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If there were no language human civilization would have remained impossibility. It is present every where in our thoughts, dreams, meditations, relations, prayers and communications. Language can also refer to as a general phenomenon. Though commonly used as a means of communication among people, human language is only one instance of this phenomenon. Apart from being a means of communication it is the source of thinking as well as expression. This is the reason why it is termed as “species uniform” possession of human beings. Language is the most important basic tool in creating societies. It is language through which we communicate our feelings whether in form of words, gestures or voices. Humans or animals both communicate in different ways to pass their messages and also creating norms for establishing societies, but animal way of communication is not refer to as Language (because Linguists do not consider these to be "language" ) but rather describe them as Animal Communication . Without Language humans won't be able to understand each other and without understanding each other they won't be able to communicate, without communication there won't be any cooperation there won't be any groups formed forming different tasks and there won't be any society necessary for survival for humans. It is a tool to be a human(A social animal), to communicate, understand and respond. Communication is the significant aspect of language we need scaffold of language to relate ourselves to the surroundings. Language is communication we commune with, converse with others. This communication can be both Verbal and Non-Verbal. Verbal communication includes speech acts, like discussion or conversation. And Nonverbal language includes body language, sign language, expressions, gestures, voluntary
and involuntary actions etc. Language is one of the important areas of human development. Our Communication skills set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, and it is also what brings us together with each other. Language very important because it help millions of people to communicate within this world of different dialect, cultures and it is also part of speech. It allow us to communicate and spread ideas. It is also a medium for communication and contribution to human society.
DEFINITION Many authority in linguistics has attempted to a definition of language, other see it as an indefinable concept that cannot be an all-embracing definition. Since language is complicated, Linguists and Scholar have not agreed on a certain definition for it everyone give the definition of language base on their understanding of it, but nevertheless their are some definitions in which people define Language such as: Web Definitions of Language (1) a system of arbitrary symbols and the rules used to manipulate them.
(2) a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional
(3) a language is a particular kind of system for encoding and decoding information.
(4) a form of communication using words either spoken or gestured with the hands
(5) a system of communication by written or spoken words, which is used by the
people of a particular country or area. (www.ldoceonline.com/Linguisticstopic/language).
(www.ldoceonline.com/Linguistics-topic/language). Linguists Definitions of Language The study of language is called Linguistics and they through their reasoning give divers definitions for Language and are as follow:
The American linguists Bernard Bloch and George L. Trager formulated the following definition: “A language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by
means of which a social group cooperates.”
Obilade O. Akintunde state that: “it is a system of symbols used for communication. It is a complex phenomenon and a general term for all devices used to communicate”
• A. G Gimson (1984) who consider language to be a system of conventional signal use for communication by the whole community
Harold E. P(1981) who sees language “as the medium in which thought are convert from one person to another.” Advance Leaner Dictionary (by A.S Hornby); define it as “human and noninstinctive method of communicating ideas, feelings and desires by means of a system of sound and symbols”
LANGUAGE AS POWER
Language is said to be power because it surround us all our life and also it has tendencies to improve our life style, behavior, connect us with each other due to its controlling influence and that there is no area of our lives in which language did not affect. The Improvement human acquired is due to the power of language in all areas of development. Now how do we justify that language is power? How can we give accreditation for it qualification? This can simply be done looking deeply into its function and its effects on human.
Language expresses the thought. From the sixth Web definition of language, we see that language “expresses ideas and feelings” which reside in our thought. Our idea and feeling is an invisible action which can only be understand by an individual that possesses it, if not communicated, they will remain in their places. But the only way they can be expressed is to communicate them to other parties with the use of language in either verbal or non verbal. For example, a scientist who has new discovery can only expresses his ideas about the discovery by means of communicating it to others and thus improving the development of the society in Science and Technology
Language create Relationship between parties. In every society, people relate to each other when there is good relationship. But without language their will be no intimacies such as greeting, discussion, marriage and trade negotiation, between them all. Irrespective of culture or tradition, so far there is good communication channel between two or more parties there is possibility that good relationship will exist in between them, and this will give room for sharing of ideas to improve the development of the society.
With Language Diplomacy is possible Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states. It is an advance relationship that goes beyond societies. When two Countries has agree on a term(s), they will convene an official negotiation processes to settle an issue. This will all be a mirage if the use of language for communication is absent in this process. With Diplomacy, there is protection of the national interest, integration and support from other nations, Respect for international law and treaty obligations as well as the seeking of settlement of international disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication.
Language Enhances Trade Of many barriers which confront trade development none is more important than language. Language is the key that unlock many doors and facilitates an intercourse which develops a mutual understanding of conduct, customs and habits that is of such vital importance in the establishment of commercial relations. From the time of trade by barter, people have been obtaining their demand on a particular item with the use language to expresses desire for such item. Nigeria as Nation, trades her crude oil to other Nations using the income to develop the country with social amenities, all with the use of language trade negotiation is possible.
