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Language is an important communicative instrument in culture. It facilitates the transfer of information from one individual to the next (Atkins & Morrow, 1989). Communication may take place if all sides are free to communicate their opinions in an understandable manner. Obstacles to message processing are often related to the use of incorrect wording that does not reflect the correct context. The origins of written and spoken language can be traced back to classical theorists who formulated different hypotheses to describe the ever-expanding field of linguistics. They share their thoughts on the subject in order to trace the history and origins of words. Structural approach is whereby the learner masters the pattern of sentences (Banczerowski et al., 1992). This approach is opposed to acquisition of vocabularies which are complex to understand.
The structural approach of language is basically the idea of understanding components which lead to better writing and speaking style. The major goals of structural approach are; to lay a foundation on proper wording (Chetrit, 2013). This is necessary especially to children who need to learn a second language. Second, it teaches the four basic skills which are written, understanding, speaking and reading. Chetrit (2013) argues that an individual mastery of language is measured by the above elements. They indicates the ability of the person to integrate all the necessary information needed to enhance learning. The last aim is to ease the oral approach. The learner is able to adapt to the new language through basic learning and their oral presentation.
Figurative language is the use of words which deviate from their real meaning (Schiemer & Gratzl, 2015). This approach gives heightened understanding of concepts and improve creativity among the learners. It includes elements such as metaphors, similes and irony. They are included in the text to enable the reader think beyond the content provided by the writer. This language serves a pertinent role in improving thinking capacity of the learner. Figurative language is also called non-literal and is categorized into five sections (Silverman et al., 1990). One is relationships. This is whereby the writers use certain words to show relationship. In this case, a living thing can be related to non-living, with an intention to show characters which resembles. Second, emphasis is employed by the use of words, which gives more weight to the issue being discussed (Atkins & Morrow, 1989). The third class is verbal games. They are used majorly to enhance better pronunciation of words and even improve the speed of speaking. Additionally, errors are also part of figurative language. They are deliberately introduced for the learner to find out solutions thus able to learn from those errors.
Deconstruction has both affirmation and undoing (Chetrit, 2013). It involves dissecting the text into parts to get the deeper meaning intended by the writer. This process is not harmful, but is aimed to aid in getting information which is core in understanding the text. It criticizes structuralism because the approach is built in expressing the text in a more understandable way (Silverman et al., 1990). It was adopted as a way to enable theorist, check the validity of the opinions of others. Deconstruction theory is based on appreciating the fact that language is not static.
Language is not able to produce one single meaning, but continues to grow. The following paragraphs will elaborate on opinions of various theorists about the issue of language. The paper will help measure thoughts of varied philosophers who have placed their argument on this topic. It has diverse approaches and can be viewed at different angles. The general believe which a text display does not mean it is true. Deconstructive theorists have an idea that if every element of the information contained is well evaluated, it can deliver a different message than what the reader could be thinking is true.
Deconstructive view of language
Deconstructive has enabled understanding of complex language which is employed in the text (Schiemer & Gratzl, 2015). The message conveyed by certain texts could be difficult to understand and hence the need to have a better way to make the information lighter. The better part of deconstructive is that it plays central role in evaluating the way language works. This is through determining the attitude and emotions expressed in a text or through speaking. Notably, reading and listening are two different things when it comes to actual message passed across. The ability to use information in a certain text is dependent with the strength to understand the true meaning depicted (Atkins & Morrow, 1989). Through breaking the information into simple structures, one is able to form a clear image of the meaning. A good example of deconstruction is the use of figurative language. They do not show the true meaning, but one has to think of the hidden idea. Whenever a person describes something with another that is referred to as comparing. Direct language is not used to describe the person or object when comparison is used in a text.
Figurative language destroys the dictionary meaning of the word, by deconstructing it to fit the description desired (Banczerowski et al., 1992). Use of words which replaces the meaning of the actual is increasing daily. People are creating more words to suit their circumstances. This signifies that language is not static. People are becoming more creative and designing their own figurative language, which is meant to serve a certain section. Jacques Lacan argues that one cannot focus on convention meaning to understand figurative language (Chetrit, 2013). One has to destroy the structure to come up with the correct meaning. As it was alluded earlier, deconstruction is aimed to make clear elements which are complex in a text. Going by their literal meaning, it could result to misinterpretation. Jacques argues that there is no time a meaning of a certain word is complete and total. She gives an example of looking for the definition of a word in the dictionary (Silverman et al., 1990). Words describing the meaning have also their own definitions and it calls for a continuous check for meaning. In other word, the language continues to grow, and what we believe in could not mean the same to another person. Jacques argues that any text is not discrete. It has more than one meaning (Chetrit, 2013). The readers have the role to go beyond the displayed meaning. One of the advantages of deconstruction is that it makes the interpretation of information easy. Constant use of figurative language makes it difficult to understand the concept. It makes interpretive reading not to go beyond a certain point, hence impeding progress. Furthermore Jacques Lacan identifies that meaning is words is possible by relating to context (Schiemer & Gratzl, 2015). Taking words as they are can be misleading. It is essential to have context at hand, then try to understand their actual meaning.
