The object of investigation in linguistics is language. The term „language“ is used to describe various sign systems which serve members of human society to communicate with one another. Central place among all these various sign systems is held by natural language.
The communicative creativity of a language user is based on his ability to use a natural language in making and interpreting a considerably large number of utterances which in many cases he has never heard in the same form before. It is just this creativity that is characteristic of man as an active creator of the communication.
Human language arose from the need to make oneself understood in a community. It represents the human quality of communicating, by means of bodily organs, signs perceptible by senses either in the spoken form or in the written form. Besides these two forms of human language there is a sign-language used by the deaf and dumb for the purpose of their interpersonal communication.
What is of primary importance for the development of language is the speaking practice of the individual, which is carried on as a social interaction of the individual with his social environment. This practice creates stereotypes of an individual’s speech. Individual mental qualities of a person as well as external influences of the social environment constitute individually different degrees of acquisition of the mother tongue by individual persons.
Special pedagogy concentrates on coping with the beginnings of language education of the mentally handicapped pupil. We therefore attach proper importance, both from the viewpoint of the Czech language studies and from the viewpoint of communication ability in general, to the place and tasks of the mother tongue in special pedagogy, and it is necessary for students of special pedagogy, especially if some sections dealing with language have been omitted in the new syllabi, to supplement their knowledge of the Czech language with individual study.