Words, Meaning, and Messages. Theory and Experiments in by Ragnar Rommetveit

By Ragnar Rommetveit

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By Ragnar Rommetveit

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Extra info for Words, Meaning, and Messages. Theory and Experiments in Psycholinguistics

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Neither of the two sentences can be said to portray the event more appropriately than the other. The message is thus not of a linguistic nature, not even when it seems to be extremely well portrayed by a well-formed sentence and can be made intuitively accessible in no other way than by linguistic tools. The arrow from the external state of affairs to the sender of the message in Fig. 2 is of no significance for the message as such. Whether the sender's information stems from direct sensory contact with external events or from received messages, whether he wants to lie or to tell the truth, these are questions of relevance only to his decision concerning what he wants to make known.

Let us explore some particular conditions which may secure such convergence. My wife may, for instance, approach the door as I am watching her, or vice versa. " The same will hold true if we are both sitting in our chairs looking at the door. " We might continue listing a number of additional conditions which would bring about the required convergence of orientations. The fact that a variety of different behavioral settings may serve as perfectly appropriate nonlinguistic contexts for the same message shows that no single feature such as proximity of sender and receivers to objects or convergence of their visual fields per se explains cognitive convergence.

The speaker or listener who seriously tries to reflect upon the processing involved in encoding or decoding may actually be mentally immobilized, just like the centipede who started to reflect upon which foot to put forward first. The intuitive knowledge of the speaker-listener, however, is also called upon to define the domain of acceptable linguistic utterances (Chomsky, 1965, p. 11), and the linguist's procedure for obtaining significant linguistic information must be tested for adequacy by ".

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