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Language Definition

Provides defintion of what is a language and what is a human language.


What is a Language?
A language is considered to be a system of communicating with other people using sounds, symbols and
words in expressing a meaning, idea or thought. This language can be used in many forms, primarily
through oral and written communications as well as using expressions through body language.

Sign Language FAQ


What is the definition of language?

Language is vested in culture and the origin of spoken language is as old as humanity itself. We could well
imagine people from the distant past living in families with a particular spoken tongue clustering together to
form a clan. Geographically together in security and subsistence they would harmonize as a culture,
protecting it with all their power to survive in a world as it was known to them and not very much different
from the same principles philosophized today.
Today we are aware of spoken languages that has become extinct mainly because the people of that culture,
were incorporated or annihilated by others. We also know that all modern languages have its origin in
similar older versions of somewhat different vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation e.g. Old English, Old
German, Orthodox Greek, etc. and Latin, who now is not used as a spoken language, any more but has
richly contributed to so many languages and for that matter cultures.
What then would be the definition of language? Language is a way to communicate ideas
comprehensibly from one person to another in such a way that the other will be able to act exactly
accordingly. The transportation of such ideas could be acquired by either verbal expression, signing in
alphabet (written word) and perhaps if we can imagine two parties with different tongue, signing with
gestures and images.
To recapitulate, specific people with a certain way of life and a specific tongue, in a certain country equals a
specific culture.

lan·guage (l ng gw j)
n.
1.
a. Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds,
gestures, or written symbols.
b. Such a system including its rules for combining its components, such as words.
c. Such a system as used by a nation, people, or other distinct community; often contrasted with dialect.
2.
a. A system of signs, symbols, gestures, or rules used in communicating: the language of algebra.
b. Computer Science A system of symbols and rules used for communication with or between computers.
3. Body language; kinesics.
4. The special vocabulary and usages of a scientific, professional, or other group: "his total mastery of

screen language camera placement, editing and his handling of actors" (Jack Kroll).
5. A characteristic style of speech or writing: Shakespearean language.
6. A particular manner of expression: profane language; persuasive language.
7. The manner or means of communication between living creatures other than humans: the language of
dolphins.
8. Verbal communication as a subject of study.
9. The wording of a legal document or statute as distinct from the spirit.

[Middle English, from Old French langage, from langue, tongue, language, from Latin lingua; see d

gh - in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in
2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

language [ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ]
n
1. (Linguistics) a system for the expression of thoughts, feelings, etc., by the use of spoken sounds or
conventional symbols
2. (Linguistics) the faculty for the use of such systems, which is a distinguishing characteristic of man as
compared with other animals
3. (Linguistics) the language of a particular nation or people the French language
4. any other systematic or nonsystematic means of communicating, such as gesture or animal sounds the
language of love
5. the specialized vocabulary used by a particular group medical language
6. a particular manner or style of verbal expression your language is disgusting
7. (Electronics & Computer Science / Computer Science) Computing See programming language
speak the same language to communicate with understanding because of common background, values,
etc.
[from Old French langage, ultimately from Latin lingua tongue]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 6th Edition 2003. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

language (l ng gw j)
1. A system of objects or symbols, such as sounds or character sequences, that can be combined in
various ways following a set of rules, especially to communicate thoughts, feelings, or instructions. See
also machine languageprogramming language
2. The set of patterns or structures produced by such a system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All
rights reserved.

Language
See also alphabet; books; english; grammar; language style; linguistics; literature; pronunciation; reading;
rhetoric and rhetorical devices; speech; spelling; writing.

