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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
language
noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a computer language (=a system of instructions used to program a computer)
a language learner
▪ a textbook for language learners
a language/art/design etc course
▪ The school runs ten-week language courses three times a year.
assembly language
body language (=the movements and expressions that show what you feel)
▪ Nervousness is usually clearly expressed in body language.
body language
▪ It was obvious from Luke’s body language that he was nervous.
everyday language
▪ Describe it in ordinary everyday language.
filthy language/story/joke etc
first language
inappropriate behaviour/response/language etc
language laboratory
language skills (=the ability to use a language)
▪ We need to hire people with useful language skills.
language/English/science etc teaching
▪ She has considerable experience in language teaching.
language/history/science etc teacher
living language (=one that people still use)
▪ a living language
modern language
▪ a degree in modern languages
modern languagesBritish English (= languages that are spoken today, as a subject of study)
▪ French, German and other modern languages
Romance language
second language
sign language
the language barrier (=the problem of understanding people who do not speak the same language.)
▪ Living in China was hard for me at first because of the language barrier.
tone language
use...language
▪ Don’t use bad language.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
bad
▪ Prince Charles yesterday parodied Hamlet to illustrate how literature could be destroyed by bad use of language.
▪ Teachers and school psychologists will tell you that bad language is the first symptom of conflict and it only escalates from there.
▪ The Professional's wife, acting as Steward, was dismissed for bad language and automatically it cost her husband his job.
▪ They accompanied bad language with good works.
▪ But he would never use bad language when he was near his bees.
▪ He doesn't like bad language.
▪ The bulk of reported incidents again concerned bad language and unsportsmanlike conduct.
▪ The first - bad language - demonstrates the value of ignoring as a first line of defence.
different
▪ But perhaps the most important feature which makes communication possible across different sign languages is the shared culture of deaf people.
▪ That the regular correspondence occurs in words among different languages that are the same or similar in meaning is crucial also.
▪ Images, she notes, are signifiers of a different order than language.
▪ The user can click on a button to switch between the different languages.
▪ Several parallel editions in the different languages are to be recommended.
▪ We might speak different languages but we're all the same.
▪ Indeed it is its very innateness, given sufficient divergence between different languages, that make such counterexamples seem possible.
▪ Speakers of different languages and cultural backgrounds, and from different social groups, vary quite significantly in their preferred language norms.
foreign
▪ Its main focus is foreign languages: teaching, learning, research and policy.
▪ On the streets were strange people who spoke a foreign language.
▪ Couldn't understand it, though, it was in a foreign language.
▪ But even if you speak many foreign languages, such transactions become difficult for currency reasons.
▪ He couldn't speak any foreign languages.
▪ Despite their isolation the doctors often speak foreign languages.
▪ According to Marx, the ability to understand humour in a foreign language is a mark of the highest linguistic skill.
foul
▪ The Police are seemingly unable to do anything about it, especially against the use of the foulest language accompanying such vice.
modern
▪ Our modern language and our modern writing have grown out of the language and literature of the past.
▪ J., is an associate professor of modern and classical languages at the University of San Francisco.
▪ We noted earlier that, as well as a shortage of science teachers in schools, there is a shortage of modern language teachers.
▪ The last group was used in secondary schools and in the modern language institute in Tunis.
▪ Students combining Latin with a modern language usually spend their third year studying Latin at a university in the appropriate country.
▪ Descriptive Neither historical nor comparative grammar is a likely foundation for a modern language method.
▪ And the importance of modern language teaching will be very much greater.
▪ The Nuffield modern languages survey has not yet reported and the only available account is an interim report from 1985.
native
▪ But dialect features are not errors in this sense at all, but are characteristics of a pupil's native language.
▪ Most children in all cultures begin to master their native language around age 2.
▪ Their native music and language is, however, a means of restoring some identity and self-respect.
▪ Interference from the native language is probably one of the most noticeable aspects of the early stages in second language learning.
▪ Task groups are formulating standards for the areas of multiprocessor technologies, compliance technologies and native language system localisation.
▪ Explanations, information and annotations in the user's native language relate to the procedures and practice in the foreign language.
natural
▪ However for computer processing of natural language ambiguity causes a large problem.
▪ Semantic net infrastructure A semantic network is a graph where natural language terms have been used to label the nodes and links.
▪ Language and linguistics Over the past decade, work on formal theories of meaning for natural languages has developed very swiftly.
