Natural language

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This article is about natural language in neuropsychology and linguistics. Natural language_sentence_0

For natural language in computer systems, see Natural language processing. Natural language_sentence_1

In neuropsychology, linguistics, and the philosophy of language, a natural language or ordinary language is any language that has evolved naturally in humans through use and repetition without conscious planning or premeditation. Natural language_sentence_2

Natural languages can take different forms, such as speech or signing. Natural language_sentence_3

They are distinguished from constructed and formal languages such as those used to program computers or to study logic. Natural language_sentence_4

Defining natural language Natural language_section_0

Though the exact definition varies between scholars, natural language can broadly be defined in contrast to artificial or constructed languages (such as computer programming languages and international auxiliary languages) and to other communication systems in nature. Natural language_sentence_5

Examples of such communication systems include bees' waggle dance and whale song, to which researchers have found or applied the linguistic cognates of dialect and even syntax. Natural language_sentence_6

However, classification of animal communication systems as languages is controversial. Natural language_sentence_7

All language varieties of world languages are natural languages, although some varieties are subject to greater degrees of published prescriptivism or language regulation than others. Natural language_sentence_8

Thus nonstandard dialects can be viewed as a wild type in comparison with standard languages. Natural language_sentence_9

But even an official language with a regulating academy, such as Standard French with the French Academy, is classified as a natural language (for example, in the field of natural language processing), as its prescriptive points do not make it either constructed enough to be classified as a constructed language or controlled enough to be classified as a controlled natural language. Natural language_sentence_10

Controlled languages Natural language_section_1

Main article: Controlled natural language Natural language_sentence_11

Controlled natural languages are subsets of natural languages whose grammars and dictionaries have been restricted in order to reduce or eliminate both ambiguity and complexity (for instance, by cutting down on rarely used superlative or adverbial forms or irregular verbs). Natural language_sentence_12

The purpose behind the development and implementation of a controlled natural language typically is to aid non-native speakers of a natural language in understanding it, or to ease computer processing of a natural language. Natural language_sentence_13

An example of a widely used controlled natural language is Simplified English, which was originally developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals. Natural language_sentence_14

Constructed languages and international auxiliary languages Natural language_section_2

Main articles: Constructed language and International auxiliary language Natural language_sentence_15

Constructed international auxiliary languages such as Esperanto and Interlingua (even those that have native speakers) are not generally considered natural languages. Natural language_sentence_16

Natural languages have been used to communicate and have evolved in a natural way, whereas Esperanto was designed by L. Natural language_sentence_17 L. Zamenhof selecting elements from natural languages, not grown from natural fluctuations in vocabulary and syntax. Natural language_sentence_18

Some natural languages have become naturally "standardized" by children's natural tendency to correct for illogical grammatical structures in their parents' speech, which can be seen in the development of pidgin languages into creole languages (as explained by Steven Pinker in The Language Instinct), but this is not the case in many languages, including constructed languages such as Esperanto, where strict rules are in place as an attempt to consciously remove such irregularities. Natural language_sentence_19

The possible exception to this are true native speakers of such languages. Natural language_sentence_20

More substantive basis for this designation is that the vocabulary, grammar, and orthography of Interlingua are natural; they have been standardized and presented by a linguistic research body, but they predated it and are not themselves considered a product of human invention. Natural language_sentence_21

Most experts, however, consider Interlingua to be naturalistic rather than natural. Natural language_sentence_22

Latino sine flexione, a second naturalistic auxiliary language, is also naturalistic in content but is no longer widely spoken. Natural language_sentence_23

See also Natural language_section_3

Natural language_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: language.