academese
language typical of academies or the world of learning; pedantic language.
Americanism
a word, phrase, or idiom peculiar to American English. Cf. Briticism, Canadianism.
anagrammatism
the art or practice of making anagrams. Also called metagrammatism.
Anglo-Saxonism
anything characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon race, especially any linguistic peculiarity that sterns from Old
English and has not been affected by another language.
aphetism
Linguistics. the loss of an initial unstressed vowel in a word, as squire for esquire. Also called apharesis,
aphesis. — aphetic, adj.
aptotic
of or relating to languages that have no grammatical inflections.
Aramaism
a word, phrase, idiom, or other characteristic of Aramaic occurring in a corpus written in another
language.
aulicism
Obsolete, a courtly phrase or expression. — aulic, adj.
Bascology
the study of the Basque language and culture.
bilingualism
1. the ability to speak two languages.
2. the use of two languages, as in a community. Also bilinguality, diglottism. — bilingual, bilinguist, n.
— bilingual, adj.
biliteralism
the state or quality of being composed of two letters, as a word. — biliteral, adj.
billingsgate
coarse, vulgar, violent, or abusive language. [Allusion to the scurrilous language used in Billingsgate
market, London.]
Briticism
a word, idiom, or phrase characteristic of or restricted to British English. Also called Britishism. Cf.
Americanism, Canadianism.
Canadianism
1. a word or phrase commonly used in Canadian rather than British or American English. Cf.
Americanism, Briticism.
2. a word or phrase typical of Canadian French or English that is present in another language.
3. an instance of speech, behavior, customs, etc., typical of Canada.
Celticism
1. a word, phrase, or idiom characteristic of Celtic languages in material written in another language.
2. a Celtic custom or usage.
Chaldaism
an idiom or other linguistic feature peculiar to Chaldean, especially in material written in another
language. — Chaldaic, n., adj.
Cilicism
a word or phrase characteristic of Cilicia.
cledonism
Rare. the use of euphemisms in order to avoid the use of plain words and any misfortune associated with
them.
colloquialism
a word, phrase, or expression characteristic of ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech
or writing, as “She’s out” for “She is not at home.” — colloquial, adj.
conversationalism
a colloquial word or expression or one used in conversation more than in writing. Also conversationism.
coprolalomania
a mania for foul speech.
cryptography
1. the science or study of secret writing, especially code and cipher systems.
2. the procedures and methods of making and using secret languages, as codes or ciphers. —
cryptographer, cryptographist, n. — cryptographic, cryptographical, cryptographal, adj.
cryptology
1. the study of, or the use of, methods and procedures for translating and interpreting codes and ciphers;
cryptanalysis.
2.cryptography. — cryptologist, n.
Danicism
a word or expression characteristic of the Danish language.
demotic
1. of or relating to the common people; popular.
2. of, pertaining to, or noting the simplified form of hieratic writing used in ancient Egypt.
3. (cap.) of, belonging to, or connected with modern colloquial Greek. Also called Romaic.
demotist
a student of demotic language and writings.
derism
an expression of scorn. — deristic, adj.
dialecticism
1. a dialect word or expression.
2. dialectal speech or influence.
diglot
a bilingual book or other work. — diglottic, adj.
disyllabism
the condition of having two syllables. — disyllable, n. — disyllabic, disyllabical, adj.
Dorism
the use of language that is characteristic of the Dorian Greeks.
dysphemism
1. a deliberate substitution of a disagreeable, offensive, or disparaging word for an otherwise inoffensive
term, as pig for policeman.
2. an instance of such substitution. Cf. euphemism.
epigram
a pithy statement, often containing a paradox.
epithesis
paragoge.
equivocality, equivocacy
the state or quality of being ambiguous in meaning or capable of double interpretation. — equivocal, adj.
etymologicon
a book of etymologies; any treatise on the derivation of words.
etymology
the branch of linguistics that studies the origin and history of words. — etymologist, n. — etymologie,
etymological, adj.
euphemism
1. the deliberate or polite use of a pleasant or neutral word or expression to avoid the emotional
implications of a plain term, as passed over for died.
2. an instance of such use. Cf. dysphemism, genteelism. — euphemist, n. — euphemistic,
euphemistical, euphemious, adj.
Europeanism
the customs, languages, and traditions distinctive of Europeans.
foreignism
a custom or language characteristic peculiar to foreigners.
Franglais
French characterized by an interlarding of English loan words.
Frenchism
a French loanword in English, as tête-à-tête. Also called Gallicism.
Gallicism
1. a French linguistic peculiarity.
