Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

1.4: Fundamental Properties of Language

  • Page ID
  • This unit addresses some of the common myths that people believe about languages, and responds to these misconceptions with fundamental truths about human language:
    • All languages have a grammar.
    • All languages & grammars are equally valid, in linguistic terms.
    • All languages have some universal properties in common.
    • Every language changes over time.
    • Most of our knowledge of the mental grammar of our language is unconscious.
    Thumbnail for the embedded element "1.4 Fundamental Properties of Language"

    A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:

    Check Yourself

    1. It’s important to study Latin because Latin is more logical than other languages.

    • True.
    • False.

    2. Spending too much time texting will ruin your ability to write proper English.

    • True.
    • False.

    3. The dictionary gives the only correct meaning and pronunciation for words.

    • True.
    • False.