Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 03:27 pm
Language has only two forms.

1) utilitarian

Mathematics is a good example. It's primarily demonstrative or informative.

2) emotive

A speech or novel may stir emotions in the listener or reader. It's primarily entertaining or persuasive.


The first is rarely used singularly. It's more often peppered with the second.

For a long term effect, the second must be used repeatedly.

The first is better.
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kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 04:17 pm
@chad3006,
chad3006;101871 wrote:
Language has only two forms.

1) utilitarian

Mathematics is a good example. It's primarily demonstrative or informative.

2) emotive

A speech or novel may stir emotions in the listener or reader. It's primarily entertaining or persuasive.


The first is rarely used singularly. It's more often peppered with the second.

For a long term effect, the second must be used repeatedly.

The first is better.


How about when I narrate a story? Or when a teacher is lecturing to his class? Or a movie documentary? Or when I say, "thank you" when someone does something for me? What about a news broadcast?
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Kroni
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 05:44 pm
@chad3006,
By using the guideliness provided above I would say...
Narrating a story is informative and entertaining, therefore a mix of both.
Lecturing to a class is usually only informative, therefore utilitarian.
Saying "Thank you" is a tough one...I would say there are two purposes of saying thank you. One is to demonstrate your appreciation and another is to show your emotion, which in turn allows the recipient to show their emotion after being thanked. So, I would say it is a mix of both.
A News Broadcast is informative, therefore utilitarian
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:37 pm
@Kroni,
In general, crossculturally courtesy language (please, thank you, may I, etc...) and much greeting and leave taking ceremony is to establish space, terratory, and awareness. It distances a person from another. Saying please and thank you in effect establishes ownership, change of ownership, or retention of ownership, especially when dealing with actual objects or actions regarding space and terratory. Greeting and leave taking ceremony in effect establish presence and permissions for occupancy of space and terratory.

Oft times this is based on a cline of family-group-community or peer-superior-superior group. For example in band level societies lack most of what we would consider basic courtesy language is suspended in fact some languages to not have a way to express please and thank you. Think of it much like a close family who suspends much of the same courtesy language because the 'property/space/terratory' is shared. When a mother/father forces the child to please and thank you within the confines of the family, it is often it s not to establish these line but to teach their children that there are lines when they leave the nest.

The more striated the society becomes the more important courtesy language becomes, especially among cultures that have clearly delineated economic classes and or social classes.

So I would suggest that most language has a utilitarian function in at least a secondary or terciary manner. Even empahtics, interjections, and poetry have their utilitarian functions. One reads or writes poetry to express oneself and thereby gaining some cathartic advantage. Same with the escapism of movies or the general release of frustration associated with emphatics.
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salima
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 02:00 am
@chad3006,
indians always laugh at me when i say thank you. that is reserved for really big deals, mostly things they acredit to god. there is a politeness built into their language though that makes it unnecessary.

for instance though when i pick up my clothes from the tailor, i say thank you, and he said 'dont thank me' i assume becaise i paid him, he was only doing his job. it would be useless to explain to him that i wouldnt have thanked him if he hadnt done a good job or been pleasant and not ignored me like other people do, moreso in america than here. the more i live here i see why peace talks are so often fruitless.

it works better when both parties dont understand each other's language at all but are in love...there is also a language of the heart. the original emotive speech of babies and lovers. that is before the baby learns to imitate what it hears...
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Catchabula
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 05:47 am
@chad3006,
I would like to point to the many metaphorical uses of the concept op language. One speaks about the language of love, the language of nature, I even have a booklet on the language of flowers. Decently put, a more fruitful way to approach language may be semiotics instead of pragmatics. Language is mainly a structured representation of the world, and -dialectically put- while we speak about the world the world is also speaking to us. Any language is a (pathetic) try to make the world "our world" by trying to make sense of it. Poetry and mathematics have in common that they are neither purely objective nor purely subjective. In any language our mind meets the world, or at least reaches out for it. Mathematics are as unreal and as real as any other language, and an absolute hierarchy between kinds of languages is imho absolutely senseless (mind there could be a "relative" hierarchy). All language is the expression of our longing for reality, but particularly for that reality that is the mind of others. Language fails us in any case, it is the expression "par excellence" of our limitations as human beings. Intense revelations of reality -of whatever kind- are usually described as "beyond words". Language is just a tool among several others. Even our skin is in dialogue with the world.

Just two cents. I know...
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chad3006
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 11:37 am
@chad3006,
As I started writing this thread it evolved into a kind of poem. At least in my mind, and that's why it is in the creative writing section. I began to strip the first draft of any non-essential words, but I made a mistake. It's rather obvious to me this morning, though I didn't notice it yesterday. The first line should not include the word “only.” I intended to keep most of the thing stripped of any emotive language. The inclusion of “only” makes the first line emotive because it is a rather bold statement and therefore, more provocative.

The last line is emotive and provocative on purpose. It's a little joke to myself because essentially deconstructs the whole thing.
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