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Human language terms

Here are some terms which describe special features of all human languages – not only English:

Displacement: the ability to talk about things other than here and now.

Open-endedness: the ability to hear a sentence you’ve never heard before and understand it.


“Liverpool have won the Premier League!” – I’ve never heard this before (and probably never will) but I can understand it. Sort of.

Onomatopoeia: words which sound the same as sounds they describe (e.g. splash, buzz).

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