Properties of Language

Language naturally plays a critical role in communication. Conveying ideas, sharing opinions, and even arguing are not often possible unless people are able to communicate using language. There are many properties and characteristics of language among them include the following.

  1. Social property
  2. Rules property
  3. Creative property

Social Property

Language serves the purpose of serving as a transmission code between people. This code is influenced by the context and culture that it is found in. In many cultures, how you speak to someone depends on their social rank. Teachers are addressed differently than students in many contexts. A teacher is called “sir” while a student might be called “girl” or “boy.”

Language is also influenced by the what happens before and after it. Saying “that’s a good boy” is appropriate when speaking to a dog by probably is not acceptable when speaking to your boss. It is the immediate context that impacts the appropriateness of a phrase or word.

Rules Property

There are rules for the process of using language.  A person’s knowledge of these rules is his linguistic competence. For example, if someone is excited the often sound “strange.” He or she may leave out words or stammer while speaking. Your ability to identify these mistakes is your linguistic competence.

Linguistic performance is the ability to use a language accurately. It is from the performance that we are able to derive a person’s linguistic competence. When the rules of language are broken a competent language user can edit the mistakes to derive the meaning of the world.

Creativity Property

There is an infinite number of ways in which a language can be used. The word order, phrase, and other aspect have endless possibilities. This has led to the conclusion that language use can be extremely creative.

Consider poetry, music, novels, and even movies, all of these examples demonstrate highly creative ways of using language. By knowing the rules of a language, a person can use it in a countless number of ways.


Language is at the heart of education. Understanding the properties of language can help people in understand language itself. The properties listed here are just the surface of the myriad of characteristics of language.

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