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English as a Second Language Learning - Essay Example

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In the paper “English as a Second Language Learning” the author analyzes the property of language and what makes language different from animal communication. Animals'  system of communication is not as well developed as the human language and consequently fails to meet the threshold of a language…
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English as a Second Language Learning
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Download file to see previous pages Yule also outlines six traits inherent in language but are not all realized in animal communication. Therefore, animal communication may exhibit some of them but not all of them. This includes the following: First of all is the notion of duality in which language is organized at two distinct levels which makes it possible to produce different meanings from combining same segments. For instance, b ,a , and d can be combined to produce dab and bad which have totally different meanings.(…ibid)Secondly, animals have a bistratal communication system while humans have a tristatal one. The bistratal system unlike its counterpart cannot be manipulated to produce different messages. A case in point is the mowing of a cow. This could be interpreted differently depending on the context. It could mean it needs grass, or water or calling out for its young one. Human language on the contrary as seen before combines different segments uniquely in order to vary the meanings.Displacement also indicates a variation because unlike animals, humans have the ability of expressing events that are far removed from time. Their grammar is developed and expresses the past through past tense and the future time aspect for things to come. Animal communication does not allow for such.Moreover, human language is arbitrary. There is no natural relationship between a word and its meaning. For example, preacher, vicar and clergy all refer the same person but there is no relationship between the sign and the signified. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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