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گزارش خرابی

Hi. In the previous video we looked at
differences between animal communication and human language. In this video we're going to look a little
bit deeper into human language, and more specifically, into the question, is it true that
every human being has a language? Language arguably is one
of the most important distinguishing characteristics
of human beings. We use language for many different things. We use it, at least,
in order to communicate, to think and to show who we are, to which group of
human beings we belong or want to belong. It's also very hard to imagine a field in
society where no language is used at all. So it's a characteristic not just of
human beings, but also of human society. Let's first look at certain things which
are called languages in English, but may not really be languages in
the sense we want to talk about here. Programming languages for computers are,
I think, clear examples of those, or the language of flowers,
or the language of music. We call them languages in ordinary life,
but not so in linguistics or in this course. What is important for human language is
first, that there are native speakers, that there are people that learn
those languages as infants. Secondly, that one can speak
about basically everything in it. That's something we saw
in the previous video. And thirdly, that it is carried and
recognized by a more or less well-defined group of
human beings as their language. There should be some people who
say this is our shared language. So what about sign language? Is sign language also a language? You may also wonder whether being spoken
is not actually a characteristic of human language. So using speech to transfer my
information from my head to your head, isn't that also what
human language is about? Well if that's what you think,
you may wonder about deaf people. Do they have a language as
well if they don't hear? Very often they have sign language. Is this sign language also a language? The first thing you have to understand
about that is not necessarily every sign, every gesture I make is a language. But the systems which are used by deaf
people are called sign languages, and linguists consider them to be
real human languages as well. They're basically the same as spoken
language with this one difference, that they don't use speech. There are many sign
languages in the world. That's another interesting
thing about them. So there's a lot of
variation in sign language, just as there is in spoken language. We don't know how many different sign
languages there are in the world. They're more difficult to count. We know much less about sign languages
than about spoken languages, but there must be hundreds of them. Furthermore, sign languages have exactly
the same kind of functionality as spoken languages. They can be used to express
any kind of thought. You can make infinitely
many sentences in them. They have native speakers. They're groups of people,
deaf communities, who consider them to be their language. So if deaf people have a language, does that mean that everybody
in the world speaks a language? Well unfortunately,
there are some exceptions. They're very few, and they're always people who
are suffering from some very physical, psychological or social impediments,
or even some combination thereof. Examples of people suffering from these
very strong, social impediments are so called wolf children. They're children who grew up
without their parents, or where their parents didn't want to
speak to them for some strange reason. They may have been deaf children with hearing parents where the hearing parents
were ashamed of having deaf children. That, unfortunately, sometimes happens. Or there may be cases of physical and
psychological abuse. One very famous example of this for
linguists is the example of Genie. Genie was an American girl who was
locked up in her room from when she was 20 months old until the age of 13. She didn't have any human interaction
in that part of her life. Her parents were, kind of crazy. Her father would only bark
at her like a dog, and her mother was not allowed
to say anything to her. So therefore, she didn't learn any
human language during her youth. Also later on,
she was not able to figure out this system of combining all these
words into infinitely many sentences. Fortunately, these are, of course,
very exceptional cases. Something very exceptionally bad must
happen to you to end up in such a state. People might also sometimes
lose their language. They then suffer from a medical
condition called aphasia. This is something which usually hits
people after they had a stroke. They will lose part of
their language capacity because part of their
brain no longer functions. Interestingly, that can be just a very
tiny part of using your language. They may use their ability to pronounce,
or their ability to understand language,
or their ability to speak coherently or their ability to make
grammatical sentences. So they can reveal a message, but their
sentences will always be very strange. In the 19th century, the study of such
aphasic patients was one way to find out, what was the relation between language and
the brain? So you would, if a,
after an aphasic patient would die, you would study the brain of the person to
see where the problem of that person was. So the answer to our original question, whether all humans have language,
seems to be yes. Something must be really wrong for a human being not to develop
some kind of language. But this raises an additional question. What's the evolutionary
origin of language, then? Is it as old as us, as homosapiens? Is it older? Or is it younger? It's very difficult to decide about this,
for instance, because we dont have fossil evidence. Language is something abstract. The moment I speak it, it's already gone. Let alone that we can reconstruct
language of 50,000 or 100,000 years ago. There are theories about it. The main division is between
continuity based theories and discontinuity based theories. Continuity based theories say that
language is based on animal communication. It's just a somewhat more
complicated form of them. Discontinuity theories say that human
language is really something different. Something must have happened
in our development to make human language possible. In the 19th century,
there was a learned society in Paris which disallowed linguists from even talking
about these matters, because they were so difficult to decide. In the past few decades, we have started
to speculate and think about them again. But still, it's very difficult to give a definitive
answer to that particular question. So in this video, we have seen there's
really a very strong link between being human and using language. Almost every human being uses language. Even deaf people. If you have enough deaf people,
they will create and use a sign language. And they are definitely languages as well. We have seen that. We've also seen that those very few
humans who don't have a language live in very exceptional circumstances. It might be either some kind of social
condition as in the case of Genie, or some medical condition,
as for aphasic patients. Otherwise, being human
means using language. A very obvious next question is,
if language is so important, how come we have so
many different languages? That's what I will discuss with Marten and
Inge in the next video.

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