The boundary of the language


I want to start my blog by asking a question: how do we communicate without language? The reason why I choose this topic is that I inspired by an embarrassed experience: the professor asked me to tell him what kind of things happened during the specially sensitive time period (1966-1976) in Chinese history, when I was expected to response, I can’t find a properly suitable way immediately, even though, I indeed have a good knowledge of this sensitive subject, later on, I found a lot of art works related Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) online to compare different expression ways, I was dramatically impressed by those extraordinary works with a superior method to present political issue.

Just as Susanne K. Langer, a American philosopher, said in Philosophy In a New Key: language has its boundary which can’t eliminated forever, in order to make it more explicit, she compared cat with our human being, the former don’t able to use and master certain human’s language to communicate with us, but we can’t deny that animal with similar feeling and can also find a similar way to response to environment, to some extent, how lucky our people obtain language skill that we can express ourselves easily and effectively, however, a potential problem behind language we may never notice before. Language as a tool, it warps us in a meaning world which can be regard as a cocoon, in the meanwhile, we miss other possible opportunities to communicate. Language as a discursive form, it can’t totally convey people’s feeling, in other words, language with logical form which can’t be a good way to present emotion using its system.  

When it comes to here, art is coming, that is a rational way to explain why art exist, imaging that if you are misunderstood by others because of ambiguous attribute of language, which way you can improve? In my point of view, art is rather a supreme way to communication, academically speaking, art has a different language system with language itself, it is a presentational form rather than a logical one. When I was bothered by some unnecessary situation which always force me to try to find a way to avoid that, art is always an ideal choice for me, for instance, music, as a universal language, especially, the melody without word, you can realize it in your way, it is a deeper one.

All in all, the language is not the only way we can utilize to express. Just as the Plato said thousands of years ago: the beauty is difficult, just the same case as expression, there is no harder thing than making yourself understood by others. Every generation are consistently try to explore a new way to communication, maybe they have been aware of the weakness of language.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. maysarjabr says:

    our life can’t work without language communication even when we play with baby

    1. judithdandan says:

      Absolutely yes! Language is a inclusive concept.

  2. kimberlyo1 says:

    I found your blog post interesting. I don’t think language is completely needed for our life to work. It is just a concept. However, a way to communicate with our species is a necessity. There are disabled people who unfortunately do not talk would you consider their way to communicating a language?

    1. judithdandan says:

      Yes, language is absolutely not necessary. Biologically speaking, there are only about 25% information conveyed by language (sound). How about others? Maybe through gesture, emotion or even inner silence. In terms of disabled people, they have other language systems without sound, but it is also a kind of effective way to communicate with each other. We need to make clear that language is not only belongs to human but also other species. Language can be silent.

  3. jodyleylax says:

    My problem with language is that there isn’t one universal language that everyone speaks so the whole world can understand each other. Imagine going to a new place and you’re not worried if you’ll be able to understand the locals or visa versa.

    1. judithdandan says:

      Thanks for you kind response. My point isn’t a universal language using by whole world but a barrier attached behind our human being sound language. Language is indeed a significant way to express ourself. In the meanwhile, it replaces other potential possibilities of communication method. In addition, language can’t fully express our emotion and mind.

      1. jodyleylax says:

        I know what your point was, I’m just sharing my thoughts on the problems that language does represent. If we all spoke one language, we wouldn’t need to worry about barriers.

  4. ghadeeralsh4 says:

    I find that communication is not only related to the spoken language. As you said music is a language and I strongly believe that it’s an important one. Sometimes we don’t speak the same languages with other people but we still can communicate with body language. other times eyes are more than enough to communicate.

  5. reemkulaib says:

    I have thought about your topic many times. I always think how animals and plants communicate with each other. However, communicate with other people successfully is more important to express ourself. I really wish if there is auniversal languge every one can speak it and understand it.

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