Language is a very complex form of communication, as it is required that both parties communicating understand the same language. The use of language, although complex, is a very effective type of communication if used correctly.
Typical ways of relaying language are either writing or speaking, both of which require the user to learn how. Another form of language is the use of pictures or images to communicate messages, such as the Ancient Egyptians did with hieroglyphics. Humans are not the only species that uses a form of language. Animals communicate using their unique languages as well; however, human language is very unique in the sense that humans can expand their language in order to communicate an infinite amount of ideas.
The primary method of acquiring language skills is learned through societal interaction, that is, attempting to communicate with other humans or becoming accustomed to the language from childhood. Essentially, the use of a human language is deeply rooted in societal culture and is an expected skill of every human.
Linguistics is the scientific study of language. There have been many linguistics-based studies done, specifically concentrating on the brain, to discover how it utilizes language effectively. The study of linguistics can be branched into many categories because it is a very complex subject. The categories are phonetics (the sound of languages), semantics (how communication is actually done through the use of words) and pragmatics (how communication is actually done through understanding the context).
The primitive use of language is estimated to date back to approximately 500 BCE. At this time, it was primarily drawings and other visual communications, opposed to the auditory language we have today. The evolution of languages is hard to determine but it is obvious that human languages have changed since their inceptions. An example of this in the English language is Old English and Modern English. Old English uses terms like "hither" and "ye olde", while modern English would translate these to "come here" and "the old", respectively. As languages are used, they develop and diversify. This is where colloquial language (slang) comes from. There are few modern languages that exist exactly the same as they did at their inception. In addition to the diversity of languages, there is also a large variety of dialects within each language. Dialects begin as a result of separation of the humans using the language, usually the separation by country or continent. An example of this in the English language is American English and British English.
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