22 January 2008

That's What Makes it So Fun!

If there were an inherent, nonarbitrary connection between forms and meanings, with the meaning being determined by the form, then...cross-linguistic differences should not occur. There would be one universally correct form for each meaning, and every language would have no alternative but to connect that form and that meaning. You can see that if you were to follow this idea to its logical completion, there would now be only one universal and unified language, with no controversy over what a spoken word meant or how to express a certain meaning. It would all be automatic.
Georgios Tsedernalis and Wai Yi Peggy Wong, editors. Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics. 9th ed. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2004.

1 comment:

The Mama of the House said...

And then language would be so boring. What is the joy of words if you can't "mix it up" just a little bit? Or what about thinking of "just the right word" to convey thoughts? Language is amazing because of it's arbitrary nature.