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July to December 2013 IITD

WHAT IS LANGUAGE? WHAT IS GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURE? WHEN DID LANGUAGE EVOLVE? WHERE DO SOUNDS, WORDS AND SENTENCES COME FROM? HOW DO WORDS HELP US COMMUNICATE? HOW DO CHILDREN ACQUIRE LANGUAGE? WHY SHOULD WE READ NOVELS AND POEMS? WHY DO WE LOVE MOVIES AND TELE- SERIALS? WHY DO SUCH APPARENTLY USELESS PASTTIMES GIVE US SO MUCH PLEASURE AND ENJOYMENT?

"Words, words, words, I know not what they mean!" "There's nothing good or ill but thinking makes it so" William Shakespeare in Hamlet
(17th Century)

Without language we cannot influence other people in such and such ways; cannot build roads, machines, etc. And also, without the use of speech and writing people could not communicate.
LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN (aeronautical engineer and philosopher: Philosophical Investigations, para 491.)

The task of a writer is to provoke the imagination


SALMAN RUSHDIE

COMMUNICATION

(Hymes, 1964)

LANGUAGE

(Nair, 2004)

What is Communication?

What is Language?

S: SITUATION

(Scene + Setting)

P: PARTICIPANTS (Speakers + Hearers) E: ENDS (Goal + Outcomes)

A: ACT

(Message Form + Message Content)) K: KEY (Knowledge of Background/Tacit Info.) I: INSTRUMENTALITIES (Channels, Forms of Speech) N: Norms (Interaction, Usage and Interpretation)
(Story, Speech, Novel etc)

G: Genres

L: LEXICON (Verbal Logic: spoken/written) A: ARBITRARINESS (Rules Word/World Relation) N: NOVELTY (Creativity, imagination, , deceit) G: GRAMMAR (Syntax, semantics, phonetics) U: USAGE (Speechacts, Rules of Usage, Norms) A: ANOMALIES (Problems with language) G: GROWTH (Phylogeny/ontogeny) E: EMOTIONS (Expressing feelings & attitudes)