▪ Such experimental retrieval may be more necessary for searches using the natural language of the document.
▪ In the light of all this, I do not think it premature to put forward an evolutionary scenario for natural language.
▪ In some circumstances natural language indexing may reflect more closely the terms used by the searcher.
▪ The development of a natural language interface to a database has proved to be more tractable than other applications.
official
▪ They must speak only in one of four official languages.
▪ It should be an easy task to produce a comparative table listing official language policies.
ordinary
▪ It is good because it is written in friendly, ordinary language and where jargon creeps in, it is explained.
▪ The accused may be guilty even though he does not in ordinary language obtain a service.
▪ What this meant in ordinary language was that only those who subscribed to Francoist ideals would be remembered and honoured.
▪ So once again the emphasis is not on poetry in itself, but on the difference between poetry and ordinary language.
▪ The third aspect of ordinary language which is violated by poetry is semantics.
▪ Reality is at his disposal in the same way that ordinary language and the current literary conventions and devices are.
other
▪ What is apparent, on the other hand, is that the oral/aural use of the other languages is not diminishing.
▪ Fang, Bubi and other indigenous languages.
▪ Secondary aims included conforming to existing industry standards and defining interfaces to other languages.
▪ By 1910 there were translations into six other languages, including a Yiddish version published in London.
▪ It has so much depth, much more than if I were to express myself in other languages.
▪ Soussou, Manika and six other local languages widely spoken.
▪ No other ancient language succeeded in doing this.
▪ It has official status in many countries where other languages are also spoken.
spoken
▪ It is not however so well suited to an intensive, detailed study of spoken language.
▪ In understanding spoken language, lexical access is achieved by using information from the acoustic representation of a word.
▪ Living Language How people express themselves in words Spoken language is what you speechread.
▪ This would count as a very serious mistake in spoken language interpreting.
▪ The same arguments apply to children's spoken language.
▪ This is true even though they bring to the search the knowledge they already possess about how spoken language works.
▪ Traditional behavioural formulations have regarded spoken language as the minimal units for any form of analysis.
▪ The purpose was to show that he too used spoken language and that it and Tarvarian were mutually incomprehensible.
strong
▪ The monitors of the People's Daily's main discussion group let this strong language remain on the website.
▪ Jacobson said he would have preferred stronger language on limiting fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.
▪ It condemned racialism in the strongest language.
▪ Northern church leaders used equally strong language about their southern counterparts.
▪ Thus, a slightly different analysis / interpretation of the empirical data avoids the strong causal language of the other two studies.
▪ He too has strong feelings about language, but they are directed mostly at marshmallow prose.
▪ In a press conference, Bush supporters used the strongest language so far to impugn the legitimacy of the continued Florida recounts.
▪ The airlines use stronger language to discourage them.
written
▪ For many teachers therefore written language is equated with literary language, with the polished performance of narrative, drama or poetry.
▪ Many facets of spoken language are absent from written language.
▪ The author of written language, however, can not respond in this way.
▪ That use of the passive in written language which allows non-attribution of agency is typically absent from conversational speech.
▪ For example, written language typically has to express things more explicitly, because it has to stand on its own.
▪ For written language this involves information about how letters combine to form words, or orthography.
▪ Thus supported, children will go on to extend their knowledge of written language by themselves.
■ NOUN
barrier
▪ Then there is the language barrier.
▪ The lack of communication is emphasized by the language barrier.
▪ Schools unwittingly erect a language barrier which must exclude great numbers of parents.
▪ It has crossed language barriers as easily as it has iron curtains and great walls.
▪ It was true they were very quiet which the Girls thought was a combination of shyness and the language barrier.
▪ There was, first, the language barrier.
▪ Because of the language barrier and culture shock, such insights are far too rare.
▪ Confusion caused by language barriers is the most obvious, but beliefs about proper behavior and courtesy also shift across cultural lines.
body
▪ Your body language will speak volumes about your happy state. 4 Inhibition decreases.
▪ You need to see the body language.
▪ Yet body language often tells us so much more than mere words.
▪ Disbelief is virtually shouted in the body language of those gathered.
▪ Upon meeting them you instantly see what they look like, and quickly observe their facial expressions, gestures and body language.
▪ She can read it in her body language.
▪ This responsiveness to body language also affects the way horses react to humans.
▪ We have a different look and body language right now.
learner
▪ N.B. Languages and language learners are very idiosyncratic and what works for some may not work for others.