2. a French idiom or expression used in another language. Also called Frenchism.
genteelism
1. the deliberate use of a word or phrase as a substitute for one thought to be less proper, if not coarse,
as male cow for buil or limb for leg.
2. an instance of such substitution.
Germanism, Germanicism
a German loanword in English, as gemütlich. Also called Teutonism, Teutonicism.
glottogony
the study of the origin of language. — glottogonic, adj.
grammatolatry
1. the worship of letters or words.
2. a devotion to the letter, as in law or Scripture; literalism.
Hebraism, Hebraicism
1. an expression or construction peculiar to Hebrew.
2. the character, spirit, principles, or customs of the Hebrew people.
3. a Hebrew loanword in English, as shekel. — Hebraist, n. — Hebraistic, Hebraic, adj.
heteronymy
the state or quality of a given word’s having the same spelling as another word, but with a different sound
or pronunciation and a different meaning, as lead ’guide’ and lead ’metal.’ Cf. homonymy. —
heteronym, n. — heteronymous, adj.
heterophemism, heterophemy
an unconscious tendency to use words other than those intended. Cf. malapropism.
Hibernianism
1. an Irish characteristic.
2. an idiom peculiar to Irish English. Also called Hibernicism. — Hibernian, adj.
Hispanicism
a Spanish word or expression that often appears in another language, as bodega.
holophrasis, holophrase
the ability, in certain languages, to express a complex idea or entire sentence in a single word, as the
imperative “Stop!” — holophrasm, n. — holophrastic, adj.
homonymy
the state or quality of a given word’s having the same spelling and the same sound or pronunciation as
another word, but with a different meaning, as race ’tribe’ and race ’running contest.’ Cf. heteronymy. —
homonym, n. — homonymous, adj.
hybridism
1. a word formed from elements drawn from different languages.
2. the practice of coining such words.
idiomatology
a compilation of idiomatic words and phrases.
Idoism
the advocacy of using the artificial language Ido, based upon Esperanto. — Ido, Idoist, n. — Idoistic,
adj.
illeism
the tendency in some individuals to refer to themselves in the third person. — illeist, n.
Interlingua
an artificial international language, based upon the Romance languages, designed for use by the
scientific community.
iotacism
excessive use of the sound i and the substituting of this sound for other vowels. — iotacist, n.
Iricism
Rare. an Irishism.
Irishism
1. a word or phrase commonly used in Ireland rather than England or America, as begorra.
2. a mode of speech, idiom, or custom characteristic of the Irish. Also Iricism.
isopsephism
the numerical equality between words or lines of verse according to the ancient Greek notation, in which
each letter receives a corresponding number. — isopsephic, adj.
Italianism
an Italian loanword in English, as chiaroscuro. Also Italicism.
Italicism
1. an Italian loanword in English, as chiaroscuro.
2. Italianism. See also printing.
Japonism
a style of art, idiom, custom, mannerism, etc., typical of the Japanese.
jargonist
Rare. a person who makes use of a jargon in his speech.
Kenticism
a word or expression whose root is the Kentish dialect.
Latinism
1. a mode of expression imitative of Latin.
2. a Latin word, phrase, or expression that of ten appears in another lan-guage. — Latinize, v.
Latinity
1. a particular way of speaking or writing Latin.
2. the use or knowledge of Latin.
lexicography
the writing or compiling of dictionaries. — lexicographer, n. — lexicographic, lexicographical, adj.
linguist
1. a person skilled in the science of language. Also linguistician.
2. a person skilled in many languages; a polyglot.
localism
a custom or manner of speaking peculiar to one locality. Also called provincialism. — localist, n. —
localistic, adj.
logocracy
a system in which ruling power is vested in words.
logodaedaly
Rare. a cunning with words; verbal legerdemain. Also logodaedalus.
logolatry
veneration or excessive regard for words. — logolatrous, adj.
logomachy
1. a dispute about or concerning words.
2. a contention marked by the careless or incorrect use of words; a mean-ingless battle of words. —
logomach, logomacher, logomachist, n. — logo- machic, logomachical, adj.
logomancy
a form of divination involving the observation of words and discourse.
logomania
a mania for words or talking.
logophile
a lover of words. Also called philologue, philologer.
logophobia
an abnormal fear or dislike of words.
logorrhea
1. an excessive or abnormal, sometimes incoherent talkativeness. — logorrheic, adj.
malapropism
1. the unconscious use of an inappropriate word, especially in a cliché, as fender for feather in “You could
have knocked me over with a fender.” [Named after Mrs. Malaprop, a character prone to such uses, in
The Rivals, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan]
2. an instance of such misuse. Cf. heterophemism.
Medism
a word or expression that comes from the language of the Medes.
Mekhitarist
a member of an order of Armenian monks, founded in 1715 by Mekhitar da Pietro, dedicated to literary
