What is language?

Functions and structures

The way of the eagle
Language is usually used to communicate. This is the functional aspect of language. This essentially includes setup and operation of the communicative framework between the participants, i.e. the agreement on the current communicative situation (speaker, listener, social role) and on the aspect of the universe that is to be addressed: The communicative function of language.
  • Intention: communicative situation, intention of speech, interaction
  • Place, time, etc: the exchange of information, the labelling of facts, the reference

The way of the mole
By knowing the functions one doesn't necessarily get the whole picture of language; additionally one needs to understand the forms and structures. The following two central word groups are in the spotlight:

  • Verb: the forms of the verbs as well as the verb phrase with the verb as "head" (objects serve as complementations)
  • Noun: the forms of the nouns as well as the noun phrase with the noun as "head" (including attributes)