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    • Join Date: Aug 2005
    • Posts: 196

    Philosophy of *a* Language?

    Hi again,

    Here's a/the (?) title of a/the (?) book:

    Philosophy of Language

    I've been wondering, isn't there something missing? Shouldn't "a" be included before language? If not, then why?


  1. IvanV's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 576

    Re: Philosophy of *a* Language?

    Not of one language - of language in general.

    • Join Date: Aug 2005
    • Posts: 196

    Re: Philosophy of *a* Language?

    hmm... then why not "languages" ?

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: Philosophy of *a* Language?

    You are thinking of 'language' as referring to English, Greek, Arabic etc.
    That is the word in its sense of "the system of communication used by a particular country".
    But 'language' also refers simply to the method of human communication, either spoken or written, and how words are put together (grammar) to convey meaning.
    Did the caveman have 'language'? Did he have symbols (words) that had a shared meaning? Did one grunt versus two grunts mean something? Developing an ability to communicate is developing 'language'.
    Humans have 'language', monkeys and apes don't.
    Humans developed this capacity to communicate with each other, by words and written symbols, and the title of the book suggests a treatise on the nature of this capacity for human communication.
    Last edited by David L.; 22-Jul-2008 at 09:40.

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