▪ Foreign language learners need to enter into long stretches of communication, in real and complex situations.
▪ The direct questions we needed to ask of deaf people could not be asked adequately, since we were only language learners.
▪ The book is designed specifically with the needs of the language learner in mind.
▪ Their value for a language learner is that they contain all kinds of examples of people communicating.
▪ Obviously this would only apply to programmes which would be used by many language learners.
▪ The language learner needs to be able to handle language which is not idealized - language in use.
▪ Some language learners also find it easier to hear e.g. a word initial sound at a predictable point in a frame.
learning
▪ The importance of listening in language learning is often overlooked.
▪ We do not need, then, to embrace the semantic asymmetry in order to give an account of language learning.
▪ Interference from the native language is probably one of the most noticeable aspects of the early stages in second language learning.
▪ Lingua, promoting foreign language learning.
▪ About one third of your daily language learning time should be spent in this activity.
▪ Language learning through enjoyment Variety and enjoyment are vital at the primary stages of language learning.
▪ The prediction in relation to language learning is to some extent confusing.
▪ Avoidance is a negative strategy seen in language learning.
sign
▪ Very frequently in the literature earlier discussions about sign language universality are described as myths or misconceptions.
▪ Their beautiful movement and artistic sign language adds a new dimension to the production.
▪ But perhaps the most important feature which makes communication possible across different sign languages is the shared culture of deaf people.
▪ The only means of communication was sign language.
▪ His sign language was, on the whole, positive.
▪ By now I was extremely hungry, so I used sign language to beg the official for food.
▪ But with practical help using sign language and sounds, experts say learning becomes easier instead of being frustrating.
▪ The clear implication is that there is one universal sign language.
skill
▪ Mathematical and language skills unite in the understanding of logic and reasoning, an essential component of mature intelligence.
▪ Children develop their language skills with reading and writing.
▪ It aims to improve teacher effectiveness and emphasises the development of language skills and awareness through the co-operative exploration of teaching/learning problems.
▪ Frustrated educators search for dramatic new ways to get at one root of the problem: language skills.
▪ Foreign language skills would also be an asset.
▪ Instead, he said, almost every child subjected to the computer animation and sound games rapidly learned normal language skills.
▪ A recent job advert for travel representatives abroad asked for language skills and included signing in the list of useful languages.
▪ They kept to themselves, however, and you could never be sure of either their language skills or their motives.
target
▪ Decide from the very beginning that your aim is to use the target language as much as possible in the sessions.
▪ This creates additional problems of target language suitability, problems which have yet to be solved.
▪ Is the contact of the learner with the target language group likely to be intermittent rather than extensive?
▪ For this reason, spoken language interpreters are specifically trained to reject the effects of their utterance of the target language.
▪ This can happen when the target language has a grammatical category which the source language lacks.
▪ You can use a camera in the classroom to let learners see and hear themselves communicating in the target language.
▪ Differential grammar enables us to determine some of the main grammatical difficulties involved in learning the target language.
▪ Module 1 is designed for beginners ie those with no prior knowledge of the target language.
teacher
▪ The roles of applied linguist and language teacher are different; they work to different professional briefs.
▪ What we need to decide as language teachers is the degree to which other components of communication need teaching.
▪ Such is the current shortage of foreign language teachers.
▪ They are more often than not monolingual and monocultural and, as language teachers, in a position of power.
▪ It is interesting to note that we often refer to the training rather than education of language teachers.
▪ Working abroad is particularly appropriate for language teachers.
▪ He travelled widely throughout the Balkans, then went to Vienna in 1771, where he was employed as a language teacher.
teaching
▪ The underlying educational values in language teaching, then, are not often clearly stated or conceptualized.
▪ Using an integrated programme of modules, the programme achieved outstanding results in language teaching.
▪ This problem is very much in evidence in language teaching too.
▪ Vocabulary Vocabulary provides a clear and comprehensive overview of this important area of language teaching.
▪ There are implications for language teaching and learning in all of them.
▪ Supporters like Jim Cummins maintain that heritage language teaching is an important step in helping immigrant students realize their potential.
▪ Then consider this invented dialogue from a language teaching textbook.
▪ Of course, many people concerned with language teaching have come to a similar conclusion.
use
▪ And yet our eventual objective must be to prepare learners to cope with the natural conditions of language use.
▪ But settling questions of language use is the job of pragmatics-the study of the use of language in context.
