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What is language? What are its functions, advantages, and limitations?

Uploaded by karl_marx on Jun 01, 2004

Language is a written code used for communication or for the displaying of data. There are two different types of language: Mathematical (numerical) and natural (e.g. English). An advantage to natural language is to ease the difficulties of communication. An advantage of mathematics as a language is that problems can be solved in an organized and easy-to-follow order. Both types of languages have their limitations. A limitation of natural language is that it is subjective. A limitation of mathematics as language is that it is not used a form of communication.
Natural language is a form of communication developed over thousands of years as humans developed civilization. From prehistory up to the present language had been evolving. Spreading information by the use of language is a type of communication. For example, if I tell someone the temperature is 32° C outside in Milan, Italy, I am spreading information by using language in the form of communication.
An advantage of natural language is that communication is easy. With a vast vocabulary, a listener can have a general (or specific) idea about what is being told to him/her. Also, some ideas can only be expressed in language. For example, philosophy would be impossible to express without language.
There are some limitations to natural languages. There are many natural languages spoken in the world. Therefore one may not be able to converse with people from different countries. In order to converse with people from different language-speaking countries, one must learn the language. Another limitation of natural language is that certain things cannot be expressed using it. For example, some situations in history were so bad that no words can express them fully (a situation could be the treatment of slaves in colonial America). Music is a form of language that is better suited to expression. Also, there are more ways to interpret natural language. One individual may read a passage in a story and interpret in differently then someone else. This is common in literature. Tone is also sometimes hard to determine especially in e-mail messages.
Functions of mathematics or numerical languages are that problems can be solved orderly and in an easy-to-follow sequence. Without mathematical languages a lot of things would not be possible. For example, architecture would not be possible without math. As a result, we would not have large buildings to live in. Technology would not be possible without math...

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Uploaded by:   karl_marx

Date:   06/01/2004

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   3 pages (733 words)

Views:   2153

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