Language, according to Owens (2012, p. 6), “can be defined as a socially shared code or conventional system for representing concepts through the use of arbitrary symbols and rule-governed combinations of those symbols”. Language is thought to be a complex system; however, it can be broken down into three different components. These three components consist of content, form, and use. Within these three components, language has five main components which includes semantics, morphology, phonology, syntax, and pragmatics (Owens, 2012, p. 18).
Content in language includes the main component of semantics. Semantics is the set of rules that provide meaning to words or content to word combinations. Semantics can be mutually exclusive or they can overlap. The symbols and words that are used represent our concepts or ideas about reality instead of reality itself. The meaning of words encompasses two portions. These portions include selection restrictions and semantic features. Selection restrictions prohibit specific combinations of words based on certain features because these combinations makes the words redundant or meaningless. Semantic features are features that characterize words based upon their meaning (Owens, 2012, p. 23).
Morphology is one of the main language components of form. Morphology looks at how words are internally organized. Words in language can be broken down into smaller units. These smaller units are called morphemes (Owens, 2012, p. 21). “A morpheme is the smallest grammatical unit and is indivisible without violating the meaning or producing meaningless units” (Owens, 2012, p. 21). Usually, English words contain one or else two morphemes. There are two types of morpheme...
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...components are then made up of the five main components of language which are made up of semantics, morphology, phonology, syntax, and pragmatics (Owens, 2012, p. 18). Each of these main components provides its own sets of rules. Semantics rules provide meanings to words or content to a combination of words (Owens, 2012, p. 23). The smaller units of words are known as morphemes. Morphemes can be both free and bound depending on if the word can stand alone or not. Morphemes can also be derivational morphemes if they include either a prefix or suffix (Owens, 2012, p. 21). Phonology pertains to the sounds that letters make when in a certain sequence order. Syntax rules involve the structure of words and sentences. Lastly, pragmatics is how one uses language to communicate. When these rules are not followed, communicating with others will not be successful.
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