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ERIC Number: ED104135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Functional Properties of Language.
Garvin, Paul L.
This paper asks whether the imprecision and complexity of natural language, as opposed to the language of science or logic, represent flaws or essential functional properties. It is argued that ambiguity can be manipulated by the speaker through environmentally derived characteristics. A discussion follows on the study of the functions of language as conceived by the Prague school, and the effect of functional linguistics on American sociolinguistics. While both schools agree on a definition of the term "functions of language," the central problem is a disagreement in the approach to the study of language functions. The Prague school postulates a specific number of functions on the basis of a particular theoretical understanding of the speech act, while the American school believes that language functions should be discovered rather than postulated. As only extensive further research can lead to a definitive theory of language functions, it is hoped that the significance of the functions of language will be recognized, and that the study of functional linguistics will benefit structural linguistics as well. (AM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A