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language and gender

language and gender

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Published by princebabar9

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Published by: princebabar9 on Jun 15, 2010
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12/16/2012

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Language
The question ³What is language?´ is comparable with ± and, some would say, hardly less profound than ± ³What is life?´, the presuppositions of which circumscribe and unify the biological sciences. Of course, ³What is life´ is not the kind of question that the bioliogist hasconstantly before his mind in his everyday work. So it is for the linguist in relation to thequestion ³What is language?´ Language is the unique possession. It is God¶s special gift tomankind. Without language human civilization as we now know it would have remainedimpossibility. Language is ubiquitous. It is present everywhere²in our minds, thoughts anddreams, prayers and mediations, relations and communications and in rituals. Besides being ameans of communication, and a store house of knowledge, it is an instrument of thinking as wellas a source of delight for example singing. Language is also the maker or unmake of humanrelations. It is the use of language that makes our life bitter or sweet. Without language manwould have remained only a dumb animal. It is our ability to communicate through words thatmakes us different from the animals. language is an omnipresent phenomenon. It is not only theconcern of linguists but also of logicians, philosophers, scientists, critics, psychologists and of many others.Since linguistics is the study of language, it is vital for a linguist to know what exactly languageis? Language is a very complex human phenomenon; all attempts to define it have provedinadequate. In a nutshell, a language is an µorganized noise¶ used in actual social situations. Thatis why it has also been defined as µcontextualized systematic sounds¶.
 
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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:
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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
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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.
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³Language may be defined as the expression of thoughts by means of speech-sounds´.Henry Sweet, The History of Language.
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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.
 
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Linguistics
The word Linguistics is derived from Latin lingua (tongue) and istics (knpwledge or science).Therefore, etymologically, linguistics is the scientific study of language. The central object of linguistics is language. But it is not the study of one special language but of human languages ingeneral. Linguistics is that science which studies the organization, origin, nature anddevelopment of language descriptively, historically, comparatively and explicitly, and formulatesthe general rules related to language. Diachronic linguistics studies the development of languagethrough history, through time, for example the way in which French and Italian have evolvedfrom Latin. Synchronic linguistics investigates how the people speak and use language in a givenspeech community at a given time. Comparative linguistics, the comparison with two or moredifferent languages is made. So linguistics is a new science relatively as compared to the naturalsciences and its very dynamic field and a lot much work is being done in this dynamic field.
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inguistics
Language is a very dynamic and ubiquitous phenomenon. It is the part and parcel of a societyand culture. So it is a geographical-social-cultural phenomenon. Language has a deep routedrelation with society. ³The study of language in relation to society´ can be said associolinguistics, (cf. Hudson, 1980 I). Human beings use language in society and they acquire itfrom society and its application is widely used in society. The study of language with relation tosociety is called sociolinguistics. And this is a challenging and dynamic and fascinating field of linguistics. It studies the ways in which language has its interaction with society. The socialaspects of language in the modern sense were first studied by Indian and Japanese linguists in the

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