Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Since we're going to be talking about language in ToK and how it relates to the Areas of Knowledge, I thought I'd do a post on language.
What constitutes a language? Is it possible to have language other than the spoken word? i.e. Can you consider mathematics as a language? What about the languages of music and art? Do you think that it is possible to have a language that is not spoken? What are the boundaries and/or limitations and benefits of having a language that is not spoken? Are there any similarities/dissimilarities between the languages of math, music, and art? To what extent would we be effective at communicating ideas in these languages if we cannot speak it? How is this different from perception?

This is kind of a broad topic, so you don't have to answer all the questions I posted...


Vvyynn said...

Well, well, well. It's time to make my glorious comeback, because I feel I haven't posted in a while.

So what constitutes a language, and can there be one unspoken. Language is any form of communication that is understandable by more than one person. For example: Spanish is a language, because people use it to communicate and because it is understood by many people. Example^2: 1337 would constitue as a language (this pains my heart to say this), because it fits the perimeters. EXAMPLETOTHEMAX!: Secret Twin Language is a language, because five-year-old twins use it to communicate, and two people (maybe some of their best friends) can understand it.
Thus, can we have a language without speaking? YES. Pictures, Sign Language, Art, Math, Music (Yes, they're languages), love even (if your going for the sentimental crap). All of these could be considered to be language.

So there's my answer to the bulk of your post, and I should have sparked some conversation, even if it is only with The Wooshmaster.


Shayden said...

Language=communication. Period. Is sign language spoken? Body language? Facial expressions? Gestures? We all know what a smile signfies and there are also gestures that have fairly universal meaning without there ever being a vocal utterance. I believe that it would be more beneficial to not have to deal with verbal communication at all. Words become trite and meaningless when overused. If we all relied on alternate forms of communication, we would better express our individuality because we would no longer have the confines of one form of accepted communication, assuming that we were free to choose how we communicate. We'd be more in tune with one another and be more sensitve at large to others' reactions. Words can be vague and hide the truth. A simple look, at least upon immediate expression before one has time to check oneself, can say it all. I agree with Adrienne that math, music, and art all have similar goals. In the end, they are all trying to communicate something greater than the sum of their parts, to convey an idea, message, theory. They all prompt others to seek greater understanding.