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LANGUAGE: is a play on words that depends upon the staging


A human language is a theatre of communication where the wordplay is understood from the setting and stage design. Social communication languages in particular depend significantly on the circumstances. Be it spoken, musical, rhythmical, scripted or symbolic, each language structures a mode of perception within which the meaning of various communication functions is formulated.

All the functions of language involve the transmission of meaning. From the perspective of nature, a language is a symbolic system for communicating meaning between awarenesses. Probably every living thing communicates one way or another with certain aspects of nature. Any system of transmitting meaning is a language... not just the vocalizations and scribblings of humans. Plants transmit visual and chemical messages. Insects, birds, mammals and fish all transmit and communicate meaning about territory, threats, sex and food. It reveals an attitude of misplaced arrogance to promote discussions as to when humans are supposed to have evolved language. It is not a sign of cerebral complexification or divine superiority. No living thing is without some form of it.

The numerous language functions can be grouped into two broad categories. One group of functions... such as those concerned with information, assertions and emotions... involve communications about existential phenomena. The other group... such as those concerned with grammar, syntax and the evaluations of truth... involve communications about language itself.

Articulated or written, the meaning of any word or word-group sentence is driven more by the planned function than the grammatical structure. The intended function of the word sequence ... no eggs are impenetrable... for example, cannot be analysed from literal dictionary meanings allied with classifications into verbs and nouns etc. The meaning is driven by the function that the sentence is intended to perform, the skill of the person delivering them, the awareness of the recipient and the context in which they are delivered. Articulated, they could be intended to function as a password into a cryptic society or a vulnerability warning from an historian to be careful not to fall off walls. Scripted they could function as an example of categories used by a lecturer in syllogistic logic, a pattern of syntax used by a tutor in grammar, a sample of text illustrating a printing font, an exercise for translation into another language, or an anagram of ...beg some real green paint...
As well as the intent, the meaning of aural and performance languages is significantly influenced by delivery. The spoken language can be modulated by voice intonations, by carefully judged pauses, by speed of delivery, by counterpointed non-verbal body-language and gesture, and of course by choice of vocabulary... just as music is critically influenced by tempo, phrasing, instrumental choice and orchestration. The eventual communication could be quite different from any conventional common-usage meaning of the actual elements used.

Written or spoken, the meanings conveyed in language are influenced by social and technological evolution. A 'book'... that was once only a physical thing of bound paper pages upon which text had been written... is now just as understandably a downloaded file from one digital device to another. 'Money' can now mean just about any form of financial resource ever dreamed up. Even the meaning of symbolic languages like mathematics evolves over time. Although often assumed to be purely axiomatic and the results somehow logically indisputable, the concepts involved have historically been frequently in hot dispute. The concepts of zero, negative, imaginary, undefined , fraction etc, have not always been part of the language of mathematics. Their meanings have been thru much uncertainty and disagreement.

Thus it is that the meaning of any language is multifaceted, deeply imbued with a potential for ambiguity and deception, and continuously being unsettled by an unpredictable existence. Understanding a language, and being able to extract appropriate meaning possibilities, is an exercise that will make great demands upon the learner. Cosmologists, economists, mathematicians and the like, very often do not help the situation, by using stolen words in an esoteric situation as if they know what they are talking about. They should all read more gardening books about mulch.


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