What is the function of language?


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The function of language is communication. In its written, verbal, and bodily performative forms, language communicates information based upon a shared set of symbols. Bodily language is not exclusive to humans, and many non-hominid animals rely on physical gestures and posturing to convey meaning. In humans, bodily language may communicate feeling, greetings, fear, or even complex thoughts, as in Sign Language. Verbal language is the most common form of communication used by humans, but it has the disadvantage of being temporally and spatially bound. Technology can help overcome this boundary by recording verbal information to be played at a later date. Writing has the benefit of being static throughout time and space, but it requires one to be literate to understand the written information.

Language is not limited to communicating factual information—it is also used to express emotion, establish and reaffirm identity, and for imagination.

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