What is language?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language.  Linguists are interested in (i) describing and (ii) explaining language.  In this essay, I discuss the scope of linguistics in more detail.  In other words, I discuss what linguistics is (or ought to be) the study of.  This amounts to an extended definition of language.  In section 1 I discuss various forms of animal communication.  This is important if we are to understand what is unique about human language.  In section 2 I discuss some properties that are special to human language.  In section 3 I introduce the components of grammar.  And in section 4 I discuss the origin of language.  Read the full PDF here: What is language


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