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ERIC Number: EJ873344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0388-0001
Are Languages Digital Codes?
Love, Nigel
Language Sciences, v29 n5 p690-709 Sep 2007
Language use is commonly understood to involve digital signalling, which imposes certain constraints and restrictions on linguistic communication. Two papers by Ross [Ross, D., 2004. "Metalinguistic signalling for coordination amongst social agents." "Language Sciences" 26, 621-642; Ross, D., this issue. "'H. sapiens' as ecologically special: what does language contribute?" "Language Sciences" 29] are discussed in this connection. It is evident that the particular limitations of digital language that Ross is interested in depend on the claim not just that language is (partly) digital but that "languages" are digital "codes". But it is questionable whether languages are codes at all. The idea that they are may derive some force from the fact that the most commonplace and familiar semiotic devices we call "codes" are digital in character. If codes are digital and linguistic units are in some sense or degree digital, that may explain the temptation to think of languages as digital codes. But closer examination of the digitality of linguistic units offers no support for the digital-code idea, for language use, it is argued, is in its essence fundamentally analogical. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A