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Language Play Roles

Language can be defined as a method of communication used by humans, whether verbal or non-verbal. Though there are several types of language, the most predominantly used forms are written language and spoken language. Most of the information a person gains during the course of their school years is conveyed using language through teaching and reading prescribed texts. Language, however, is not used in every area of knowledge in just the same way. Although language plays an important role in all of the areas of knowledge, the degree of importance is varied. Language is largely necessary for history, while emotion is more important than language in the arts.

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To begin with, history needs language in order to be passed down from generation to generation. A student is taught by a teacher with both spoken and written language. For instance, a student sitting in on a lecture about the effects of World War I, listens to a professor explain how the world sunk into a depression on a monumental scale after the close of the war. This student is obtaining knowledge by listening to spoken language, and is perhaps taking notes, utilizing another form of language. After the lecture, the teacher assigns the students to read thirty pages from a book on the same subject.

This reading assignment is language as well; it is written language. Written language can be observed all throughout history, from The Code of Hammurabi, written in about 1760 BC, to The Articles of Confederation, written in 1777AC, to The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, written in 1981AC. Along with these important documents of history, there have also been many important speeches and addresses spoken all throughout time. Without language, history would not be able to be taught nor would it have been recorded.

While language plays a very important role in history, emotion does not. When a student is learning about the Holocaust, they may be utterly horrified that such horrid atrocities could have occurred right under the noses of other people who could have helped. These emotions, though widely felt, can do nothing to change to past, to change history. On the other hand, when history is being made, emotions can play a role. If either Eisenhower or Khrushchev had been more reasonable and less emotional about the U-2 incident, Eisenhower could have apologized to Khrushchev for the espionage, and then Khrushchev could have accepted his apology and the Paris Summit conference could have been a success. This would have shortened the war and it would have saved each country millions of dollars in weapons research and development, which would have changed history as we know it today.

Primarily, art is dependent upon emotion. Language, even in vocal music, is not entirely necessary because a singer can just sing a range of musical notes and it would be a work of art. If a painter slaps different colored paint onto a blank canvas, the emotions that a viewer may feel could be varied. One person, who perhaps is having a bad day, may feel anger emanating from the piece of art, while another person may feel excitement. Art is also dependent upon the artist’s emotions at the time of the creation of a piece. If a singer has been having a rough time and is depressed, the songs they will write and sing will be depressing and dark. Similarly, if a poet is in love, he or she will write poems of happiness and joy. Art is a form of emotion in itself and does not entirely rely on language to be created or interpreted.

However, some art forms, such as, lyrical music, poetry, and novels, require language. Lyrical music uses spoken language in order to create and alter a listener’s emotions. Poetry is a mixture of written language and spoken language. While poems themselves are written, they are meant to be read aloud, using spoken language, to properly illustrate the thoughts of the artist. Novels also use written language in order for the information to be passed from the artist to the reader. Also, story telling is a form of art in a way. Imagine a group of people sitting around a campfire at night, listening to legends of an ancient people. The person telling the story uses spoken language to toy with the emotions of the audience and to entertain them. Although language is not entirely necessary in art, some forms do need language in order to be created.

In conclusion, some areas of knowledge require more use of language than others. History, of course, needs language in order to be taught and created. In history, one must use spoken language and written language to inform a student of historical happenings, as well as to create it. Art, though some forms of it do require the use of both written and spoken in language, does not rely entirely upon language for its survival. Sculptors, painters, instrumentalists, and some singers do not need language in order to create their art, but the do need emotion. Art could not be created without some form of emotion, whether it be anger, happiness, or fear.

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