What is Language? Salut! a va? Language according to Webster’s dictionary is a system or means of communication. Communication is the way in which humans exchange or transfer of information, ideas or emotions. It is humans ability to communicate with each other that separates us from animals. There are 2 main types of language. SPOKE N WRITTE N Written language can be either composed of pictographs or alphabets. A pictograph is a symbol or drawing that represents a specific object. Many languages like English use letters of an alphabet for their written language. An alphabet is a series of symbols. QuickTime™ and a TIF F (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTim e™ and a TIFF (Uncompr essed) decom pressor are needed to see thi s picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Other types of communication Gestures Sounds Symbols Every person in the world has a language but the language that they use may be different. No one knows exactly how or when humans first began to use language. Linguists (scientists who study languages) have been able to study almost all of the world’s languages. All languages in the world belong to a family or a group. English belongs to the Indo-European family. This family includes the languages spoken by more than 1/2 of the world’s population. The Indo- European language family is divided into sub-groups. These are some examples of the larger sub-groups. Germanic Romance Slavic German Latin Russian Dutch Italian Swedish Spanish Danish Portuguese Polish Norwegian French Czech Icelandic Rumanian English Ukranian Slovak Serbo-Croatian Bulgarian All languages are made up of words. A word is a thing that conveys a meaning. In other words, a word stands for something. Das Buch (German) BOO K Liber (Latin) Q uic kTim e™ and a TI FF ( Uncom pressed) decom pr essor are needed t o see t his pic t ur e. El libro (Spanish) Kitabu (Swahili) Hon (Japanese) Shu (Chinese) Languages often borrow, adapt and create new words either from within their own language . . German English Geburt Birth Tag Day Geburtstag Birthday Geschenk Present Geburtstagsgeschenk Birthday present Stadt Town, city Haupt Principal Hauptstadt Capital (principal city) . .or from a different language. Words that are borrowed from other languages are called cognates. Here are some examples of English words borrowed from other languages. Adobe (Spanish) Rodeo (Spanish) Prima donna (Italian) Stucco (Italian) Á la carte (French) Resume (French) Dachshund (German) Kindergarten (German) Tundra (Russian) Besides words, all languages also have structure. The structure of a language is also called grammar. Grammar is the way in which words are put together to form phrases or sentences. Grammar or structure can vary greatly from one language to another but languages that belong to the same family usually have some similarities. English French John’s book Le livre de Jean Spanish German Japanese Italian El libro de Juan Das Buch von Johann Hanada-san no hon Il libro di Giovanni Latin Liber Ioanni Spanish, like English, has nouns, verbs and adjectives. A person, place or thing An action word A word that describes a noun The tall girl ran to class. Girl is the noun. Ran is the verb. Tall is the adjective. La muchacha alta corr Ió a la clase. La muchacha is the noun. Corrió is the verb. Alta is the adjective.