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the question is what is language ?

According to Sapir (1921;8 ) language is purely human and non instinctive method of
communication ideas ,emotion ,desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols .

In their outline of linguistic analysis bloch and trager wrote in (1942;5) language is a
system of arbitrary (cant be proved logically like referring to the entity called bird and
not money ) vocal symbols (Children grow up learning and speaking a language (orally) before learning
to write. ) by means of which social group co-operate and this put all emphasis on the
social function and their definition differ from Sapir in that they restricted language to
spoken language when they say arbitrariness which make ( the written language )

In his ( essay on language ) , hall ( 1968 ;158 ) tell us that language is the institution
whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means habitually used
oral-auditory arbitrary symbols , like sapir , hall treated language as purely human
institution , because it used by a particular society and become part of that society culture

(((Linguistic is the scientific study of language .but what is meant by language and
scientific and can linguistic be described as science.)))

Most linguists who accept the definition of linguistic as scientific study do so , because
they have in mind some distinction between a scientific and a non scientific way of doing
things according to DAVID EDDINGTON

(1) Observe a phenomenon.

OBSERVATION. The first step in the scientific method is to observe some phenomenon.
Linguists are masters of observation
(2) Formulate a hypothesis to explain it.
Observation of a linguistic phenomenon
should naturally lead to speculations about why it occurs, how it is formed, and
how it may be explained.
(3) Carry out an experiment or collect other observations to test the hypothesis.
(4) Analyze the results to determine whether they confirm or refute the hypothesis.
Scientific method of linguistic
1-objectivity : it consider all language to be equal for a linguist there are no primitive ,
pure ,beautiful cultural sophisticated languages
Linguistics is basically empirical not speculative or intuitive in the sense that it
examines specific data it relies on observation and experiment ,it aim to analyze data
3- exhaustiveness; linguistics deal with all relevant data , it analyze all the facts of
languages that fall within its scope
4-consistency ; it allows no contradictory statements and require that all part of
analysis to be consistent with the whole
5-economy : repetition is not allowed either
6-rationalism :it emphasize the role that mind plays in the acquisition of knowledge
Hockett, C. (1960). Fifteen "design-features" of human language:
1. Vocal-auditory channel: sounds emitted from the mouth and perceived by the auditory
2. Rapid fading (transitoriness): Signal last a short time. This is true of all systems involving
3. Interchangeability: All utterances that are understood can be produced.
4. Total feedback: The sender of a message also perceives the message. That is, you hear what
you say.
5. Specialization: The signal produced is specialized for communication and is not the side effect
of some other behavior.
6. Semanticity: There is a fixed relationship between a signal and a meaning.
7. Arbitrariness: There is an arbitrary relationship between a signal and its meaning. That is, the
signal is related to the meaning by convention or by instinct but has no inherent relationship with
the meaning.
8. Discreteness: Language can be said to be built up from discrete units (e.g., phonemes in
human language). Exchanging such discrete units causes a change in the meaning of a signal.
This is an abrupt change, rather than a continuous change of meaning.
9. Displacement: Communicating about things or events that are distant in time or space.
10. Productivity: Language is an open system. We can produce potentially an infinite number of
different messages by combining the elements differently.
11. Cultural transmission: Each generation needs to learn the system of communication from
the preceding generation.
12. Duality of patterning: Large numbers of meaningful signals (e.g., morphemes or words)
produced from a small number of meaningless units (e.g., phonemes).
13. Prevarication: Linguistic messages can be false, deceptive, or meaningless.
14. Reflexiveness: In a language, one can communicate about communication.
15. Learnability: A speaker of a language can learn another language.