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Spectrogram of a spoken English sentence
Credit: Fernanda Ferreira, Michigan State University

How Does Language Develop?
Where does speech come from? Why are there different languages? Why do languages come and go?

"Language is the friendliest of the things from which we cannot escape."
- Mason Cooley, U.S. aphorist

One characteristic that sets humans apart from other species is the use of spoken language. People communicate thoughts and feelings through the use of signs and words.

The science of language is called linguistics. Linguists study the psychological processes involved in the use of language; the development of linguistic capacities in children; social and cultural factors in language use, variation and change; how speech sounds; and the biological bases of language in the brain.

How Do People Develop as Social Beings? [Next]