NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ873345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0388-0001
Essential Properties of Language, or, Why Language Is Not a Code
Kravchenko, Alexander V.
Language Sciences, v29 n5 p650-671 Sep 2007
Despite a strong tradition of viewing "coded equivalence" as the underlying principle of linguistic semiotics, it lacks the power needed to understand and explain language as an empirical phenomenon characterized by complex dynamics. Applying the biology of cognition to the nature of the human cognitive/linguistic capacity as rooted in the dynamics of reciprocal causality between an organism and the world, we can show language to be connotational rather than denotational. This leaves no room for the various "code-models" of language exploited in traditional linguistics. Bio-cognitive analysis leads to deeper insights into the essence of language as a biologically based, cognitively motivated, circularly organized semiotic activity in a consensual domain of interactions aimed at adapting to, and, ultimately, gaining control of the environment. The understanding that cognition is grounded in the dynamics of biological self-organization fits both the integrational model of communication and distributed cognition. A short discussion of the key notions of representation, sign and signification, interpretation, intentionality, communication, and reciprocal causality is offered, showing that the notion of "code" is only misleadingly applied to natural language. (Contains 1 figure.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A