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That is a thorny issue, if you're thinking in terms of human language vs. the sorts of communication the higher animals can have. There's controversy over whether primates can be, and have been, taught actual language when they're taught to sign. There's controversy over whether dolphins have language. At the borderline of language and other close-to-language communication, the definitions are not clear and distinct. But perhaps you are looking for something simpler? I don't have a comprehensive definition at my fingertips. If you were to explore linguistics sites, or linguistics texts, you'd find one pretty quick.
Okay, here's a straightforward definition -- http://www.marges-linguistiques.com/what-is-human-language.html Keep in mind that there is controversy. Not all linguistics necessarily agree on all points. And here are some other links with info you might find useful, depending upon what you're looking for, with respect to a definition -- http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/human-language/ http://homepage.ntlworld.com/vivian.c/Writings/InsideLanguage/IlHumanLang.htm http://www.jbsinfo.com/Essays/languages.pdf http://www.dolphin-institute.org/resource_guide/animal_language.htm http://www.phon.ox.ac.uk/jcoleman/animals.htm http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~jim/europeanreview.html (long!) http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/32602_02_Saxton_CH_02.pdf (also long) * * * These are just some interesting sources I found in hunting around. They're certainly not necessarily either comprehensive or definitive.
You're welcome! It's an intriguing topic, since language has always been considered one of things that makes us human, or that distinguishes us as human. Personally, I think that the telling of stories -- the fact that all people in all times of all cultures have always told stories -- is the telling point. But the stories wouldn't be possible without language.