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Languages

Discussion
Dec 2, 2008
by: CuiXiaC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language

I just read a Wikipedia article, "Language", Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 1 December 2008, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language. I am amazed with this article because it made me wonder about how languages are created. This article gave me a sense of how language is an important aspect in our lives and why we use it as a form of communication. Language seems to be humans form of speech and communication to deliver messages from one place to another and I find it amazing how there are more than 200 languages in the world.

One sentence from this article that stands out for is: "Human languages are usually referred to as natural languages, and the science of studying them falls under the purview of linguistics. A common progression for natural languages is that they are considered to be first spoken, then written, and then an understanding and explanation of their grammar is attempted." I think this is a really good quote that basically sums up what the human language is about. It definitely dates back a long way back before we knew what languages were. We just sorta spoke it and never wrote it down because we didn't know what to write. It was said that the earliest forms of writing were known as the cuneiform, but speech has been dated back about tens and thousands of years ago.

I'm pretty sure this is accurate because as quoted in wikipedia, humans first learned how to speak and then after years and years later, we sorta adapted to writing and jotting the information down and began to write the language itself. For example, according to the link "Speakers, in their everyday conversations, use language to talk about language. They may wonder about what words mean, to whom a name refers, whether a sentence is true."

Another sentence that I thought was amazing was: "Any concept or grammatical rule can be mapped onto a symbol. In other words, most languages make use of sound, but the combinations of sounds used do not have any necessary and inherent meaning – they are merely an agreed-upon convention to represent a certain thing by users of that language. For instance, there is nothing about the Spanish word nada itself that forces Spanish speakers to convey the idea of "nothing" This stood out for me because when we speak, we don't realize that the sounds make use of the language we speak. We think it's based on the written form of the language that creates sounds, but in fact it's the other way around.

I double-checked this fact at an MIT link which makes me feel pretty sure that it is true. There's no real answer to finding how languages are created, but there are references and little evidence which makes us think of how languages come to a creation.

What I learned from this article is that we humans first spoke, and then we started to come up with a form of writing. Language is a powerful way to communicate because it's a way of speaking and learning of all subjects. Without languages, we are not able to come up with names and definitions.