Language is defined as ‘A set of spoken, written or signed words and the way they are combined to create meaning’. We used to believe that this is what set humans apart, but just like with thinking we were the only being capable of cognition, we were wrong. If we add the use of complex grammar to this definition, it would only be us, but without that, in terms of language we can be classed as the same as apes, birds and some swimming mammals.
Language can be acquired spontaneously, through observational learning, or through training and teaching. Advancements in behavioural science have helped us identify the languages of other creatures also. This video takes us through the power of language, and what possessing it means for our brains.
From Crash Course: Psychology on YouTube presented by Hank Green