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Languages are ways of representing things. Most often, the term refers to vocal languages. The languages humans or animals create by placing vocal sounds in meaningful patterns. Animal languages can be quite complex; but among the animals, humans alone have a literature, a body of written or oral language.

Language can be regarded as one of the first human technologies.

Mathematics and computer science use artificial languages called formal languages, (including programming languages).

The study of languages makes up linguistics and philology. Other important concepts:

List of language families and languages:

A useful listing of 4000 languages and dialects (grouped by their relationships), with the numbers one through ten in each language can be found at [Mark Rosenfelder's Metaverse].

A fairly complete list of all languages, locations, population, and genetic affiliation can be found at http://www.ethnologue.com

See Common phrases in different languages

What are our priorities for writing in this area? To help develop a list of the most basic topics about language, please see Linguistics basic topics.

In Mathematics and the theory of computation, a formal language, or language, is a set of finite strings of symbols. Languages are defined on alphabets (sets of symbols); a language is a subset of the Kleene star of its alphabet. Languages differ in what types of machines can recognize them. Four common classes of languages form the Chomsky hierarchy. The mathematical study of languages has important applications in computer science and linguistics.


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Last edited December 18, 2001 10:14 am by LC (diff)