In today’s society, many people cannot differentiate between language and lexicon. Although the two are widely used by many people, it is quite interesting to note how the illiteracy of many when it comes to defining each one of them explicitly. Nevertheless, a few can differentiate the difference between lexicon and language.
We will write a custom Research Paper on Concepts of Language specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Language seems to be quite familiar among many people. After all, each person speaks a certain language confined within an ethnic or race or a minority group of people. Language is a mode under which information can be encoded and decoded at the same time. Nevertheless, language is a broad word comprising of many information recipes that together form language.
From the nonprofessional’s point of view, language is a medium through which, people pass or exchange emotions, ideas, and opinions. Language varies from one place to another due to different cultures and sometimes, the generations of the day. Therefore, in simple terms, grammarians define language as the channeling of opinions and feelings mainly through capricious indications like gestures, sounds, or verbal ciphers. Psycholinguistics classifies language into two main categories.
The first class of language is of course-spoken languages like English and French. The second class of languages comprises of written languages including the use of signs. On the other hand, cognitive psychologists do use the word language about an individual’s cognitive competence when it comes to language use and applications.
On the other hand, the lexicon is more of an ingredient of language that language itself. Psycholinguistics define lexicon as a language rich of terminologies, words, and vocabularies forming lexemes- word actualizations. In addition to lexemes, lexicon follows linguistic rules like morpho-syntactic to induce a clear arrangement of vocabularies and words in somebody’s psyche. Lexicon has numerous advantages, especially in cognitive psychology.
For example, under lexicon, different words forming a particular tense arrange according to lexical stipulations. Moreover, it introduces additional rules and language ingredients like suffixes and verbs to create a coherent language description. In most cases, lexicon consists of words from one type of language without mixing or characterization. (Aitchison, 2003, pp. 3-29).
In cognitive psychology, language hence, lexicon forms the basis of understanding individuals’ background abilities. Cognitive psychologists analyze an individual’s language proficiency by referring to the lexical ability of that individual. In many occasions, an individual’s richness in vocabulary is only measurable through mental lexicon and language mastery. If an individual has wide mastery knowledge of vocabularies of a certain language say English, without any hesitation, this person falls in the class of language orators.
Language comprises of numerous features that differentiate it from one communication mode to another. The figure below shows thirteen human language features relevant to human communication and understanding. The role of language features is to impart smoothness into language communication systems for effective communication.
The main basic features of the language include words, sentences, text, and phonemes popularly known as phonetics — each of these features playa n important role in executing proper language communication channels. For example, a composition of words forms a sentence. However, these words must follow certain syntactical rules. In other words, sentences ought to be grammatically correct structures word units to achieve cognition. (Hyde, 1998, Para. 2-11).
Furthermore, the construction of sentences relies on the part of speech used. Sentences convey a message to the reader or a listener. Different sentences comprise of different words that pose different expressions, questions, command, or requests.
The choice of words forming a sentence depends on the theme of discussion and the intended listeners. Nevertheless, the formation of sentence structures does not depend on the relationship between superseding and proceeding words but rather, grammatical structure. (Diane & Rolf, 2005, pp. 1-12).
Different words join under the grammatical rule to form sentence structures. For this reason, words are important in any communication system. This is because; no language can exist exclusive of words. Words can be either written or spoken. Writing is associated with literacy because; there are people who cannot write words they always speak.
On the other hand, people can change words into sign language and apply them to any communication system. Grammarians depict words to be units of language. Of great importance is the ability of words to induce sound and meaning for later feedback. Moreover, a word is a group of combined letters-morphemes, which represent a certain language.
Another feature of language is text. Words form sentences that people use for conversation. If someone writes words and sentences in a manuscript or a book to convey a message-conversation, undeniably, they become a text. Notably, it is the arrangement of words that result in the creation of sentences paramount in conversations.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Lastly, the fourth and most important language feature is phonemes-phonetics. Different languages with a different sound and writing styles do exist due to phonemes. Phonemes create sounds in languages, thus making one language to be unique from another. However, there is no further identification of sound not unless that sound use symbols. Each sound converses different meaning, thus, giving languages immense contrasts. Phonetics is the proper pronunciation of words according to the specific language. In phonetics, words classify into physical speech sounds to deduce a physiological meaning within a conversation.
Interestingly, all language features also act as levels of language structure and processing channels. This is because; nobody expects any language to exist without basic features like words, sentences, phonemes, and text. Proper pronunciation of letters forms words of certain languages. This is, of course, through the creation of familiar sounds, which the speaker must remember at all times.
Thus, without phonemes, words cannot exist; and hence language. The product of phonemes is words. Words form the smallest but most important unit of language. Consequently, words link according to syntactical rules to create a sentence structure used in conversations. The mastery of language depends on the ability to remember phonemes and words as the foundations of language.
Language is paramount in the study of cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology deals with individuals’ mental abilities like memory, perception, behavior, language, and influence. Thus, language is an ingredient in the study of cognitive psychology. Through language, cognitive psychologists can identify hidden personal characteristic features, about knowledge: the brain stores words and phonemes for conversations. Thus, words and phonemes participate in the cognitive reasoning of an individual.
Psycholinguistics and cognitive psychologists do agree that language is a key feature in the study of cognitive psychology. This is because; the brain must remember the meaning of each phoneme and word for smooth communications. Additionally, the brain must store and retrieve the dissimilar sounds of these words and phonemes to learn a certain language.
Different languages have different phonemes hence, words. Thus, the mastery of any language depends on the familiarity and ability to remember the meaning of each phoneme and word. If a person hears certain words and understands them, then eventually the person can respond positively to those words whether it was a command, question or discussion. Thus, the brain plays an important cognitive role in retrieving the stored words from the memory bank for a conversation with other parties. (Sadurst, 2010, Para. 1-14).
In conclusion, language is fundamental to understanding an individual’s intelligence and mind insight. Through one’s language, a person who understands that particular language can easily know the cognition of another person.
Aitchison, J. (2003). Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
Diane, P., & Rolf, A. (2005). Grounding cognition: The Role of Perception and Action in Memory, Language and Thinking. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hyde, K. 1998. The Features of Human Language. Web.
Sadurst. (2010). Lexicon and Language 74. Hubpages. Web.