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ERIC Number: ED028414
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
How We Speak and Understand English.
Travis, Charles S.
In this paper the author examines the "encoding-decoding" model of speaking and understanding English. He reviews in detail an objection to the model: that it was specifically designed with a view to incorporating linguistic theories, such as syntax, into it. As a result, what it more or or less accurately represents is the relation between the linguist and some language other than his own which he may be studying. However, this relation is necessarily quite different from that holding between the competent speaker-hearer and his own language. What seems to be required of an explanation of how we understand English is that it describe how, on hearing an utterance, we attain an appropriate terminal state. This is a description that the encoding-decoding model clearly fails to provide. What it does describe is a terminal event (the emission of a signal). Even if the model were revised so that it did describe a terminal state, that state could not account for understanding an utterance. The author believes, however, that (with a few refinements in the model) there is no reason to take the objections seriously at all. He next discusses the encoding part of the model which accounts for how we speak English. (DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A