Language Promotes Education In every form of learning, knowledge is pass from one person to another through communication. In fact learning process take-up the whole forms of communication (that is Verbal and Non-verbal), the teacher communicate by speaking, demonstrating and writing. Even those who have the disability of deafness use language to have Nonverbal communication (that is sign language) during and after learning process. Human
education is also improved when foreign language is applied. To consider our country Nigeria, before the British came, our knowledge is limited to Art and Agriculture, even though we perform some activities in which we don't know the theoretical aspect it (such as adding impurity to water reduce the boiling point). But when the British introduces English Language then we understand what is called Science. In this our educational system is promoted and we are able to compete with the world standard.
Language Drives Morality Language, in connection with morality, aids the development of the society. Considering a society where morality is given high priority , it is expected of then to pass their moral tradition to all member of the society and to their off-spring in the form of riles and regulation, sermon or speech and so on. Although, this group of people have such ideas or thought but without language it is impossible for them to express their feelings and thoughts of moralizing the society, neither will there be agreement also. The significant of this is that when thing are done decently and in good order there will be no form of aggression towards one another and the continuity of the society will be preserved.
Language preserves History and Documentation Documentations of scientific research there hypothesis were only kept by language in written form (that is Non-verbal), If these were not documented, technology improvement of nowadays would have been impossible(since the idea remain with discoverer), likewise there will be no references to how people have lived in time past, the activities they performed will be unknown, also scientific research that we are using for our own learning today would have been impossible.
Language is an Identity Language is every human identity, since language is in divers state and everybody has a
way of sounding out its own language(dialect). The way a Nigerian man will sound his language will reveal where he came from. Freedom Through Language Since freedom usually involves other people as well, we should be able to communicate with other people, (which the importance of language). In every situation of life, if an individual(s) is under subjection to another and he feels much oppression, with the use language he can fight for his right so as to be free. In case there is diversity of language, the minority will have a lot of limitations from the fact that he can't understand others while he may not be understand by others
CONCLUSION To this end Language can be concluded to be power due to its influence on all areas of knowledge (since knowledge is said to be power). An Austrian-British Philosopher Ludvig Wittgenstein state that “the limit of language is the limit of knowledge”. From Ludvig statement, it can be deduced that language is power since it is significant in every areas of development because it plays large role fro basic awareness of each development areas. Language, of course, is knowledge and in our world today knowledge is the one of the key factors in competitiveness. Brains and knowledge are what create the prosperity and growth we tend to take for granted. In an advances industrial society in an increasingly interdependent world, the knowledge of other language becomes indispensable, just think of how the advent of internet has change our life.
References www.blurtit.com/q759713.html www.blurtit.com/q366260.html www.david-kilgour.com/mp/sahla.htm www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,4829,00.html www.wisdia.com/articles/role_of_language_in_human_society.aspx
1. Originally, language was not 'created', language emerged. Animals uselanguage too, that is not exclusive to humans. The song of birds, the screams atnight of cats that want to reproduce, the howling of the wolves... our ancestors used that kind of language and one element of our ongoing evolution is that one moment human language became more complex and we got more conscient control over it. 2. "How much are we sure that the words we say is showing the real thing we wanted to say" well often enough we say the opposite of what we wanted to express... that is in the case of irony. And when a mistreated child is scared to tell at school that he was beaten, and therefore tells the misstress that he fell from a fence. So NOT saying what we want to express is a normal and integrated use of language. Also in some cultures it is considered to be impolite to answer 'no' so the answer is always 'yes' even if the meaning is 'no'. Your other question is more important: "how can we be sure our listener understands what we said? " We can only try to be sure about that by observing the reaction of the other (not just the first verbal reaction). This is one of the challenges of human life ;-) and one of the things that makes life such a beautiful and interesting event. 3. Yes, language affects our life sometimes very negatively. Politicians and religious leaders abuse of language and use it as a tool for manipulation. But as you said correctly, 'the problem is not language, the problem is us". You can use a rake for your field where you grow food, or you can use a rake for killing someone. The same goes for language. But there is one thing that - in my opinion - we all should always keep in mind. Apart from earthquakes etc., ALL misery and injustice WAS CREATED BY HUMANS. This means that HUMANS have the power to avoid/get rid of the behaviour that causes misery and injustice! In other words, while language is used for spreading hate, YOU have the possibility to use that same language for spreading love! Never forget that people like Hitler (just to mention one example of someone that understood the negative possibilities of language) could not have done any big evil ALONE, he needed followers to really make it happen. So never think "what can I do, I'm just one person...." because the 'evil' forces in this world don't discourage themselves either with that idea. http://secure.hospitalityclub.org/hc/forum.php?action=DisplayMessage&StartMessageId=116378