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Showing posts with the label language

Mind Your Language: Thought, Metaphor and Imagination

Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker, Evelina Fedorenko,  and Daniel Dor join Brian Greene to grapple with the foundations of language.  Language ranks among the most powerful influences on human existence. Even so, language presents many mysteries that are the subject of heated debate. Was there a rewiring of the human brain which gave us the capacity for language? Or is it a human invention developed to facilitate group cooperation? Is language primarily a communication tool or the substrate of inner thought? And how is it that with a few choice phrases language can fire the imagination or transport us to the stars?

GENERAL SEMANTICS: The Story of A-town and B-ville

  Semantics: the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. There are a number of branches and subbranches of semantics, including formal semantics, which studies the logical aspects of meaning, such as sense, reference, implication, and logical form, lexical semantics, which studies word meanings and word relations, and conceptual semantics, which studies the cognitive structure of meaning. The Story of A-town and B-ville (From:  Language in Thought and Action , S.I. Hayakawa.) Once upon a time, said the Professor, there were two small communities, spiritually as well as geographically situated at a considerable distance from each other. They had, however, these problems in common: both were hard hit by a recession so that in each of the towns there were about one hundred heads of families unemployed. The city fathers of A-town, the first community, were substantial and sound-thinking businessmen. The unemployed tried hard, as unemployed people usually do, to find jobs;

Why Will Today’s Language Be Inadequate in a Technocratic World?

“We seldom realise, for example, that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” Alan Watts _____________________________________ by Michael Corthell Why then is today's language inadequate in a future technocratic society? First, we must make a distinction between conversational (or emotional language) and technical language. Conversational Speak: Conversational language is sometimes referred to as “everyday language,” “natural language,” or “social communication.” It includes informal language that students might use with peers or adults while playing, shopping, and completing household tasks. MORE Technical Speak: Technical language refers to written or oral communication that has specialized content. ... The differences between technical and everyday language center on the use of jargon and assumptions about the audience. However, there are so