▪ Project Video stimulates active language use Project Video provides a stimulus for learners to produce their own projects.
▪ What I am seeking to do is to outline a model of language use.
▪ Nor was I surprised that I often had to show the students how language use might be made meaningful.
▪ In chapters 6 and 7 I would like to propose a characterization of grammar and language use which shows their interdependence.
▪ In his work on social class and linguistic styles, Basil Bernstein has identified two different modes of language use.
▪ They are based on observations of everyday experience and language use.
■ VERB
learn
▪ They travelled here for refuge or for rest, To learn the language or to taste the fruit.
▪ It reminded me of learning a foreign language.
▪ He may even be able to tackle learning a foreign language.
▪ There are rich possibilities at meals for kids to learn about language and literacy.
▪ His most striking proposition to the lay reader is that human beings are genetically programmed to learn certain kinds of language.
▪ Another option is to learn the language.
▪ Language teachers may tend to present the view that it is the only way to learn the language.
▪ Instead, he said, almost every child subjected to the computer animation and sound games rapidly learned normal language skills.
programme
▪ Much of the software currently in use is based upon virtually extinct programming languages that hardly anyone understands any more.
▪ Perhaps the most important change in Netscape Version 2 is its ability to run programs written in the Java programming language.
▪ Microsoft and Sun, of Palo Alto, are sparring over the Java programming language.
▪ For that reason, Apple broke tradition and did not include a programming language along with the machine.
▪ To deal with that issue, Java was deliberately crippled as a programming language.
▪ It would also run on the Java programming language.
▪ The best-known example is Java, a programming language from Sun Microsystems that can bring web pages to life.
▪ Java is a programming language that Sun unveiled last year.
speak
▪ She speaks several languages and partakes of many specialized vocabularies in the context of her daily existence.
▪ They seemed to speak the same language.
▪ He speaks five languages, but doesn't use them much - in speech, that is, though he reads a lot.
▪ We saturate babies in the cadences, sounds, rhythms, and purposes of spoken language.
▪ We did not speak their language, of course, so we used our hands and faces to show that we were hungry.
▪ We might speak different languages but we're all the same.
▪ Was she the only one in this part of the world who only spoke one language?
▪ The child at the stage of concrete operations can assume the viewpoint of others and spoken language is social and communicative.
teach
▪ I was writing at the time and trying to teach myself languages.
▪ Y., has introduced a bill to ban federal funds from being spent on programs that teach ebonics as a language.
▪ There are also extensive entries on classroom practice, teaching methods, the language laboratory and the psychology of learning.
▪ But it is not present in gorillas-which evolved midway between orangs and chimps-and gorillas can be taught a simple gestural language.
▪ In other words, writing can teach us about language.
▪ Anyone concerned with selecting a class book for teaching a language will face a wide choice of texts.
▪ One of the girls is teaching me the language.
▪ It taught people about a language, but not how to use that knowledge in talking or communication.
understand
▪ Man understands his kind of language.
▪ It was a theology of pruning and purification, and this impulse was reflected in how they understood language.
▪ Until these questions are answered, no computer can be said to understand language.
▪ Fong understood neither their language nor their disgusting habits.
▪ Language and linguistics People understand language by using their knowledge about everyday life to add to what is explicitly stated.
▪ I wanted to help him, but I felt constricted, struggling against the limitations of understanding and language.
▪ I did not struggle, and spoke politely to him, although I knew he did not understand any of my languages.
▪ Dineh could not understand their language, but he heard something else.
write
▪ Their written language was the most advanced of the pre-Columbian scripts, and their astronomical knowledge beyond compare.
▪ The proposal should be written in direct language.
▪ Being written in different programming languages, there was no literal similarity between the programs.
▪ What gets lost in all this are the real needs of children and adults working to make written language their own.
▪ It is written in simple non-technical language.
▪ His written language was far more flawed than hers had been at the outset; his thoughts were very simple and cliched.
▪ It will also use ObjectStore to recognise code, data and objects written in different programming languages.
▪ But she had never learned to read or write the language of her adopted land.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
dead language
▪ Latin is a dead language.
▪ Also included is the artificial adoption of dead languages for nationalistic purposes.
▪ He made the dead languages into living literature.
▪ He stared, then said her words himself, the way he'd spoken Latin as a boy. Dead language.
▪ There are some who call Yiddish a dead language, but so was Hebrew called for two thousand years.
foul language
▪ Never use foul language to a customer.
▪ The Police are seemingly unable to do anything about it, especially against the use of the foulest language accompanying such vice.
in plain English/language
▪ A weekly publication that analyzes some 1, 700 different stocks, Value Line is written in plain language.