work, espeeially the perfecting of the Armenian language and the translation into it of the major works of
other languages.
metagrammatism
anagrammatism.
metaphrasis, metaphrase
the practice of making a literal translation from one language into another. Cf. paraphrasis. —
metaphrast, n. — metaphrastic, metaphrastical, adj.
monoglot
a person capable of speaking only one language.
monosyllabism
the condition of having only one syllable. — monosyllable, n. — monosyllabic, adj.
morology
Obsolete, speaking foolishly. — morologist, n.
mutacism
mytacism.
mytacism
excessive use of or fondness for, or incorrect use of the letter m and the sound it represents. Also
mutacism.
neologism, neology
1. a new word, usage, or phrase.
2. the coining or introduction of new words or new senses for established words. See also theology. —
neologian, neologist, n. — neologistic, neologistical, adj.
neophrasis
Rare. neologism. — neophrastic, adj.
neoterism
1. a neologism.
2. the use of neologisms. — neoterist, n.
New Yorkerism
a word or phrase characteristic of those who reside in New York City.
nice-nellyism, nice-Nellyism
a euphemism. See also attitudes.
norlandism
a word or expression characteristic of a northern dialect.
orismology
the science of defining technical terms. — orismologic, orismological, adj.
orthology
the art of correct grammar and correct use of words. — orthologer, orthologian, n. — orthological, adj.
pantoglottism
the ability to speak any language. — pantoglot, n.
paragoge
the addition of a sound or group of sounds at the end of a word, as in the nonstandard idear for idea. Also
called epithesis. — paragogic, paragogical, adj.
paraphrasis, paraphrase
the recasting of an idea in words different from that originally used, whether in the same language or in a
translation. Cf. metaphrasis, periphrasis. — paraphrastic, paraphrastical, adj.
parasynthesis
1. word formation by the addition of both a prefix and a suffix to a stem or word, as international.
2. word formation by the addition of a suffix to a phrase or compound word, as nickel-and-diming. —
parasynthetic, adj.
parisology
the use of equivocal or ambiguous terms. — parisological, adj.
paroemiology
the collecting and study of proverbs. Cf. proverbialism. — paroe-miologist, n. — paroemiologic,
paroemiological, adj.
pasigraphy
1. an artificial international language using signs and figures instead of words.
2. any artificial language, as Esperanto. — pasigraphic, adj.
pejoratism
Linguistics. a semantic change in a word to a lower, less respect-able meaning, as in hussy. Also
pejoration.
pentaglot
a book or other work written in five languages. — pentaglot, adj.
periphrasis
1. a roundabout way of speaking or writing; circumlocution.
2. an expression in such fashion. Cf. paraphrasis. — periphrastic, adj.
perissology
Archaic. a pleonasm.
phraseology
1. an idiom or the idiomatic aspect of a language.
2. a mode of expression.
3. Obsolete, a phrasebook. — phraseologist, n. — phraseologic, phraseological, adj.
platitudinarianism
1. an addiction to spoken or written expression in platitudes.
2. a staleness or dullness of both language and ideas. Also called platitudinism. — platitudinarian, n.
pleonasm
1. the use of unnecessary words to express an idea; redundancy.
2. an instance of this, as true fact.
3. a redundant word or expression. — pleonastic, adj.
Polonist
a specialist in Polish language, literature, and culture.
polyglot
1. a person who speaks several languages.
2. a mixture of languages. See also books. — polyglot, n., adj. — polyglottic, polyglottous, adj.
polyglottism
the ability to use or to speak several languages. — polyglot, n., adj.
polyology
Rare. verbosity.
polysemy
a diversity of meanings for a given word.
polysyllabism
the condition of having three or more syllables. — polysyllable, n. — polysyllabic, polysyllabical, adj.
portmantologism
the creation or use of portmanteau words, or words that are a blend of two other words, as smog (from
smoke and fog).
preciosity
excessive fastidiousness or over-refinement in language or behavior.
prescriptivism
purism.
prolixity
excessive wordiness in speech or writing; longwindedness. — prolix, adj.
propheticism
a phrase typical of the Biblical prophets.
proverbialism
the composing, collecting, or customary use of proverbs. Cf. paroemiology. — proverbialist, n.
provincialism
localism.
psilology
a love of vacuous or trivial talk.
psychobabble
obfuscating language and jargon as used by psychologists, psychoanalysts, and psychiatrists,
characterized by recondite phrases and arcane names for common conditions.
purism
the policy or attempt to purify language and to make it conform to the rigors of pronunciation, usage,
grammar, etc. that have been arbitrarily set forth by a certain group. Also called prescriptivism. See also
art; criticism; literature; representation. — purist, n.,adj.
ribaldry
coarse, vulgar, or obscene language or joking. — ribald, adj.
Romaic
demotic.
Russianism
