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ERIC Number: ED017521
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
SPRECHEN SIE GOETHE, A SYNOPTIC ESSAY.
BUSACCA, BASIL
THE WAY IN WHICH WE CONCEIVE OF REALITY IS DEPENDENT UPON THE LANGUAGE SYSTEM WE USE. EACH LANGUAGE SYSTEM, WHETHER THAT OF A WHOLE CULTURE, A SUBCULTURE, OR AN INDIVIDUAL, EMBODIES IN ITS VOCABULARY AND SYNTAX AND RULES OF "GRAMMAR" A SET OF ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE NATURE OF REALITY AND THE CORRECT WAYS TO MAKE SENSE OF THINGS. THUS, UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN "PRIMITIVE" PEOPLE AND OURSELVES, ANCIENTS AND MODERNS, THE EAST AND THE WEST IS DIFFICULT. THE DIFFICULTY HAS BEEN HEIGHTENED IN RECENT TIMES BECAUSE OUR ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE NATURE OF REALITY HAVE SHIFTED, BUT OUR LANGUAGE HAS NOT BEEN BASICALLY ALTERED IN FORM AND CONTENT. ENGLISH, FOR EXAMPLE, PRESUMES A STATIC, MATERIAL WORLD COMPOSED OF SEPARABLE OBJECTS, SO THAT NOUNS ARE PREEMINENT IN EVERY SENTENCE AND OUR SYNTAX AND GRAMMAR DEMAND A SIMPLISTIC LINEAR LOGIC. IF WE ARE TO RESPOND ADEQUATELY TO LITERATURE, WE MUST BE ABLE TO "THINK" IN THE LANGUAGES OF THE AUTHORS OF THE PAST AND OF OTHER CULTURES, AND WORK OPEN-MINDEDLY TO GRASP THE EXPERIMENTS IN SYNTAX AND GRAMMAR OF MODERN WRITERS IN THEIR ATTEMPTS TO ALTER THE LANGUAGE TO FIT NEW AND DIFFERENT CONCEPTIONS OF REALITY. (THIS PAPER WAS PRESENTED AT THE 1967 NCTE ANNUAL CONVENTION.) (DL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, IL.
Identifiers: N/A