In the Encyclopedia Britannica, vol.13 language is defined as ³a system of conventional, spokenor written symbols by means of which human beings, as members of a social group and participants in its culture, communicate.´ Some other definitions are cited below:
³Language is a primarily human and non-instinctive method of communication ideas,emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols.´Sapir, Language, 1921
³Language in its widest sense means the sum total of such signs of our thoughts andfeelings as capable of external perception and as could be produced and repeated atwill.´ A.H. Gardiner, Speech and Language 1935.
³Language may be defined as the expression of thoughts by means of speech-sounds´.Henry Sweet, The History of Language.
According to Transformational Generative linguists like Noam Chomsky, language isthe innate capacity of native speakers to understand and form grammatical sentences.Anthropologists regard language as a form of cultural behavior, sociologists as an interaction between members of a social group, students of literature as an artistic medium, philosophers asa means of interpreting human experiences, language teachers as a set of skills. Truly speakinglanguage is such a complex phenomenon that to define it in terms of a single level as knowledge,skill, behavior, habit, and an object will not solve the problem of its definition. None of theabove definition is perfect but each of them just hints at a certain characteristics of language.