Thursday, October 24, 2013

English Language: A Fluid Definition and a Smartass

Linguistics 5200: Special Topics -American Sign Language

The English language is composed of sounds (phonology), which have no meaning and are then combined into words (morphology) which do. The spoken and written words are arbitrary and iconic in relation to their expressed symbols. These words are combined with others in a structured format consisting of semantics and syntax all with meaning shared by groups of English language users. The users of English then affect the language as they modify it to suit their communicative needs.

The differences between English and other languages can be explained as a family resemblance of languages and lesser dialects. The main distinction between the English language and others is then socially and culturally constructed (with a few phonological variations and vernacular, dude). The context and need for English is defined by the English Speakers themselves who consciously and unconsciously control its use and meaning.

To say that English consists of phonology and morphology is overshadowed by the users who are really the ones that define it. The English language itself then is very fluid and changing based on the social and cultural variables of the moment when being availed. You would need a solid definition of the culture of an individual to then successfully describe their specific English Language System, while it changes to suit their needs. Good luck figuring that out.

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