▪ Our subsequent telephone conversation was a study in plain language, but McFarlane held his ground and made no apologies.
mind your manners/language/p's and q's
native language/tongue
▪ English is not his native language.
▪ And as they learn their native language, they also use language to learn other things.
▪ But dialect features are not errors in this sense at all, but are characteristics of a pupil's native language.
▪ But for most of us our native tongue is alive and constantly shifting.
▪ It is perfectly possible to communicate with little or no such similarity or else children would never learn their native tongue.
▪ Some of the early researchers took a pessimistic view of what we would lose with the disappearance of native languages.
play with words/language
▪ But why shouldn't feminists play with language for political ends?
▪ Children learn vocabulary from talking, reading, writing, and from playing with words.
▪ Recognising this, some feminists have used the alternative strategy of deliberately playing with words rather than attempting straightforwardly to redefine them.
▪ Rhymesters, poets, writers, and jokers of all kinds - and their audiences - have always loved playing with words.
▪ She was given to playing with words in that way.
▪ Young children play with language, trying out sounds before they start experimenting with words.
speak the same language
▪ Politically they are our enemies, but when it comes to trade I think we speak the same language.
▪ When your sales, marketing, and production people are all speaking the same language, it pays real dividends.
▪ His actions now speak the same language.
▪ If we're to communicate, you and I, we have to be sure we're speaking the same language.
▪ Some one from industry might be seen by employers as speaking the same language as they do themselves. 5.
▪ They spoke the same language of progress, and shared a cautious trust that they knew could be relied on.
▪ They seemed to speak the same language.
▪ Very likely he expects a bambina - even Constanza found they didn't speak the same language any more.
▪ We speak the same language, share similar interests.
spoken English/language etc
▪ At 2 years of age, children begin to master spoken language, a system of arbitrary signs.
▪ For this reason, spoken language interpreters are specifically trained to reject the effects of their utterance of the target language.
▪ In normal spoken language there are often clear pragmatic constraints on the choice of particular syntactic forms.
▪ In order of their emergence, they are deferred imitation, symbolic play, drawing, mental imagery, and spoken language.
▪ Neologisms come and go very quickly in spoken language but tend to be less frequent in writing.
▪ Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have found that testosterone aids spatial thinking, but interferes with performance of spoken language.
▪ The purpose was to show that he too used spoken language and that it and Tarvarian were mutually incomprehensible.
▪ The same arguments apply to children's spoken language.
strong language
▪ Admiral Boyd opposed the idea in the strongest language I had ever heard him use.
▪ In a press conference, Bush supporters used the strongest language so far to impugn the legitimacy of the continued Florida recounts.
▪ It condemned racialism in the strongest language.
▪ Jacobson said he would have preferred stronger language on limiting fats, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.
▪ Jefferson never used stronger language than Carroll did against religion supPorted by law.
▪ Northern church leaders used equally strong language about their southern counterparts.
▪ The monitors of the People's Daily's main discussion group let this strong language remain on the website.
target language
▪ Decide from the very beginning that your aim is to use the target language as much as possible in the sessions.
▪ Differential grammar enables us to determine some of the main grammatical difficulties involved in learning the target language.
▪ For this reason, spoken language interpreters are specifically trained to reject the effects of their utterance of the target language.
▪ Is the contact of the learner with the target language group likely to be intermittent rather than extensive?
▪ Module 1 is designed for beginners ie those with no prior knowledge of the target language.
▪ This can happen when the target language has a grammatical category which the source language lacks.
▪ This creates additional problems of target language suitability, problems which have yet to be solved.
▪ You can use a camera in the classroom to let learners see and hear themselves communicating in the target language.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ "What language do they speak in Brazil?" "Portuguese."
language skills
▪ a fascinating article about the language of baseball
▪ Books about physics are usually written in highly technical language.
▪ Confused by the legal language of the letter, Patterson called his attorney.
▪ English is the island's official language, but people also speak French and Creole.
▪ Every child develops the natural ability to use language.
▪ Every pupil has to learn at least one foreign language.
▪ How many languages do you speak?
▪ It's difficult living in a country where you don't speak the language.
▪ People often find the medical language used by doctors confusing.
▪ She can speak four different languages - French, German, English, and Dutch.
▪ the language of music
▪ the Japanese language
▪ the programming language C++
▪ There are ways of communicating without language.
▪ You never heard such language! It was disgusting.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Language

