Have you ever wondered what it would be like without a language? Will we be able to still have friends, get an education, hold a job or start a family? Language is a fundamental part of our lives that we often take for granted. It helps to make sense of emotions and can be used as a starting point to explore the world of emotions in different languages. In here, we will talk about the role of language in the development of emotion and the different types of languages.
The Role of Language in Social Development
- With language, we are able to ask for what we want
- Allows us to understand community norms in terms of behaviour
- Allows us to adapt social expectations to our own personality
When we learn certain languages, we are likely to understand people more. Understanding languages allows us to adapt to the culture and comprehend how people are feeling. Example, a “yes” may not always mean yes and a “no” may not always mean no. Different cultures have different ways of saying yes and no and it is important that we learn to observe how people of different cultures accept and reject in various situations.
Apart from social development, there are also many types of languages. Below are some examples.
Structural language encompasses the sounds of language, for example:
- Phonics (The sound or method of teaching reading)
- Narrative Discourse (Discussion that is an account of events that are usually in the past)
Pragmatic communication refers to how language is used for communication. Here are some examples of pragmatic communication:
- Learning to take turns in a conversation
- Making good use of gestures
- Maintaining eye contact
All these can also be associated with body language which often tells how a person is reacting towards a certain topic. If a person does not maintain eye contact, it is likely that the person would be seen as nervous whereas if a person maintains eye contact, they are seen as interested and attentive to what the other person is saying.
Expressive language is the use of words, sentences, gestures and writing to convey certain emotions and messages. We often use expressive language to let the other person know how we feel towards certain things. An example of using expressive language is when we feel down, we would try to put our thoughts into words and convey it to our friends or family.
Receptive language refers to the ability to understand information, which involves comprehending words, sentences and meaning of what others say. It also involves gaining information and meaning from routine.
Language does not only define what we speak every day (example English, Chinese etc.) but also the way we convey our messages to people and how we comprehend the things that we read or hear from others. Most importantly, the ability to grasp a language starts from young and language is a fundamental element in emotion that consists of both emotional experiences and perceptions.
How do our feelings impact the language we use? Find out more about the expression of emotions in language and the use of emotive language.