For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” ― T.S. Eliot

Language = A system that enables us as humans to acquire and use complex methods of communication. The scientific study of language is known as linguistics, and there are more than 6,000 to 7,000 languages in the world. These numbers depend on the differences between the dialects and languages.

When we use language as a general concept it may refer to:

  • A cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication;
  • Describing the set of rules that makes up these systems or;
  • A set of utterances that can be produced from those rules.

Semiosis = Any language relies on a process known as semiosis, enabling us to relate signs with specific meanings. Natural languages can be spoken or they can be signed.

Any language can also be encoded into other secondary types of media via auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli such as braille.

Auditory – The process of hearing.
Visual – The sense of sight.
Braille – A tactile system of writing used by the visually impaired or blind.

Oral and sign languages = These include a “phonological” system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or “morphemes” and a syntactic system that controls how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.

Phonology – A branch of linguistics relating to the systematic organization of the sounds in languages languages.

Morphemes – The smallest grammatical unit in a language.