Language and Linguistics

Characteristics of language in linguistics/components


Language is a system used by humanity and other living beings, which allows communication between them. With it, the senders can achieve that their message is interpreted and understood by the receivers. Depending on its complexity, language can be instinctive, like that used by animals, or learned, like the languages ​​used by humans. Characteristics of language in linguistics

Language emerges as a means of exchanging information between two or more individuals of the same species, and according to needs, it becomes more sophisticated. In addition to this utility that it has, it has taken one more, since the first computers were created. Communication between people and these devices is achieved thanks to programming languages.

The language uses resources such as gestures, colors, sounds, and symbols, to form a universal system and be used by all members of a region or a civilization. In this way, language is part of the identity and encourages social, work, commercial, and other interactions.

The characteristics of the language are: Characteristics of language in linguistics

Exchange of information

The language allows you to structure messages, which contain information that you want to transmit. For communication to be effective, the sender of the message and the receiver of the message must share the same language. If the message is incomprehensible, the information will not reach its destination. Characteristics of language in linguistics

Syntax, semantics, and pragmatics Characteristics of language in linguistics

The language, at the time of message formation, has three main properties that will indicate that it has been applied correctly:

  • Syntax: it is the correct way to express the message, in terms of structure.
  • Semantics: it has to do with the content of the message so that it transmits the information.
  • Pragmatic: it is the way it is used.

It is the basis of communication

Language is the raw material of communication and sustains its cycle. The sender will structure his message, conforming it with information, and subsequently delivering it to the receiver, through the channel. The receiver assimilates the message, interprets the information, and gives it meaning.

Based on the message, the receiver will continue the cycle, now becoming the sender, send a response to the interlocutor, and so on. All this procedure is possible through language, which is the “substance” from which the messages are made.

It is bi-directional 

Language is bidirectional, that is, when two individuals identify with it, they will be able to send and receive messages to each other. It is the same in an organization: a leader communicates with his colleagues and their colleagues with him, through language. There is an understanding between them and the search for common purposes becomes simpler and more powerful.


Today’s language is not the same as it was centuries ago. The language, which is the characteristic oral language of each country. It adapts, depending on the time, to the communication needs of the inhabitants, becoming simpler or more specific. Of course, it will take on the degree of universality that it has always had. Characteristics of language in linguistics

The language is merely arbitrary 

since for its use rations are made between ideas, symbols, and objects that do not necessarily have to have a relationship, but this arises through practice and thanks to the development of social conventions that make it possible to understand each other.

Language is made up of signs Characteristics of language in linguistics

 These signs can be divided into two large parts: on the one hand, there is the meaning ( which is the associated idea or what is sought to represent), and then we have the signifier, which is the material form that we use, either in the form of a word or a picture.

Modification according to the context

The language can be modified according to the context in which it is being used. We can talk about a formal language, which is associated with a well-defined set of rules that establishes a relationship between certain symbols and ideas, such as logic, mathematics, or programming languages.

Other Characteristics of language Characteristics of language in linguistics

  • It is an innate capacity of the human being.
  • Therefore, it is universal.
  • It is rational.
  • In its concrete forms, language is learned within a culture and/or through experience.
  • It results from a coding process.
  • It arises from the social convention and, at the same time, requires a convention to be understood.
  • It is expressed through sounds, graphic signs, and/or bodily signs.
  • It allows the exchange of information between two or more individuals.
  • It is flexible, that is, it is modified according to the transformations in the sociocultural environment.

Language components: What are the characteristics of language

A language is a result of joining three main factors:

  • Symbols
  • Sounds
  • Gestures or signals

The symbols such as letters, glyphs, and kanji, for example, are shapes, lines, or patterns corresponding to a sense or to an element, and that the other joining creates an understandable message. The set of symbols can be called alphabet or alphabet, and are part of the identity of a language. Characteristics of language in linguistics

Symbols can also be presented in the form of patterns, as in  Braille language. This allows visually impaired people to read by touching dot patterns with their fingers, each of which corresponds to a letter of the alphabet. This type of writing is adapted to the language of each region, which makes language a universal element.

The sounds are part of the language of animals and humans. In the case of animals such as dogs, their sounds are called barking, and depending on the intensity or tone of each one, it will be the message that the animal wants to transmit to others. In the case of human language, a sound is called a  phoneme, and it accompanies each symbol to express it.

The speech is the result of combining and articulating the phonemes so that a number of ideas are transmitted to a recipient or recipient who knows the same language. You will be able to interpret it and take it to complete the cycle of communication.

The gestures or signals are movements and positions that can be done with the hands, the face, or the rest of the body, and that carries a message. There is, for example,  sign language, which assigns a signal made with the hands to each letter of the alphabet, and which finally allows communication with people who have a hearing disability. Characteristics of language in linguistics

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