Saturday, May 18, 2013

Describe the origin of language.

Describe the origin of language.
Q: 1 What are the chief theories of language?
¬  Introduction:-     
Þ          Language is a complex process. There are some symbols representing sounds. Combination of these sounds makes a language. But these sounds are only necessary for spoken language. Language is both spoken and written but primarily it is spoken. Through sounds ideas, thoughts and feelings are conveyed. Particular way sounds are put into words. Some rules are formed to make structure. Sounds according to this create raw material. Speaker and listeners then agrees to have some common understanding. This finally gives shape to language. In short we can say “Language is a system of sounds, words, patterns etc. us by humans to communicate thoughts and feelings.” Or it is “a form of language use by a particular group nation.”

¬  Language; evolutionary, not static:-
Þ          Language is a living form. It grows so it is evolutionary, not static. A process of changing, adding, omitting is continuously going on. If we compare Chaucer language and today language, a vast different is noticeable. Rigiditys in English language was not earlier tolerated which is not tolerated. Slang words are now accepted. Spelling have even been accepted. In the beginning, the process of change was slow but now because of many factors it is rapidly changing. American influence, T.V, printing, radio and cinema are chief causes for these changes. B.B.C. play a role to has correct English.

¬   language Differentiates man and animal:-
Þ          This is a remarkable thing. What distinguishes man and animals is language. It is the chief characteristic a mankind. All people of all countries speak language. Merely meaningless noise, don’t make language which the animals do. According to prof. Ltoyd James animals had perhaps language in mind but it couldn’t develop in the proper direction. “The species which developed mind and personality also developed speech.” Sir G. Eliot smith believed that “the discovery of speech marked the beginning of man.
Þ          There are some theories for the origin of language. They are not complete. There are disputes but they indicate at least various views.

(A) The bow-wow the theory (Imitation):-
Þ          It shows imitation theory. The earliest speech was perhaps an attempt to imitate sound. The young child adopts this type of expression. It is possibility that he adopting habits and manner which our adult ancestors had many years ago. He distinguishes a dog from other animals is that of ‘barking. It says ‘bow-wow’ and he begins to imitate it. Many see this a beginning of language. Many words support this theory. E.g. ‘snake’, wind’, water. E.g. while speaking them, their form is assumed through sounds. Some recently coined words are putt, whine, wail, whistle, babble. The onomatopoetic effect seen also.

(B) The ding-dong theory (rhythm):-
Þ          This theory is given by Max Muller, a German scholar. It is believed that in the formation of language man’s tendency to rhythm is traced. The universe has rhythm and the thing related to it has rhythm as well. This theory also had imitation bit is it is of movement of sound. The rhythm of a flowing, river or the swaying of these, early man ‘ding dong’ phonetically to them. From it a simple hum or chart developed. This theory brings us close to savage war-dance and the medieval ballads and the sea-chauties.

(C) The pooh-pooh theory(Emotional utterances):-
Þ          This theory is related to emotional interjections, evoked by pains, surprise, pleasures, wonder etc. Our present more national language is actually a refinement of our such brute noises. This name is given as such expressions are known as ‘pooh-pooh’. Earlier it was only related to contempt or disgust but often use gives meaning to it.

(D) The Gesture Theory(Body Expressions):-
Þ    Bodily expressions are counted in this theory. It is advocated by Wilhelm Wundt and supported by Richard Paget. Earlier man used sings and gestures of our hands to communicate something. This was natural ‘language’. This theory is relevant even today when we want to call somebody or asking one to go back, we use hands and use particular sings. To say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ head is shaken. Often to express many exclamations or utterance- lip, tongue jaw eye movements are done. Tongue and hand had combination earlier. E.g. when we lift our are to point upward, our tongue tip goes up. Even ‘you’ and ‘I’, ‘me’. ‘Thou’ expressing according to pointing finger the tongue twists. “Here” and “There’ are some more examples of this.
Þ          There are four chief theories but none of them is completed in itself. One may be true to a point but not all the ways. The speech shows a combination of these processes.