Language \Lan"guage\, n. [OE. langage, F. langage, fr. L. lingua the tongue, hence speech, language; akin to E. tongue. See Tongue, cf. Lingual.]

  1. Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; specifically, human speech; the expression of ideas by the voice; sounds, expressive of thought, articulated by the organs of the throat and mouth.

    Note: Language consists in the oral utterance of sounds which usage has made the representatives of ideas. When two or more persons customarily annex the same sounds to the same ideas, the expression of these sounds by one person communicates his ideas to another. This is the primary sense of language, the use of which is to communicate the thoughts of one person to another through the organs of hearing. Articulate sounds are represented to the eye by letters, marks, or characters, which form words.

  2. The expression of ideas by writing, or any other instrumentality.

  3. The forms of speech, or the methods of expressing ideas, peculiar to a particular nation.

  4. The characteristic mode of arranging words, peculiar to an individual speaker or writer; manner of expression; style.

    Others for language all their care express.
    --Pope.

  5. The inarticulate sounds by which animals inferior to man express their feelings or their wants.

  6. The suggestion, by objects, actions, or conditions, of ideas associated therewith; as, the language of flowers.

    There was . . . language in their very gesture.
    --Shak.

  7. The vocabulary and phraseology belonging to an art or department of knowledge; as, medical language; the language of chemistry or theology.

  8. A race, as distinguished by its speech. [R.]

    All the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image.
    --Dan. iii. 7.

  9. Any system of symbols created for the purpose of communicating ideas, emotions, commands, etc., between sentient agents.

  10. Specifically: (computers) Any set of symbols and the rules for combining them which are used to specify to a computer the actions that it is to take; also referred to as a computer lanugage or programming language; as, JAVA is a new and flexible high-level language which has achieved popularity very rapidly.

    Note: Computer languages are classed a low-level if each instruction specifies only one operation of the computer, or high-level if each instruction may specify a complex combination of operations. Machine language and assembly language are low-level computer languages. FORTRAN, COBOL and C are high-level computer languages. Other computer languages, such as JAVA, allow even more complex combinations of low-level operations to be performed with a single command. Many programs, such as databases, are supplied with special languages adapted to manipulate the objects of concern for that specific program. These are also high-level languages.

    Language master, a teacher of languages. [Obs.]

    Syn: Speech; tongue; idiom; dialect; phraseology; diction; discourse; conversation; talk.

    Usage: Language, Speech, Tongue, Idiom, Dialect. Language is generic, denoting, in its most extended use, any mode of conveying ideas; speech is the language of articulate sounds; tongue is the Anglo-Saxon term for language, esp. for spoken language; as, the English tongue. Idiom denotes the forms of construction peculiar to a particular language; dialects are varieties of expression which spring up in different parts of a country among people speaking substantially the same language.

Language

Language \Lan"guage\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Languaged; p. pr. & vb. n. Languaging.] To communicate by language; to express in language.

Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense.
--Fuller.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
language

late 13c., langage "words, what is said, conversation, talk," from Old French langage (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *linguaticum, from Latin lingua "tongue," also "speech, language" (see lingual). The form with -u- developed in Anglo-French. Meaning "a language" is from c.1300, also used in Middle English of dialects:\n\nMercii, þat beeþ men of myddel Engelond[,] vnderstondeþ bettre þe side langages, norþerne and souþerne, þan norþerne and souþerne vnderstondeþ eiþer oþer. [John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]\n

\n\n
\nIn oþir inglis was it drawin, And turnid ic haue it til ur awin Language of the norþin lede, Þat can na noþir inglis rede.

