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Instruction of Imagination: Language as a Social Communication Technology

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  • 280 Seiten
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The book suggests a new perspective on the essence of human language. This enormous achievement of our species is best characteriz... Weiterlesen
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The book suggests a new perspective on the essence of human language. This enormous achievement of our species is best characterized as a communication technology - not unlike the social media on the Net today - that was collectively invented by ancient humans for a very particular communicative function: the instruction of imagination. All other systems of communication in the biological world target the interlocutors senses, language allows speakers to systematically instruct their interlocutors in the process of imagining the intended meaning - instead of directly experiencing it. This revolutionary function has changed human life forever, and in the book it operates as a unifying concept around which a new general theory of language gradually emerges. Dor identifies a set of fundamental problems in the linguistic sciences - the nature of words, the complexities of syntax, the interface between semantics and pragmatics, the causal relationship between language and thought, language processing, the dialectics of universality and variability, the intricacies of language and power, knowledge of language and its acquisition, the fragility of linguistic communication and the origins and evolution of language - and shows with respect to all of them how the theory provides fresh answers to the problems, resolves persistent difficulties in existing accounts, enhances the significance of empirical and theoretical achievements in the field, and identifies new directions for empirical research. The theory thus opens a new way towards the unification of the linguistic sciences, on both sides of the cognitive-social divide.


Daniel Dor received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford University, and he is currently head of the Department of Communication, Tel Aviv University. He has written extensively on a wide variety of issues: the relationship between semantics and syntax, the pragmatics of newspaper headlines, the emergence of a new sociolinguistic regime on the Internet, the construction of political ideology in the language of the media, and the cultural-biological evolution of language and its speakers.


1. Introduction 2. The Functional Specificity of Language 3. How the Technology Works 4. Sign and Meaning 5. The Spiral of Relativity 6. Production and Comprehension 7. The Social Autonomy of Syntax 8. The Universality of Diversity 9. Acquisition as a Collective Enterprise 10. The Evolution of Language and its Users 11. Conclusion References


Titel: Instruction of Imagination: Language as a Social Communication Technology
Untertitel: Language as a Social Communication Technology
EAN: 9780190256630
ISBN: 978-0-19-025663-0
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (pdf)
Herausgeber: Oxford University Press
Genre: Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
Anzahl Seiten: 280
Veröffentlichung: 17.07.2015
Jahr: 2015
Untertitel: Englisch