Language as Human Activity & Impression Preservation

Regarding the social nature of man, a realistic or productive theory of language cannot be developed that doesn’t include human interaction. Any such theory rests on private language arguments where, even if a code were developed within the mind, it is by nature inaccessible to any other mind and therefore indecipherable.  With regards to memory, the reason language helps aid in recall is because of the iterability of signs. The continual convergence of passing theories gives rise to normative linguistic practices as a result of learned conditioning. The repeatability of a word allows for a reliability of an expected usage to emerge and a convention to persist that provides words with their semantic force during a conversation. The conditioning of language is no different than any other form of conditioning. By performing an action and monitoring a reaction we become conditioned to a predictable sense of the relationship between the two. It doesn’t seem that a private language would necessarily develop as a corollary.

In fact, I’d almost say that memories (the ability to recall past impressions that results from conditioning or habituation) can be just as harmful as they are helpful. If the repeatability of words is the conditioning force that anchors meaning into the memory, and if we think in words, then these words can seriously distort a clear perception of reality. If our operating system, our belief system behind our world view, is inured with meaning constructed from words and thoughts conditioned from the past, then we are left with a clouded perception of the present. We exist within a world representative of the distorted figments of past impressions that do not represent a lucid state of being possessed in the now. Our inner world manifests an illusory outer world through a bundle of habits perpetuating memories of fictional meaning that pull the mind into the oblivious past. The memories constructed from our language possess the pervading ideology that manifests as our identity through every psychological and physiological action.

2 thoughts on “Language as Human Activity & Impression Preservation”

  1. The repetition of a word can also cause it to lose its meaning.

    There are many private languages proprietary to their subjects.
    An internalized language might in fact already exist, as an example the deaf/blind have been known to express this possibility of similar internalized understanding once they have mastered tactile sign language, but is it accessible as a code to anyone else? Who knows, we just know they have formed a similar system to internalize experiences.

    People could concentrate on their actions and existence in the present, in order to build on relationships and miscommunications that might arise from inconsistencies and environmental differences. What’s beautiful about living in today’s world is that we can access almost any image that we need to describe what might otherwise be indescribable in words and relate better to each other, if you believe in the accuracy of visual language.

    1. I can agree, but I would say that repetition may cause a word to lose its original intended meaning. Derrida would agree as well. The iterability -repeatability- of a word allows for their extension into the future as communication between two individuals in different contexts. These different contexts are the origin of the rupture, or break, that occurs between its interpretation and its original intended meaning when new meaning is derived.

      I would agree that personal codes can be deciphered so long as the originator expressed the meaning of the code. The private language argument is pretty obscure as it is. The argument is such that for a language to be in principle unintelligible to anyone but its originator is impossible. As a result, this language would be necessarily unintelligible to its user because the originator would not be able to establish meaning for the regarded signs.

      So long as I believe in writing I suppose I have to believe in a degree of accuracy that visual language affords. It’s interesting to think that all languages started off as pictures that slowly evolved into more and more obscure symbols and finally to the alphabet we have today. 🙂

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