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[Xmca-l] Re: The systemic perspective vs the use perspective vs the knowledge perspective



Hi Larry,

Have you a text you recommend by Manjali?

My reference to systemic was not to posit the Vienna Circle's view, say, as defining THE systemic structure, but that in the course of any language over time there are structures created that are then inherited over an historical period that extends many lifetimes; I don't think that this strays from a notion of a genealogy, but maybe I am wrong.

But then at the same time the use of the language can alter the language incrementally, and so this would explain the shift of the language that we observe in the differences between Elizabethan English of Shakespearian plays, and today's American English of television broadcasters, which also doesn't stray from a notion of genealogy, I don't think.

Manjali sounds to be listening to Foucault, is that right?

The problem that you outline of the dialectic view of language, as represented by Losonsky, has an appearance of dictating structures a priori than learning what they are; i.e., prescription over description. This is why I agree with you about the complex/primitive designations and how this is problematic.

I don't think my suggestion supposes primitive and complex designations of language structures, just that there are structures present in a given language, and this structure has basic apparent traits, but over time these traits may shift because of the use of the language in the present moment. 

If language is a tool, and a tool is a kind of technology, then language will develop in a similar way to technology development (although perhaps it is better to say that they share family resemblances in their processes of development, as I don't mean to privilege one over the other).

There is no dispute here that power relations are woven into these dynamics. They certainly are!

Kind regards,

Annalisa