Sigmund Freud put across the theory of psychoanalysis. He tries to understand the functioning of the human brain (Silverman et al,, 1990). He formulates and explains the unconscious behaviors and characters of the patient. Through constant questions which are guided towards understanding the problems of the patients, he was able to solve the problems which challenged the patient (Schiemer & Gratzl, 2015). According to his argument, through speaking, one is able to understand the psychological problems that an individual is going through. Evaluation of attitude and feelings of the patient can lead to finding a solution. This is a deconstruction mechanism whereby critical thinking is employed to find the real problem the person could be going through. It should be noted that what a person describes gives a lead in establishing his or her problem. The description by one person could be different from the other. Sigmund argues that the listeners should be keen enough to read the mind of the patient since it is subject to error. Psychoanalysis is a diverse field which is growing. Descriptions of one patient cannot be used to treat other. Roland Barthes affirms that there are two aspects in deconstruction (Chetrit, 2013). One is a signifier which refers to the sounds and general structures which make up a word. Second, signified refers to the meaning of those words. Roland asserts that deconstructions aims to find the ambiguities. This means that a single word can have several meanings.
This justifies that language is not static, but continues to grow. However, deconstruction has the ability to completely remove complications which are brought by confusing words in a text. The sure way to get it right is through relating the meaning to the structure of the text. One of the impact of deconstruction is making the text look like a word play (Atkins & Morrow, 1989). The reader is able to think beyond the context and invoke thinking which helps relate issues with the natural environment.
Structuralism and Semiotic view of Language.
Ferdinand de Saussure is referred to as the father of semiology (Chetrit, 2013). This is the study of signs in the communication and delivering of the message. According to his theory, he affirms that language is best learnt through patterns and functions. He proposes that language is not static. People have appreciated different sign language, which has replaced the common written or spoken words. The usability of this is distinct with the type of group one is in. For example, youth have their own way of communication which they understand by themselves. This is determined by the situation and place they are. In line with this, the Ferdinand structural approach of language is based on underlying language and not the part of speech. Professionally, language is considered impactful if the learners are able to integrate all parts of speech (Silverman et al.,1990). Much is laid on grammar and spelling to enhance faster learning. Theorist Ferdinand refutes this idea by arguing that the basics of understanding the hidden meaning in a text are of more importance. The key reason to adapt the skill of understanding the deep meaning of the context is attributed by differing styles employed by the writers.
Freud identified that human beings have the tendency to deceive when explaining their behavior to others (Banczerowski et al., 1992). They fail to disclose the true information regarding themselves. He described this as a mental activity associated with conscious thought. This self-deception is controlled by psychological activities. Freud aimed to unearth stages which an individual passes through before maturation, and have the command of the language. He designed a structural model to explain his argument (Schiemer & Gratzl, 2015). The first one is Id. These are based on pleasure. They are basics which a young child must have when they are born. This is the very first stage, where anything that one does is guided an instructed by a senior person. Language acquisition is at low level and the child cannot be able to speak. The reality about life at this stage is not clear because it is characterized by dependency. The next stage in this structure is ego (Chetrit, 2013). At this point, interaction with nature and people instills some traits which are paramount for coexistence with others in the society. Freud describes this as a stage which is core to learn more. It is associated with a lot of curiosity and wish to stay relevant. The person is able to understand the needs of others and tries all the better not to hurt them.
The last stage is the superego (Chetrit, 2013). The person is able to comprehend right and wrong. He or she can be able to express ideas logically and even be heard by others. Freud categorically identifies the three developmental stages which occur in human beings. He notes that every stage is essential for adopting the right behavior. At each step, new things are learned. One cannot jump to the next level without gaining full information on the lower levels. This is guided by nature, and automatically graduate the human beings when they satisfy the conditions of every step (Silverman et al., 1990). The approach given by this theorist is a sure evidence that language changes with time. As one progresses and interact with nature, a considerable amount of changes is witnessed. New things arise which are incorporated in our lives to stay relevant. The observations made by Freud help to explain ways through which human brain develops. He puts it that it is a process which is continuous and limitless. More discoveries in language are yet unfolding. More phrases and other part of speech are being identified to supplement traditional words which have been overrated.
Claude Levi-Strauss perceives language in terms of structures (Schiemer & Gratzl, 2015). He affirms that understanding things which are in isolation is difficult. Instead, one is able to look at the broader picture of what each element means. Surface meaning of information portrayed in a text is arbitrary (Chetrit, 2013). It is relational and has no clear meaning. Not unless an approach to creatively research on the deeper meaning is appreciated, the language used lead to false understanding. He further confirms that language is defined by the single units which builds it (Silverman et al., 1990). These are sentence structures, parts of speech and other important elements. Picking language as a whole entity has little help since it might fail to send the intended message. Getting to understand every part used is the right approach. Signs and other objects used as imagery are the basis of this theory. Claude is on the idea that language is constantly evolving and what was used in the past could be of less significance in the future (Schiemer& Gratzl, 2015). Both written and spoken language has not remained stagnant. According to Claude, language goes beyond naming of objects to understanding the real meaning of signs associated with them. Linguistic signs are classified into two, signifier and signified.
Atkins, G. D., & Morrow, L. (1989). Contemporary literary theory. Amherst, Mass: University of Massachusetts Press.
Banczerowski, J., Pogonowski, J., & Zgolka, T. (1992). A new structuralism in phonology. Prospects for a New Structuralism, 185.
Chetrit, J. (2013). Formation and Diversity of Jewish Languages and of Judeo-Arabic in North Africa I. Middle Judeo-Arabic and its Forms of Hybridization. Journal of Jewish Languages, 1(2), 177-206.
Schiemer, G., & Gratzl, N. (2015). The Epsilon-Reconstruction of Theories and Scientific Structuralism. Erkenntnis, 81(2), 407-432.
Silverman, H. J., Aylesworth, G. E., & International Association for Philosophy and Literature. (1990). The Textual sublime: Deconstruction and its differences. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
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