["Cursor Mundi," early 14c.]

\nLanguage barrier attested from 1933.
Wiktionary
language

Etymology 1 n. (lb en countable) A body of words, and set of methods of combining them (called a grammar), understood by a community and used as a form of communication. vb. (lb en rare now nonstandard) To communicate by language; to express in language. Etymology 2

n. A languet, a flat plate in or below the flue pipe of an organ.

WordNet
language
  1. n. a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols; "he taught foreign languages"; "the language introduced is standard throughout the text"; "the speed with which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is written" [syn: linguistic communication]

  2. (language) communication by word of mouth; "his speech was garbled"; "he uttered harsh language"; "he recorded the spoken language of the streets" [syn: speech, speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice communication, oral communication]

  3. a system of words used in a particular discipline; "legal terminology"; "the language of sociology" [syn: terminology, nomenclature]

  4. the cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic communication; "he didn't have the language to express his feelings" [syn: linguistic process]

  5. the mental faculty or power of vocal communication; "language sets homo sapiens apart from all other animals" [syn: speech]

  6. the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number; "his compositions always started with the lyrics"; "he wrote both words and music"; "the song uses colloquial language" [syn: lyric, words]

Wikipedia
Language (album)

Language is the debut solo album by New Zealand singer, Annie Crummer released in 1992.

Language (disambiguation)

Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system.

Language may also refer to:

Language (song)

"Language" is a song by American electronic music producer and DJ Porter Robinson. The song was uploaded on YouTube by Porter Robinson on March 30, 2012. The song was released in the United States on Big Beat Records as a digital download on April 10, 2012. The song was later released in the United Kingdom in an EP package from Ministry of Sound on August 12, 2012. It debuted at number 9 on the UK Singles Chart. The song features uncredited vocals from Heather Bright.

Language (Dave Dobbyn song)

Language is a single by New Zealand singer/songwriter Dave Dobbyn, released in 1994 as the first single from the Twist album. The song reached number 4 on the New Zealand charts.

Language (The Contortionist album)

Language is the third studio album by progressive metal band The Contortionist. The album was released under eOne/ Good Fight Music on September 16, 2014. It is the first studio album to feature Michael Lessard of Last Chance to Reason - who replaced Jonathan Carpenter. The album debuted at #52 on the Billboard 200 chart, as well as #6 on the "Hard Rock" chart and #15 on the "Rock" chart.

Language (journal)

Language is a peer-reviewed quarterly academic journal published by the Linguistic Society of America since 1925. It covers all aspects of linguistics, focusing on the area of theoretical linguistics. Its current editor-in-chief is Gregory Carlson ( University of Rochester).

Under the editorship of Yale linguist Bernard Bloch, Language was the vehicle for publication of many of the important articles of American structural linguistics during the second quarter of the 20th century, and was the journal in which many of the most important subsequent developments in linguistics played themselves out.

One of the most famous articles to appear in Language was the scathing 1959 review by the young Noam Chomsky of the book Verbal Behavior by the behaviorist cognitive psychologist B. F. Skinner. This article argued that Behaviorist psychology, then a dominant paradigm in linguistics (as in psychology at large), had no hope of explaining complex phenomena like language. It followed by two years another book review that is almost as famous—the glowingly positive assessment of Chomsky's own 1957 book Syntactic Structures by Robert B. Lees that put Chomsky and his generative grammar on the intellectual map as the successor to American structuralism.

By far the most cited article in Language is the 1974 description on the turn-taking system of ordinary conversation by the founders of Conversation Analysis, Harvey Sacks, Emanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson. This article describes the socially normative system of rules that accounts for the complex and turn-taking behaviour of participants in conversation, demonstrating the system in detail using recordings of actual conversation.

Language continues to be an influential journal in the field of linguistics: it is ranked sixth out of 47 in the Linguistics category in the 2006 Journal Citation Reports, with an impact factor of 1.79 and a half-life of more than 10 years.

Language

Language is the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so , and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.

Questions concerning the philosophy of language, such as whether words can represent experience, have been debated since Gorgias and Plato in Ancient Greece. Thinkers such as Rousseau have argued that language originated from emotions while others like Kant have held that it originated from rational and logical thought. 20th-century philosophers such as Wittgenstein argued that philosophy is really the study of language. Major figures in linguistics include Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky.

