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IN WHAT WAY DOES THE SPOKEN SYSTEM OF LANGUAGE DIFFER FROM THE WRITTEN AND WHY DOES LINGUISTICS TAKE THE SPOKEN LANGUAGE AS ITS OBJECT OF STUDY Language can be expressed in a variety of forms The two most common forms of language expression are speech and writing Speech and writing are all around us everywhere we look there are advertisements all using differing forms of written language We are constantly bombarded with the noise of speech from a very early age Language is an intrinsic part of being human and language develops naturally in children unless they have learning difficulties Speech and writing in the same language can often differ greatly There are fundamental differences between the spoken form of the language and the written form There are differing views as to how closely written language and spoken language are related to each other The written language is considerably younger that the spoken Spoken language existed for many thousands of years before it was ever visually represented Some such as Walter Ong believe that writing is secondary to speech Oral expression can exist and mostly has existed without any writing at all writing never without orality Ong 1982 The spoken language is something that we grow up with all around us We hear our parents speaking to us from a very young age and are aware of language very early in our development The capacity for speech is something that develops in children naturally however written language is something that comes only once the child has reached a certain stage in development and has to be taught rather than absorbed More fundamental differences exist between the written and spoken word Speech is by nature transient and dynamic Generally when speaking the speaker is aware of the person they are addressing The addressee is usually present and the speaker has a particular addressee or group of addressees in mind The transient
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