Language Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are the essential characteristics of language?

There are many, many characteristics of language, but essentially, languages are systematic, vocalic, social, symbolic, non-instinctive, arbitrary, and productive.

Expert Answers info

Marianne Murphy, M.F.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.F.A. from University of the Arts

bookM.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts

calendarEducator since 2020

write9 answers

starTop subject is Literature

While there are too many characteristics of language to list and define, we’ll cover some of the most essential characteristics of common languages below.

Languages are:

  • Systematic, meaning that each language follows a particular agreed-upon system. These systems can include rules related to sentence structure, grammar, pronunciation, syntax, arrangement, and tense.
  • Vocalic , meaning that languages are generally made up of vocal sounds. While language can be written or signed,...

    (The entire section contains 225 words.)

    Unlock This Answer Now