What is the role of language in communicative development? 


3 Answers

Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
Language is the most fundamental aspect of communicative development, and is central to the way in which we, as a species, communicate.

Babies are able to discriminate between speech sounds at around 4 months old, and this is the beginning of their transition between pre-verbal and language-based communication.

Language as part of communicative development

To determine the importance of language in the development of communication, we really need to question what would happen if we didn't have it.

How would we communicate?

According to the "nativist theory" popularised by the linguist Noam Chomsky, all children have an innate predisposition to learning language.

Essentially, babies spend the early months of their lives "taking in data". They then learn to apply this data, based on instincts they have inherited via the human genome.

Even without learning a specific language, humans are predisposed to communicating through speech, simply because they hear sounds - sounds they then apply meaning to.

But what would happen if a child was born deaf? Applying the nativist theory, we could conclude that a deaf baby would prioritise visual data, and apply the same 'concept of language'.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I partly agree with Elmah. Yes, language is fundamental to communication because it helps us put into words what we mean and feel.

On the other hand, I think a language as we know it (e.g. English, French, Spanish) isn't necessary per se. I think non-verbal communication can be pretty clear. Just think about this: Anybody will understand, that if you point at something, you want to do something with that particular object or place (depending on the context and situation, you might want to go there, pick it up, have someone grab it for you, etc.).

Also, I think language is nothing but a way to try and prevent misunderstandings (although, ironically, misunderstandings are almost always caused by bad use of language). You know someone is sad when he sobs, even when you do not know a word for the matching emotion.

On the other hand, without language, it is impossible to think in sentences, which is a necessity in developing a more complex form of society.

I do not think language is necessary for good communication, but for the development of communicative skills, it is certainly obligatory to be able to express yourself sufficiently in a language. Especially nowadays, language is something that cannot be absent. Almost everywhere on the planet, societies depend on a coherent form of communication, which is a languague.
Noor-ul-Elmah Hasan Profile
Without any language, there can be no communication . Communication means transfer of any type of information.

Language is not only related to words but can also include expressions, i.e. Language is not just the words used by people living in a place ( for e.g. English, Urdu, French , Chinese etc.) but can include physical or facial expressions, too.

All the things written above conclude that language is the main thing to communicate. And when we know that language is the root of communication, then you can understand yourself what its role in communicative development can be.

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