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Language and Communication - Lesson Summary

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The Key Contents from this Module are:

The four main purposes of Animal Communication are:
Finding Food
Avoiding Predators
Socializing
Finding a mate

General features of Animal Communication Systems include:
Animal communication has a limited range of expression
Vocalizations and gestures always refer to entire situations and not specific events or objects
Animal communication possesses little ability to combine symbols to express novel ideas.
Animal communication is always about the present and never about the past or future.

The modes of Human Language include:
Speech
Writing
Sign languages

The three important feature of Language are:

Rules: Language components are always combined according to a set of rules.
Structure: Language components are usually combined within a structure.
Arbitrary Symbols: Language consists of words which are symbols bearing no resemblance to what they refer to.

A Syntax is a set of rules for ordering words into phrases and sentences.

Phonemes, which are the smallest units of speech sound, combine according to the rules of phonology to form morphemes, which are the smallest units of meaning. Morphemes then combine according to the rules morphology to form words.