From Grunts to Words, How Language Works Explained by Gifs

Language is a cognitive skill that we all use to communicate and interact with the world around us. Words are connected in meaningful patterns to form logical sentences or syntax. In this blog post, we outline the three components that makeup and explain how language works.

The 3 components of language how works are…


The smallest component of language is a morpheme or the root of a word. A morpheme may or may not make sense on its own.  For example, eat, date, and week. Morpheme may also sound like a grunt sounding noise such as “un”. But when morphemes are combined, they create a more complicated word.


Different combinations of morphemes develop our lexicon or vocabulary. With our vocabulary, we are able to communicate feelings, emotions, ideas, or random thoughts. Without a lexicon, we would not be able to form sentences, or syntax to communicate with one another.


Syntax describes how words are arranged to make a comprehensible and well-formed sentence. Without syntax, people would use morphemes and lexicon in odd combinations that could cause people not to understand each other. In every language, there is a set of rules regarding the syntax of each language.


Studying morphemes, lexicon, and syntax is part of linguistics. Understanding the components of language can help health care professionals understand the exact difficulties a patient may be having with language. This can be helpful when diagnosing aphasia and other speech disorders. By having this information, psychologists and SLPs can provide targeted language therapy that addresses these difficulties and helps their client communicate and understand language more effectively.

Dustin Luchmee

Dustin was HappyNeuron's Product Specialist. With research experience in stroke, Dustin learned how a stroke can change someone's life. He also learned how different kinds of therapists can work together to help a person get better. He is passionate about neuro-rehabilitation and finding the active ingredients for effective therapy.

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