Language and Lexicon Essay

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Language and Lexicon Daunique Irvin Psych 360 4/9/2013 Dr. Gayle Ball-Parker Language is the system of symbols, meanings, and rules for the combination of these things, which are primary mode of communication among humans. Language is a form of expressing thoughts, ideas, emotions and opinions. Language varies among cultures and generations. Language is spoken or written, through facial expressions, body language and gestures (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Lexicon is a part of the memory that is like as an internal dictionary. When individuals hear words they are recognized in the lexicon (Willingham, 2007). When individuals hear words, the lexicon is able to recognize the spelling and pronunciation of words, but not the definition. (Willingham, 2007). The lexicon has a close relationship with language and its functions. Language is communicative, arbitrary, structured, generative and dynamic. Being communicative means language allow communication between individuals. Language has no special reason for naming objects therefore it is arbitrary. One defining feature of language is that symbols are arbitrary (Willingham, 2007). The English language could have easily called birds cats and vice versa (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). The patterns of symbols are not arbitrary, making language structured. Language is generative because words can be used to build an infinite number of meanings. Language is constantly changing, with new words and rules of grammar. New languages are created and some languages die making it dynamic (Willingham, 2007). Humans are constantly thinking with words. Understanding ones thoughts is impossible without understanding language. Things such as math problems, without thinking with words or symbols, or ordering ones dinner off a menu, without knowing how to read words, can

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