Portal:Language
Get Portal:Language essential facts below. View Videos or join the Portal:Language discussion. Add Portal:Language to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Portal:Language
Welcome to the Language Portal

The Language Portal

A mural in Teotihuacan, Mexico (c. 2nd century) depicting a person emitting a speech scroll from his mouth, symbolizing speech
Braille writing, a tactile variant of a writing system
Cuneiform is the first known form of written language, but spoken language predates writing by at least tens of thousands of years.
Two girls learning American Sign Language

A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), sign, or often writing. The structure of language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Many languages, including the most widely-spoken ones, have writing systems that enable sounds or signs to be recorded for later reactivation.

The scientific study of language is called linguistics. Critical examinations of languages, such as philosophy of language, the relationships between language and thought, etc, such as how words represent experience, have been debated at least since Gorgias and Plato in ancient Greek civilization. Thinkers such as Rousseau (1712 - 1778) have debated that language originated from emotions, while others like Kant (1724 -1804), have held that languages originated from rational and logical thought. Twentieth century philosophers such as Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951) argued that philosophy is really the study of language itself. Major figures in contemporary linguistics of these times include Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky.

Estimates of the number of human languages in the world vary between 5,000 and 7,000. However, any precise estimate depends on the arbitrary distinction (dichotomy) between languages and dialect. Natural languages are spoken or signed (or both), but any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli - for example, in writing, whistling, signing, or braille. In other words, human language is modality-independent, but written or signed language is the way to inscribe or encode the natural human speech or gestures. Depending on philosophical perspectives regarding the definition of language and meaning, when used as a general concept, "language" may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs to particular meanings. Oral, manual and tactile languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.

Human language is unique among known systems of animal communication in that it is not dependent on a single mode of transmission (sight, sound etc.), it is highly variable between cultures and across time, and affords a much wider range of expression than other systems. It has the properties of productivity and displacement, and relies on social convention and learning. Language is thought to have gradually diverged from earlier primate communication systems when early hominins acquired the ability to form a theory of mind and shared intentionality. This development is sometimes thought to have coincided with an increase in brain volume, and many linguists see the structures of language as having evolved to serve specific communicative and social functions. Language is processed in many different locations in the human brain, but especially in Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Humans acquire language through social interaction in early childhood, and children generally speak fluently by approximately three years old. Language and culture are codependent. Therefore, in addition to its strictly communicative uses, language has social uses such as signifying group identity, social stratification, as well as use for social grooming and entertainment. (Full article...)

Selected language - show another

Old east slavic in manuscript.jpg

Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic (, ) was the first Slavic literary language.

Historians credit the 9th-century Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius with standardizing the language and using it in translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek ecclesiastical texts as part of the Christianization of the Slavs.

It is thought to have been based primarily on the dialect of the 9th-century Byzantine Slavs living in the Province of Thessalonica (in present-day Greece). (Full article...)

Categories

Linguistics: Computational linguistics o Grammar o Historical linguistics o Morphology o Phonetics o Phonology o Pragmatics o Reading o Semantics o Sociolinguistics o Syntax o Writing

Languages: Language families o Pidgins and creoles o Sign languages

Linguists: By nationality o Historical linguists o Morphologists o Phoneticians o Phonologists o Sociolinguists o Syntacticians o Translators

Wikipedia books: English

Stubs: Constructed languages o Languages o Linguists o Pidgins and creoles o Typography o Vocabulary and usage o Writing systems

Full Language category tree
Select [?] to view subcategories

Related portals

Selected topic - show another

BelgieGemeenschappenkaart.svg
The Kingdom of Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. A number of non-official, minority languages and dialects are spoken as well. (Full article...)

Selected picture - show another

Map-Lusophone World-en.png
Credit: Yug, Sting and The Ogre

Countries and regions where Portuguese has official status

Language News

23 June 2021 - LGBT rights in Poland
Polish education minister Przemys?aw Czarnek accuses the LGBT community of "insulting public morality" for a march held on Saturday in support of rights for the community. The opposition condemns Czarnek's comments as "language of hate". (Reuters)
5 June 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
Belgian federal and regional health ministers agree to open vaccination for teenagers aged 16 to 17 years old using Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The programme will begin once the vaccination of adults has been completed. (The Guardian)
16 May 2021 - International protests over the 2021 Israel-Palestine crisis
A convoy covered with Palestinian flags drives through North London shouting antisemitic language. Four people are arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offenses. (The Jewish Chronicle) (Times of Israel)
11 February 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovi? announces a slight easing of restrictions beginning on February 16, citing the stable number of new cases in the past few weeks. Foreign language schools, casinos, gyms and betting shops can reopen and restaurants and bars can also sell coffee to go. (The National Herald)
4 February 2021 - China-United Kingdom relations
British broadcasting regulator Ofcom revokes the license of China Global Television Network (CGTN), an English-language Chinese news network, after concluding the network was "ultimately controlled" by the Chinese Communist Party. China responds to the move by accusing BBC News of spreading "fake news" about COVID-19. (Reuters)
24 January 2021 -
American manufacturer Tesla files a lawsuit against one of its former software engineers for allegedly copying confidential computer scripts onto a personal file hosting service. The former employee denies the company's allegation, claiming he transferred the files by mistake. (AFP via ABS-CBN News)
Language news from Wikinews...

Topics

Languages of the world
Icon-notepad.svg

Languages of Africa: Arabic, Chadic, Cushitic, Kanuri, Maasai, Setswana, Swahili, Turkana, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zulu, more...

Languages of the Americas: Aleut, Carib, Cherokee, Inuktitut, Iroquois, Kootenai, Mayan, Nahuatl, Navajo, Quechuan, Salish, American Sign Language, more...

Languages of Asia: Arabic, Assamese, Balochi, Bengali, Chinese, Japanese, Hajong, Hebrew, Hindustani, Kannada, Kokborok, Marathi, Khasi, Korean, Kurdish, Malayalam, Manipuri, Meithei, Mongolian, Persian, Rajasthani, Sindhi, Sanskrit, Sylheti, Tamil, Tanchangya, Tulu, Telugu, Tibetan, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Khowar, more...

Languages of Austronesia: Austric, Fijian, Hawaiian, Javanese, Malagasy, Malay, Maori, Marshallese, Samoan, Tahitian, Tagalog, Tongan, Auslan, more...

Languages of Europe: Basque, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (book), French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Leonese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian more...

Constructed languages: Esperanto, Ido, Volapük, more...


Language types

Agglutinative language, Analytic language, Constructed language, Creole, Context-free language, Extinct language, Dialect, Fusional language, Inflectional language, International language, Isolating language, Language isolate, National language, Natural language, Pidgin, Pluricentric language, Polysynthetic language, Proto-language, Sign language, Spoken language, Synthetic language, Variety (linguistics)


Nuvola apps ksig.png

Applied linguistics, Cognitive linguistics, Accent (dialect), Computational linguistics, Descriptive linguistics, Eurolinguistics, Generative linguistics, Historical linguistics, Lexicology, Lexical semantics, Morphology, Onomasiology, Phonetics, Phonology, Pragmatics, Prescription, Prototype semantics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics, Stylistics, Sociolinguistics, Syntax

See also: List of linguists


Phrase sanskrit.svg

Alphabets: Arabic alphabet, Bengali alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet, Latin alphabet, more...

Other writing systems: Abjad, Abugida, Braille, Hieroglyphics, Logogram, Syllabary, SignWriting, more..

See also: History of the alphabet, Script

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Study Guides
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Find a language

Enter an ISO 639 code to find the corresponding language article

Portals


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Portal:Language
 



 



 
Music Scenes