something characteristic of or influenced by Russia, its people, customs, language, etc.
rusticism
a rustic habit or mode of expression. — rustic, adj. — rusticity, n.
Saxonism
a word, idiom, phrase, etc., of Anglo-Saxon or supposed Anglo-Saxon origin.
Scotticism, Scoticism, Scottishism
a feature characteristic of Scottish English or a word or phrase commonly used in Scotland rather than in
England or America, as bonny.
semantics
1. the study of meaning.
2. the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form. —
semanticist, semantician, n. — semantic, adj.
Semiticism
a word, phrase, or idiom from a Semitic language, especially in the context of another language.
Semitics
the study of Semitic languages and culture. — Semitist, Semiticist, n.
sesquipedalianism
the practice of using very long words. Also sesquipedalism, sesquipedality. — sesquipedal,
sesquipedalian, adj.
slangism
a slangy expression or word.
Slavicism
a Slavic loanword in English, as blini.
Slavicist
one who specializes in the study of Slavic languages, literatures, or other aspects of Slavic culture. Also
Slavist.
Spoonerism
the transposition of initial or other sounds of words, usually by accident, as “queer dean” for “dear
Queen.” [After the Rev. W. A. Spooner, 1844-1930, noted for such slips.] — spoonerize, v.
steganography
Archaic. the use of a secret language or code; cryptography. — steganographer, n.
Sumerology
the study of the language, history, and archaeology of the Sumerians. — Sumerologist, n.
syllabarium
a syllabary.
syllabary
1. a table of syllables, as might be used for teaching a language.
2. a system of characters or symbols representing syllables instead of individual sounds. Also
syllabarium.
syncategorematic
a word that cannot be used as a term in its own right in logic, as an adverb or preposition. —
syncategorematic, adj.
Syriacism
an expression whose origin is Syriac, a language based on the eastern Aramaic dialect.
tautologism
Rare. tautology.
tautology
needless repetition of a concept in word or phrase; redundancy or pleonasm. Also tautologism. —
tautologist, n. — tautological, tautologous, adj.
terminology
1. the classification of terms associated with a particular field; nomenclature.
2. the terms of any branch of knowledge, field of activity, etc. — terminologic, terminological, adj.
Teutonicism
1. anything typical or characteristic of the Teutons or Germans, as customs, attitudes, actions, etc.
2. Germanism. — Teutonic, adj.
transatlanticism
a word, phrase, or idiom in English that is common to both Great Britain and the United States.
triticism
a trite, commonplace or hackneyed saying, expression, etc.; a platitude.
tuism
1. the use of the second person, as in apostrophe.
2. in certain languages, the use of the familiar second person in cases where the formal third person is
usually found and expected.
3. an instance of such use.
univocacy
Rare. the state or quality of having only one meaning or of being unmistakable in meaning, as a word or
statement. — univocal, adj.
verbalism
1. a verbal expression, as a word or phrase.
2. the way in which something is worded.
3. a phrase or sentence devoid or almost devoid of meaning.
4. a use of words regarded as obscuring ideas or reality; verbiage.
verbiage
wordiness or prolixity; an excess of words.
verbicide
Facetious. misuse or overuse of a word or any use of a word which is damaging to it.
verbigeration
meaningless repetition of words and phrases.
verbomania
an excessive use of or attraction to words.
verbosity
the quality or condition of wordiness; excessive use of words, especially unnecessary prolixity. —
verbose, adj.
vernacularism
1. a word, phrase, or idiom from the native and popular language, contrasted with literary or learned
language.
2. the use of the vernacular. — vernacular, n., adj.
villagism
a word or phrase characteristic of a village or rural community.
Volapükist
a speaker or advocate of Volapük, a language proposed for use as an international language.
vulgarism
a word or phrase used chiefly in coarse, colloquial speech. — vulgarian, vulgarist, n.
wegotism
the habit of referring to oneself by the pronoun “we.”
westernism
a word or form of pronunciation distinctive of the western United States.
witticism
a remark or expression characterized by cleverness in perception and choice of words.
wordsmanship
Facetious. the art or technique of employing a vocabulary of arcane, recondite words in order to gain an
advantage over another person.
Yankeeism
1. a Yankee characteristic or character.
2. British. a linguistic or cultural trait peculiar to the United States.
3. Southern U.S. a linguistic or cultural trait peculiar to the states siding with the Union during the Civil
War.
4. Northern U.S. a linguistic or cultural trait peculiar to the New England states.
Yiddishism
a Yiddish loanword in English, as chutzpa.
Yorkshireism
the language and customs of people living in the county of Yorkshire, England.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms


