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Both humans and animals have language as a system of communication. Dogs bark, cats mew. Dolphins, bees and ants have probably the most soogisticated animal communications. But human language possesses certain special qualities which animals do not have. 

These qualities of human language distinguish it from the animal language. The first of these qualities can be called “duality.” This refers to the way in which a stretch of speech can be cut up into units. For example, a sentence such as “my father is a very pious , man” may be segmented into words: My/father/is/a/very /pious/man. These segments can be split up into further units into sounds. 

For example, the word “man” can be broken into the sounds: m/a/n. The Same sounds can be used in the construction of other words in English. The second quality is “creativity”. This quality enables a human being to make an infinite number of sentences, and understand sentences which he has not heard before. The third quality is “arbitrariness”. 

It means there is no direct connection between the sound or form of any word and the object which it represents. For instance, to refer to a tree, German has “Baum”, English has “tree”, and French has “arbre”. The fourth quality is “displacement”. It means that the language can be used—-sentences can be made and understood at times and places where the context referred to is not present. For example, the expression “A glass of milk” can be understood even if the object itself is not present there at the time of speaking. These are the four qualities which ) distinguish human language from animal language. 


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