eboni Sheilds

Definition of Language “Many definitions of language have been suggested. An English Phonetician and language scholar, Henry Sweet stated, Language is the expression of ideas by means of speech-sounds combined into words. Words are combined into sentences, this combination answering to that of ideas into thoughts” (language, 2010). The American linguists George L. Trager and Bernard Bloch have the following definition, a language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by means of which a social group cooperates. Any concise definition of language makes a number of assumptions and brings up many questions. The first focuses on thought and the second on
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Through the aforementioned lexicon, humans have the ability to determine the spelling, pronunciation, and part of speech of each word; therefore, giving humans the means through which to construct coherent sentences complete with a noun phrase and verb phrase. It is at this point in language structure that the meaningful creation of actual text is possible. The grammar that governs text creation seem to be logical rather than sequential, meaning that it does not matter so much that sentences follow a particular stream of conjunctive adverbs, but that the sentences logically flow from one to the next. The 46 phonemes of the English language can be combined, according to the laws of grammar and syntax, to create approximately 600,000 words, which can in turn be constructed into sentences, as an extension of lexical entries, and can finally be assembled into texts that follow a logical flow.
Language Processing and Ambiguity
The obstacle of language comprehension is largely a problem of perception, rather than a problem of actual structure or articulation. For instance, if a person were to look at the spectral analysis of speech they would quickly realize that there are no audible breaks between words, which ask the question: how do we know when one word ends and another begins? Humans resolve this example of language ambiguity through the use of phonemic cues at the beginning and the end of words. According to the motor theory of speech
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