Language Definition Characteristics & Importance in Communication

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 02:29 -- Umar Farooq

Language and its Communicative Role in Journalism

There are many of languages used in verbal communication, with some 3500 identified throughout the world. However, speech is common in all societies while writing is not, the number of written languages is much lower, with one estimate showing not more than 500. It is estimated that there are almost 16 languages which are spoken by more than 50 million people i.e. Chinese, English, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Bengali, German, Japanese, Arabic and Urdu

People transmits his knowledge by some form of language. There are three forms.

  1. Sign (picture) language.
  2. Vocal (spoken) language.
  3. Symbolic (written) language.

Definition of Language

  1. Spair, Language: "Language is primarily human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols."
  2. A.H. Gardiner, Speech and Language: "Language in its widest sense means the sum total of such signs of our thoughts and feelings as are capable of external perception and as could be produced and repeated at will."
  3. Henry Sweet, the History of Language: "Language may be defined as the expression of thought by means of speech sounds".
  4. Mario A. Pei and Frank Gaynor define it "A system of communication by sound that is through the organs of speech and hearing among human beings of a certain group or community, using vocal symbols possessing arbitrary conventional meaning."

Meaning of Language

Language means system of sounds, words, patterns used by humans to communicate their thoughts and feelings. So language is the source of expression of thought by means of speech sounds. Language is the most powerful, convenient and permanent means and form of communication.

Importance of Language in Communication

Any language can play a vital role in learning, it enables you to communicate and understand a subject. Following are reasons to understand language and develop your language skills whether in academic English or professional life.

  1. Understand how to use your study material most effectively
  2. Learn more and more about language and vocabulary relevant to the academics. For example a study of Journalism and Mass Communication should develop skill relevant to JMC terminologies.
  3. When writing assignments it should be well structured and coherent
  4. Share your thoughts and opinions with your colleagues, friends, and class fellows or in workplace.

Characteristics of Language

The communicative role of a language in Journalism and Mass Communication can be described by the following characteristics

Language is verbal, vocal, Language is sound

Language is an organization of sounds, of vocal symbols, the sounds some message. Speech is primary to writing but there are several languages in the world which have no writing systems but it enjoy the status of languages because they are spoken. Music and singing are vocal sounds but they are not languages.

Language is a means of Communication

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