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Regarding Language by Dwight Bollinger
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Regarding Language

by Dwight Bollinger

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Language is patterned behavior, shared in sound, embedded in gesture, and largely arbitrary. All languages are similarly structured. Bollinger writes of the origins, elements, structures, syntax, and types with an enthusiasm many of us amateurs require to get through. Also, it is a relief to get through descriptions of doctrine and theory which do not indulge either sycophancy or the conflicted repetitions of bitter irony which surround Noan Chomsky, who lead the breakthrough into the dead end of "transformational grammar". [Chomsky mentioned only once, at 219].
Bollinger does not study the fact that language is as unilinear as Time, and the aquisition, growth and "evolution of language" is only touched upon, and without the kind of biophysics or brain correlations, and infant studies [cf 6-7], which have recently expanded the field.
The Chapter on "Mind in the Grip of Language" explicates the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and the trap of semantic differentials is described without exaggeration: "In a distortion of world views the very form and substance with which reality is revealed is affected. In suasion there is an indeterminancy of language with respect to things. A given bit of reality can be presented in several ways in a single language." [256] Linguistic devices may range from crude to subtle, from straightforward insult to the invocation of hidden bias in sytactical construction. ( )
  keylawk | Oct 22, 2006 |
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