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Duality and Productivity in Language

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What is duality in language? What is language productivity? The term duality refers to the organization of language at two levels: primary level units and secondary level elements. This key property enables productivity in language – the ability to construct an infinite set of new and meaningful utterances.

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Critical Period for Language Development

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Is there a critical period? It has been suggested that there is a critical period for children to acquire their first language and that this extends into late childhood and possibly until puberty. Linguistic deprivation The suggestion is, however, difficult to test directly. This is because cases of so-called linguistic deprivation during childhood are (fortunately) […]

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Language Use

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Language use refers to the reasons why people communicate – the function of language. In addition it refers to how people both understand and choose from among alternative linguistic forms in order to reach their goals – the context of language. Language use is akin to pragmatics.

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Language Form

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Language form refers to the surface features of language and how these are arranged according to the grammar of the language. As a means of connecting sound with meaning, it incorporates morphology, syntax and phonology.

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Language Content

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Language content refers to the topics and ideas that are encoded in linguistic messages. We all talk about the same things: objects, relationships between objects, and relationships between events. Content is, therefore, general and independent of any particular context. In contrast, topic is variable and changes with age, as well as culture. Language content is akin to semantics.

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