Noun 1. language - a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or
conventional symbols; "he taught foreign languages"; "the language
introduced is standard throughout the text"; "the speed with which a program
can be executed depends on the language in which it is written"
linguistic communication
communication - something that is communicated by or to or between people
or groups
usage - the customary manner in which a language (or a form of a language)
is spoken or written; "English usage"; "a usage borrowed from French"
dead language - a language that is no longer learned as a native language
words - language that is spoken or written; "he has a gift for words"; "she put her thoughts into
words"
source language - a language that is to be translated into another language
target language, object language - the language into which a text written in another language is
to be translated
accent mark, accent - a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to
indicate a special pronunciation
sign language, signing - language expressed by visible hand gestures
artificial language - a language that is deliberately created for a specific purpose
metalanguage - a language that can be used to describe languages
native language - the language that a person has spoken from earliest childhood
indigenous language - a language that originated in a specified place and was not brought to that
place from elsewhere
superstrate, superstratum - the language of a later invading people that is imposed on an
indigenous population and contributes features to their language
natural language, tongue - a human written or spoken language used by a community; opposed
to e.g. a computer language
interlanguage, lingua franca, koine - a common language used by speakers of different
languages; "Koine is a dialect of ancient Greek that was the lingua franca of the empire of
Alexander the Great and was widely spoken throughout the eastern Mediterranean area in
Roman times"
linguistic string, string of words, word string - a linear sequence of words as spoken or written
expressive style, style - a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is
characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period; "all the reporters were expected
to adopt the style of the newspaper"
barrage, bombardment, onslaught, outpouring - the rapid and continuous delivery of linguistic
communication (spoken or written); "a barrage of questions"; "a bombardment of mail
complaining about his mistake"
speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice communication, oral
communication, speech, language - (language) communication by word of mouth; "his speech
was garbled"; "he uttered harsh language"; "he recorded the spoken language of the streets"
slanguage - language characterized by excessive use of slang or cant
alphabetize - provide with an alphabet; "Cyril and Method alphabetized the Slavic languages"
synchronic - concerned with phenomena (especially language) at a particular period without
considering historical antecedents; "synchronic linguistics"
diachronic, historical - used of the study of a phenomenon (especially language) as it changes
through time; "diachronic linguistics"
2. language - (language) communication by word of mouth; "his speech was
garbled"; "he uttered harsh language"; "he recorded the spoken language of
the streets"
speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice
communication, oral communication, speech
language, linguistic communication - a systematic means of communicating
by the use of sounds or conventional symbols; "he taught foreign languages";
"the language introduced is standard throughout the text"; "the speed with
which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is
written"
auditory communication - communication that relies on hearing
words - the words that are spoken; "I listened to his words very closely"
orthoepy, pronunciation - the way a word or a language is customarily spoken; "the pronunciation
of Chinese is difficult for foreigners"; "that is the correct pronunciation"
conversation - the use of speech for informal exchange of views or ideas or information etc.
give-and-take, discussion, word - an exchange of views on some topic; "we had a good
discussion"; "we had a word or two about it"
locution, saying, expression - a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations;
"pardon the expression"
non-standard speech - speech that differs from the usual accepted, easily recognizable speech
of native adult members of a speech community
idiolect - the language or speech of one individual at a particular period in life
monologue - a long utterance by one person (especially one that prevents others from
participating in the conversation)
magic spell, magical spell, charm, spell - a verbal formula believed to have magical force; "he
whispered a spell as he moved his hands"; "inscribed around its base is a charm in Balinese"
dictation - speech intended for reproduction in writing
monologue, soliloquy - speech you make to yourself
3. language - the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number; "his compositions always
started with the lyrics"; "he wrote both words and music"; "the song uses colloquial language"
lyric, words
text, textual matter - the words of something written; "there were more than a thousand words of
text"; "they handed out the printed text of the mayor's speech"; "he wants to reconstruct the
original text"
song, vocal - a short musical composition with words; "a successful musical must have at least
three good songs"
love lyric - the lyric of a love song
4. language - the cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic
communication; "he didn't have the language to express his feelings"
linguistic process
higher cognitive process - cognitive processes that presuppose the availability of knowledge and
put it to use
reading - the cognitive process of understanding a written linguistic message; "his main reading
was detective stories"; "suggestions for further reading"
5. language - the mental faculty or power of vocal communication; "language sets homo sapiens
apart from all other animals"
speech
faculty, mental faculty, module - one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
lexis - all of the words in a language; all word forms having meaning or grammatical function
lexicon, mental lexicon, vocabulary - a language user's knowledge of words
verbalise, verbalize - convert into a verb; "many English nouns have become verbalized"
6. language - a system of words used to name things in a particular discipline;
"legal terminology"; "biological nomenclature"; "the language of sociology"
nomenclature, terminology
word - a unit of language that native speakers can identify; "words are the
blocks from which sentences are made"; "he hardly said ten words all
morning"
markup language - a set of symbols and rules for their use when doing a
markup of a document
toponomy, toponymy - the nomenclature of regional anatomy
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

