Language shrinks… back to the caves? 12


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The shrinking of the language and the sanctification of plain language drove to degradation of human thinking. When the language shrinks, the thinking shrinks. “C’est la même chose” (the same thing) describes a universal attitude to disregard the adequate use of language.

Growth implies the extension of the boundaries. Boundaries can only be extended if the language is able to deal with this extension. FYI, traditional Mandarin has around of 50,000 ideograms. They say ordinary people use 500!

Language can be defined as a system of communication and reasoning which makes use of representations, metaphors and grammar.  It is also the mask of a culture’s ethics.

The ethics underlying a culture is represented in the structure of the use of the language, in colloquial expressions, in the aphorisms of such language and in metaphors.

Languages and their use may or may not alter the perception and management of reality.

There are almost 7,000 living languages at present which can be grouped into families and subfamilies. Understanding the structure of language is what enables the understanding of its functionality.

Languages were created within a special context to refer to a specific reality. Languages naturally tend to avoid describing taboo elements of a culture and, when they do so, they refer to them in an elliptic, indirect or metaphorical way.

That is why a culture is implicit in its language. Language materializes culture through communication.

Language as the reasoning structure of humans

The ideas of an individual are structured using the reasoning framework of his language and using the semantic and the syntax that represent the language’s intrinsic logic.

From an ontological point of view there are two types of linguistic structures:
1) Backward-chaining structures, which approach reality, reasoning and communication from the end to the beginning.
2) Forward-chaining structures, which approach reality, reasoning and communication from the beginning to the end.

To have a non-fallacious perception of reality both approaches have to be used. Languages have different functional structures depending on their backward or forward orientation. An example of backward orientation is English. An example of forward orientation is French. Ideograms are a different approach to written language in which ideas are implicit in the language itself.
The syntax of a language defines the culture’s natural approach to reality.

In every language there is an implicit reasoning structure. Therefore there are languages with attributes for artistic expression, for hard-sciences, for soft-sciences, for dualistic philosophies, for integrative philosophies, and so on. The language in which assertions are expressed sustains the cultural preconceptions on their validity.

I invite you to be part of the group of people who accept to extend their language everyday in order to foster personal growth and social development.

Martin Alvaro

PS: I apologize for my poor English, it is my “third” language.

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