Language is a structured system of communication that consists of grammar and vocabulary. It is the primary means by which humans convey meaning, both in spoken and written forms, and may also be conveyed through sign languages. The vast majority of human languages have developed writing systems that allow for the recording and preservation of the sounds or signs of language. Human language is characterized by its cultural and historical diversity, with significant variations observed between cultures and across time. Human languages possess the properties of productivity and displacement, which enable the creation of an infinite number of sentences, and the ability to refer to objects, events, and ideas that are not immediately present in the discourse. The use of human language relies on social convention and is acquired through learning.
Estimates of the number of human languages in the world vary between 5,000 and 7,000. Precise estimates depend on an arbitrary distinction (dichotomy) established between languages and dialects. Natural languages are spoken, signed, or both; however, any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli – for example, writing, whistling, signing, or braille. In other words, human language is modality-independent, but written or signed language is the way to inscribe or encode the natural human speech or gestures.
Depending on philosophical perspectives regarding the definition of language and meaning, when used as a general concept, "language" may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs to particular meanings. Oral, manual and tactile languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.
Yoruba vocabulary is also used in the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblé, in the Caribbean religion of Santería in the form of the liturgical Lucumí language and in various Afro-American religions of North America. Most modern practitioners of these religions in the Americas do not actually speak or understand the Yoruba language, rather they use Yoruba words and phrases for songs that for them are incomprehensible. Usage of a lexicon of Yoruba words and short phrases during ritual is also common, but they have gone through changes due to the fact that Yoruba is no longer a vernacular for them and fluency is not required. (Full article...)
The organization comprises 88 member states and governments; of these, 54 states and governments are full members, 7 are associate members and 27 are observers. The term francophonie (with a lowercase "f"), or francosphere (often capitalized in English), also refers to the global community of French-speaking peoples, comprising a network of private and public organizations promoting equal ties among countries where French or Belgian people or France or Belgium played a significant historical role, culturally, militarily, or politically. (Full article...)