Friday, January 13, 2012

001 ♟ Inside : Language

Language. To normal people, this is just merely a word that represents the way or the manner someone speak. Be it Malay, English, Chinese, or other means of speaking, they're considered as languages. Try to sit down for a while, and think, what's inside a language, what does it really mean, and what makes up a language?

According to Finegan E. (2011), the language system has "three faces", namely meaning, expression, and context. A grammar of a language is like a two-sided coin, whose two sides are meaning and expression, which are linked systematically. The "third-face", the context will determine how the message receiver would interpret their message.

During the class, we were required to explain the meaning of language in our own view. I and my partner deduced that "Language is a code of speech used in a community, which differs according to the culture, identity, ideology, and the expertise of that specific community". Each of the meaning deduced must possess an aspect which is not used in other deductions, which is for ours, "the identity of the community". For example, the word "orang utan". Indirectly, most people will link the word to Malaysia, since Malaysia is the main habitat for the species. The language itself will represent the identity of the item represented by the word.

Language can be also be arbitrary. Different people, according to their standards which is agreed in a circle of community will call items differently. For example, the American calls confectioneries as "cookies", while the British calls them as "biscuits". We can also assume the confectionery as "bottles", only if a community of people agrees on the calling by that word.

Still, language is the main aspect that forms the communication in real life. Be it a body language, animal language, body or sign language, their absence will hinder the interaction between living beings.

  • Finegan E., (2011). Language: Its Structure and Use. Boston, Massachusetts : Thomson Wadsworth.

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