Humanities and Social Sciences     |     Art and Music     |     Communication Studies     |     Criminal Justice     |     Current Issues     |     Demographics     |     Environmental Studies     |     Gender and Women’s Studies     |     Geography     |     International Relations     |     Multicultural and Regional Studies     |     Philosophy     |     Politics and Government     |     Popular Culture     |     Religion and Mythology     |     Social Sciences


Examine the topic of language, which is defined as communication using a set of symbols in a structured and conventional way. Language refers both to the uniquely human way of communicating as well as the manifestations of that ability (e.g., English, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Swahili, Spanish, French, Korean, German). Languages that are still commonly spoken by people today are known as the modern languages, while languages that exist principally only in written form (such as ancient Latin or Greek) are known as the classical languages. While all living creatures communicate with each other, language is specific to human beings in its seemingly infinite capacity to express thought and feeling; animals, by contrast, are tightly circumscribed in how they communicate and what they communicate about. 

Language can be expressed through speech, writing, gestures (as with sign language), and code (as with computer languages). The science of language is known as linguistics, with its major divisions of phonetics (the study of the anatomy, physiology, neurology, and acoustics of speaking), grammar (concerned with the relations between words in sentences), semantics (the study of meaning), and pragmatics (the study of language in use and the contexts in which it is used). The study of language in relation to social factors, including differences of regional, class, and occupational dialect; gender differences; and bilingualism, is known as sociolinguistics. Applied linguistics focuses on finding solutions to language-related problems in real life, taking an interdisciplinary approach that can encompass the fields of education, psychology, communication research, anthropology, and sociology.

A language can have multiple dialects, which are variations of a language that are distinct from each other but still mutually intelligible. Language that relies on specialized vocabulary specific to a profession or group is known as jargon. Sometimes languages, known as pidgins, are created to facilitate communication between speakers of different languages, taking vocabulary from each language while scrapping grammatical rules; this occurs most frequently in matters of trade. Creoles are pidgin languages that have supplanted the original languages. Languages can also have informal words and phrases known as slang that aren’t part of the formal lexicon; these are more common to the spoken rather than written form and tend to be restricted to a particular context or group of people.

Contact my rep                   Find resources at my library

Language Resources

Gale has tools that support language research, including databasesprimary source archives, and eBooks.


Gale databases offer these language databases to support research.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains full-text language journals that link researchers with primary source material, including historical documents, printed works, scholarly articles, and news articles that can be used to examine and analyze language.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of language publications, including communication, your brain, learning, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Technology-Enhanced Language Learning, 1st Edition

    Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Technology-Enhanced Language Learning, 1st Edition

    Information Science Reference | 2018 | ISBN-13: 9781522554646

    The ability to effectively communicate with individuals from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds is an invaluable asset. Learning a second language proves useful as students navigate the culturally diverse world; however, studying a second language can be difficult for learners who aren’t immersed in the real and natural environment of the foreign language. Also, changes in education and advancements in information and communication technologies pose a number of challenges for implementing and maintaining sound practices within technology-enhanced language learning (TELL). Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Technology-Enhanced Language Learning provides information on educational technologies that enable language learners to have access to authentic and useful language resources. Readers will explore themes such as language pedagogy, how specific and universal cultural contexts influence audiovisual media used in technology-enhanced language learning, and the use of English video games to promote foreign language learning. This book is a valuable resource for academicians, education practitioners, advanced-level students, and school administrators seeking to improve language learning through technology-based resources.

    Contact my sales rep >>

  • Language, Power, and Ideology in Political Writing: Emerging Research and Opportunities, 1st Edition

    Language, Power, and Ideology in Political Writing: Emerging Research and Opportunities, 1st Edition

    Information Science Reference | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781522594468

    Politics and political literature studies have emerged as one of the most dynamic areas of scrutiny. Relying on ideological as well as socio-political theories, politics have contributed to cultural studies in many ways, especially within written texts such as literary works. As few critics have investigated the intersections of politics and literature, there is a tremendous need for material that does just this. This reference book focuses on the use of narrative and writing to communicate political ideologies, and explores literature spurring from politics, the disadvantages of political or highly ideological writing, writers’ awareness of the outside world during the composition process, and how they take advantage of political writing. Topics include gender politics, indigenous literature, and censorship. For academicians, librarians, researchers, and students of politics, international relations, cultural studies, women’s/gender studies, and political and ideological studies.

    Contact my sales rep >>

  • What Goes On Inside Your Brain?: Language, Communication, and Your Brain, 1st Edition

    What Goes On Inside Your Brain?: Language, Communication, and Your Brain, 1st Edition

    Gareth Stevens Publishing | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781538235621

    Language is a powerful tool that humans have developed and advanced far more than any other species. The key to utilizing this tool lies in our mental power. What does the brain do to help us learn and use language? What must happen in our minds so that we communicate effectively? This text covers the basics of speaking and listening, but it even goes into more complex areas such as dyslexia and creative expression. Readers are guided through the amazing world of linguistics and the brain's starring role in helping us understand and be understood.

    Contact my sales rep >>

Resources to Boost Your Research

From trending social issues to classic literature, Gale resources have you covered. Explore overviews, statistics, essay topics, and more or log in through your library to find even more content.

Access topics >>