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Language and its Functions

Language –

It is man’s greatest invention.
It is the verbal form of our thoughts, and as such it is our vehicle

or tool for communication.
A set of symbols by which things ideas and thoughts or feelings
are communicated.

General Features of Language
Spoken Language – makes us of sound patterns.
Written Language – Makes us of visual patterns.

Characteristics of Language
In every language there are always four elements involved
1. Symbol – a word, name, phrase used to signify something
2. Referent – that which is symbolized
3. Reference – the meaning or signification existing between the
symbol and referent.
4. Subject – the individual who uses the symbol
Three Sciences of Language
1. Pragmatics – linguistic science which deals with the origin derivation
and root word of symbols or terms.
2. Semantics – formal relation between symbols and their meaning.
3. Syntactics – deals with formal relation between symbols as specified in
the rules of grammar.
Functions of Language
1. Informative function – language is used to convey some information.
2. Practical – language is used to produce some effects. Imperative

How are you? Good Morning! 6. Expressive – language is used not only to express certain feelings of the speaker but also to evoke emotional response from the listener. Ceremonial – language is used to enhance social intercourse.Language and its Functions 3. Performative – language is used not only to say or report but also to perform what is being said. relationship. Complex – it is the combination or mixture of two or more functions of language. or social amenities. (Saying “I love you” and then seal it with a kiss) 5. 4. . Logical – language is used to reason. 7. analyse and clarify a problem or argument.