刊物属性
  • 刊物名称:校园英语
  • 国内刊号:CN 13-1298/G4
  • 国际刊号:ISSN 1009-6426
  • 邮发代号: 18-116
  • 数据库收录:中国知网
  • 投稿邮箱:
      tougao@xiaoyuanyingyu.com
  • 时间:2020-01-04 来源:校园英语杂志社

    作者:洪雅玲
      【Abstract】Though unremitting efforts have been made by linguistics and philologists, giving an accurate but concise definition of language has been difficult for them. Instead,, linguistics choose to talk about views of language, including structural view, functional view and interactional view. This article will give an analysis towards the definitions and views of language.
      【Key words】definitions of language; views of language; structural view; functional view; interactional view
      【作者簡介】洪雅玲(1997-),女,浙江杭州人,西安外国语大学英语教育学院,本科在读。
      Ι. A Holistic View of Definitions of Language
      Each research of a subject starts from giving it a clear definition. However, in the past centuries, no authoritative definition has been given to language. Here are some definitions of language found in dictionaries and linguistic books:
      “language is a system of arbitrary, vocal symbols which permit all people in a given culture, or other people who have learned the system of the culture, to communicate or to interact.”
      “Language is any set or system of linguistic symbols used in a more or less uniform fashion by a number of people who are thus enabled to communicate intelligibly with one another.”
      “Language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols as used for human communication.”
      “Language is a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings.”
      “Language is a system of communication consisting of a set of small parts and a set of rules which decide the ways in which these parts can be combined to produce messages that have meaning.”
      Through the analysis of those definitions of language mentioned above, it is not hard to find that linguistics more or less use words including “communication” “interact” “symbol” “arbitrary” “system”. Nonetheless, those definitions still fail to come to consensus.
      Ⅱ. Possible Reasons Why No Authoritative Definitions of Language Has Been Given
      language is too complicated to be entirely figured out by linguistics. There is therefore a necessary need for further theoretical inquiry and empirical research alike to better integrate the whole scale of language.
      Language is complicated firstly because it is arbitrary. Its arbitrariness means that the object itself and what it has been named or called in language have no relationships. For example, the dog, can be called “dog” in English and “gou” in Chinese, but no one can tell the logical relationship between the object and “dog” or “gou”. In other words, any person can define the object dog, and give it a new name. Further, people can randomly choose to say whatever they want to say and the way they say it. When you communicate with others, the language comes out of your mouth is determined by social conventions, at most times, but also your personality, your background, your mood, your instinct thought at that time, the environment you are in, the person you are confronted and so on. In addition, when we look at this problem from the perspective of history, it is not hard to find that language changes and develops with time passing by, which means that one same object contains different names in different periods of time. In a word, the arbitrariness of language increases its uncertainties, making one of the reasons why it is hard to give a concise definition.