From AnthroWiki

Human language is primarily an articulated spoken language or speech that can be freely shaped within wide limits. In external life, speech serves verbal communication, but beyond that it has an even deeper spiritual meaning. Human language emerged from a more primal sung language, which was also supported by the elements of music, especially in the cultic language as it was cultivated in the ancient mysteries and has survived in religious contexts to this day. In antiquity, the recitation of lyric poetry or even epic poetry was still perceived entirely as singing. Only gradually, and especially since the dawn of the consciousness-soul age, have language and song become almost completely divorced. The "Lied", for example, was further developed by Franz Schubert into a highly complex art form, and language, especially through the influence of Latin, was forged into a logically structured tool for communicating factual contexts and instructions for action soberly and objectively without emotional involvement. Another hybrid form between speech and song is chanting, which also includes contemporary art forms such as hip-hop and rap. A new, quite conscious approach to the spiritual roots of language is opened up by the speech formation founded by Rudolf Steiner together with Marie Steiner.

Language can also be communicated secondarily through written signs as written language or through corresponding gestures as visually or haptically conveyed sign language, such as is used by deaf or deaf-blind people. Non-verbal communication is primarily conveyed through the gaze or eye contact, facial expressions and gestures, but also through body language, touch and olfactory impressions and plays an essential role in all interpersonal relationships, but also in communication with animals, namely with pets.

Scientifically, language is studied within the framework of linguistics (from Latinlingua "language, tongue"). According to Rudolf Steiner, the perception of language as speech, whether in spoken, written or sign-mediated form, takes place through a functionally independent sense of speech. The ability to verbalise one's own experiences, feelings and thoughts to the greatest extent possible, i.e. to express them in words, is reserved for human beings. In the animal kingdom it is at most rudimentary (see below).

Speech formation - A new artistic and spiritual approach to language

Main article: Speech formation

Essential impulses for a new artistic and spiritually appropriate approach to language were given by Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner through the jointly developed speech formation.

„One must acquire a strong awareness that articulate speech is human property. Man must also bring to consciousness how he stands in the world in relation to the other three kingdoms of nature. When he is aware of this, he knows that his I is essentially co-conditioned by everything that is language ... Believing that the genius of language works in the structure of language is of great importance ... By consciously living into the structure of language, one learns a great deal from the linguistic genius itself. And learning to feel something concrete from the working and weaving of the spirit of language, that is of extraordinary importance ... We owe a great deal in our sense of self, that we feel ourselves to be a personality, precisely due to language. And the feeling can even arise in the human being to the point of something like a mood of prayer: "I hear speaking in the language around me; the power of language flows into me!"“ (Lit.:GA 280, p. 47)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: URL:
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.