Estimates of the number of languages in the world vary between 5,000 and 7,000. However, any precise estimate depends on a partly arbitrary distinction between languages and dialects. Natural languages are spoken or signed, but any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli – for example, in whistling, signed, or braille. This is because human language is modality-independent. Depending on philosophical perspectives regarding the definition of language and meaning, when used as a general concept, "language" may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs to particular meanings. Oral and sign languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.

Human language has the properties of productivity, recursivity, and displacement, and relies entirely on social convention and learning. Its complex structure affords a much wider range of expressions than any known system of animal communication. Language is thought to have originated when early hominins started gradually changing their primate communication systems, acquiring the ability to form a theory of other minds and a shared intentionality. This development is sometimes thought to have coincided with an increase in brain volume, and many linguists see the structures of language as having evolved to serve specific communicative and social functions. Language is processed in many different locations in the human brain, but especially in Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Humans acquire language through social interaction in early childhood, and children generally speak fluently when they are approximately three years old. The use of language is deeply entrenched in human culture. Therefore, in addition to its strictly communicative uses, language also has many social and cultural uses, such as signifying group identity, social stratification, as well as social grooming and entertainment.

Languages evolve and diversify over time, and the history of their evolution can be reconstructed by comparing modern languages to determine which traits their ancestral languages must have had in order for the later developmental stages to occur. A group of languages that descend from a common ancestor is known as a language family. The Indo-European family is the most widely spoken and includes languages such as English, Russian, and Hindi; the Sino-Tibetan family, which includes Mandarin and the other Chinese languages, and Tibetan; the Afro-Asiatic family, which includes Arabic, Somali, and Hebrew; the Bantu languages, which include Swahili, and Zulu, and hundreds of other languages spoken throughout Africa; and the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which include Indonesian, Malay, Tagalog, and hundreds of other languages spoken throughout the Pacific. The languages of the Dravidian family that are spoken mostly in Southern India include Tamil and Telugu. Academic consensus holds that between 50% and 90% of languages spoken at the beginning of the 21st century will probably have become extinct by the year 2100.

Usage examples of "language".

She had the careful almost accentless voice of the language student, and her phrases seemed to have been adopted whole from the speech of the grownups around her.

As she was a native of Venice, I thought it was absurd for her to speak French to me, and I told her that I was not acquainted with that language, and would feel grateful if she would converse in Italian.

And why should this power of acquiring languages be greater at two years than at twenty, but that for many generations we have learnt to speak at about this age, and hence look to learn to do so again on reaching it, just as we looked to making eyes, when the time came at which we were accustomed to make them.

The art of advocacy was being exercised between an Irishman and a Scotchman, which made the English language quite a hotch-potch of equivocal words and a babel of sounds.

Later arrivals could not have initiated any major changes in the language or culture, although they may have introduced one or more useful plants and an adze or two of exotic type.

To which of the stages of language does this belong--the agglutinative, in which one root is fastened on to another, and a word is formed in which the constitutive elements are obviously distinct, or the inflexional, where the auxiliary roots get worn down and are only distinguishable by the philologist?

Turanian languages are marked by the same agglutinative character found in the American races.

Gwalchmai, while he wore the ring, could understand any language Merlin had known, this strange agglutinative tongue baffled him.

Sylla was content to aggravate the pecuniary damages by the penalty of exile, or, in more constitutional language, by the interdiction of fire and water.

He venerated the language, verbalized everything that came into his fertile, agile, searching mind.

Complaints and applications for relief by the agriculturists, he said, had come up from every county, and they had been disregarded, probably because they were couched in respectful language.

All these are most secret secrets, and I am glad when I remember what they are, and how many wonderful languages I know, but there are some things that I call the secrets of the secrets of the secrets that I dare not think of unless I am quite alone, and then I shut my eyes, and put my hands over them and whisper the word, and the Alala comes.

He motioned furtively to the Abenaki, in the almost universal sign language common to all nations of polyglot Alata, that he was to keep silent.

The language was unfamiliar, yet so liquid, so graceful in the ear that it seemed Alec could almost grasp it-and that if he did it would reveal a depth of meaning his own language could never achieve.

The beauty of the system was directly tied to its physics and, for Claude, more importantly, its algorithmic language.