Characteristics of Language | 10 Characteristics of a Language

Characteristics of Language

If you are a student of language, you must have to learn the Characteristics of language. Language is the most powerful and dominant system of communication. In addition, language is the system of conventional, spoken and written symbols by means of which human beings communicate with each other, from one country to another country or one culture to another culture. It is the best ways to express emotions, thoughts, feeling and desires. 

With the change of time language is also being changed its form. Language is human, so it differs from animal communication in a few different ways. Every language has its own characteristics and objectives.

However, let us know the Characteristics of language in brief: language is arbitrary, productive, creative, symbolic, systematic, vocalic, social, non-instinctive and conventional, language is a mean of communication, language is human, structurally complex and modifiable.
10 characteristics of a language
These all characteristics of language set human language apart from animal communication. Let us discuss the characteristics of language elaborately.
Characteristics of language
Characteristics of language

10 Characteristics of a Language

The 10 characteristics of a language are given below. Please read carefully for proper understanding.

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1. Language is arbitrary

Language is arbitrary as in there is no inherent connection between the expressions of a language and their importance or the thoughts passed on by them.

The decision of a word chose to mean a specific thing or thought is absolutely subjective, however, once a word is chosen for a specific referent, it comes to remain in that capacity. It might be noticed that had language not been subjective, there would have been just a single language on the planet.

2. Language is social

Language is social that exists in society; it is as a means of nourishing and developing culture and establishing human relations. It is in this sense in ownership of a social gathering, including a key arrangement of principles which allows its individuals to identify with one another, to connect with one another, to coordinate with one another. Consequently, it's a social establishment. 

Language exists in the public arena, is a method for feeding and creating a society, and sets up human relations.

3. Language is symbolic

Language consists of different sound symbols and their graphological partners that are utilized to give a few objects, occurrences or significance. 

These symbols are discretionarily picked and routinely acknowledged and utilized. Words in a language are not negligible signs or figures. The language uses words essentially as symbols and not as signs for the concept represented by them.

4. Language is systematic

In spite of the fact that language is symbolic, its symbols are arranged in specific systems. All languages have their arrangement of plans. Each language is an arrangement of systems. All languages have phonological and syntactic systems and within a system, there are several sub-systems.

For instance, inside the linguistic system, we have the morphological and syntactic system, and inside these two sub-systems, we have systems, for example, those of plural, of mindset, or perspective, of tense, etc.

5. Language is vocal, verbal and sound

Language is a system of vocal and verbal symbolism. It is essentially comprised of vocal sounds just created by a physiological articulatory component in the human body. First and foremost, it shows up as vocal sounds only. Language takes verbal elements such as sounds, words and phrases which are fixed up in certain ways to make several sentences.

Language is vocal and sound which is produced by different speech organs. Writing can be considered as an intelligent platform to represent vocal sounds. It is the graphic representation of the speech sounds of the language.

6. Language is non-instinctive, conventional

No language was made in multi-day out of a commonly settled upon the recipe by a gathering of people. Language is the result of advancement and tradition. Every age transmits this tradition on to the following. 

Like every single human organization, language likewise changes and pass on, develop and extend. Each language is a tradition in a network. It is non-natural since it is procured by people.

7. Language is productive and creative

Language has efficiency and innovativeness. The auxiliary components of human language joined to created new expressions, which neither the speaker nor his/her listeners may ever have made or heard previously. 

Truly, the two sides comprehend without trouble. Language changes as indicated by the necessities of society.

8. Language is a means of communication

Language is strong, convenient and the form of communication. It is the best ways to express everything. It is through language that humans express their thoughts, desires, emotions and feelings. Further, humans can interact with each other easily through the welfare of language.

9. Language is human and structurally complex 

Human language is open-minded, extendable and modifiable on the other hand animal language is not. No species other than humans have been endowed with language. So we can say that language is naturally human and in some cases, structurally complex.

10. Language is unique, complex and modifiable

Language is a unique phenomenon in the world. It has creativity and productivity. Despite their common features and language universals, each language has its peculiarities and distinctive features. And this is how language has its own potentiality to be unique, complex and modifiable by the change of time and culture. 


After the above discussion, we come to the conclusion that these characteristics of a language are the part and parcel to build the authenticity of any language.

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