language
noun
1. tongue, speech, vocabulary, dialect, idiom, vernacular, patter, lingo (informal), patois, lingua franca the
English language
2. vocabulary, tongue, jargon, terminology, idiom, cant, lingo (informal), argot the language of business
3. speech, communication, expression, speaking, talk, talking, conversation, discourse, interchange,
utterance, parlance, vocalization, verbalization Students examined how children acquire language.
4. style, wording, expression, phrasing, vocabulary, usage, parlance, diction, phraseology a booklet
summarising it in plain language
Quotations
"Language is the dress of thought" [Samuel Johnson Lives of the English Poets: Cowley]
"After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they
speak the same language?" [Russell Hoban The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz]
"Languages are the pedigrees of nations" [Samuel Johnson]
"A language is a dialect with an army and a navy" [Max Weinrich]
"One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no
other" [E.M. Cioran Anathemas and Admirations]
"Everything can change, but not the language that we carry inside us, like a world more exclusive and
final than one's mother's womb" [Italo Calvino By Way of an Autobiography]
"To God I speak Spanish, to women Italian, to men French, and to my horse - German" [attributed to
Emperor Charles V]
"In language, the ignorant have prescribed laws to the learned" [Richard Duppa Maxims]
"Language is fossil poetry" [Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays: Nominalist and Realist]