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1) Communication

language allows one to understand the thoughts of another

2) Arbitrariness

Relation between a word and what it refers to is arbitrary
Ex. equivalent words in different languages
Ex. subtract, take away, minus =arbitrary, essentially same thing

3) Meaningful structure

All languages are patterned so larger structures build in a sensible way on smaller ones

4) Multiplicity of structure

All meaningful utterances can be analyzed at many levels

5) Productivity

-Any language can produce an infinite number of sentences
-Children are using language creatively every day of their lives

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