The core of language, I shall argue, highlights what exists. Hence, prima facie my paper has nothing to do with language and relativity, and up to a point that’s true. An Inuit, an Indonesian and an Italian speak differently because they speak to different people of different things, and that makes them have different needs and wishes. If an Italian wants to speak to an Indonesian, he learns some Javanese. Because things have changed, many Indonesian and many Italians want to speak with more people, and with people living in far away places. That has turned into a lingua franca the language of the most powerful group, English, and the Indonesian and the Italian have a chance of understanding each other speaking English. Even if there are regularities in the environment and survival is fundamental for the Inuit, the Indonesian, the Italian and the American, there are huge variations through space and time – even in how to survive. Language is like food – we need water, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fat, etc. How to get that depends from what is available where we live, how much of each ingredient depends on what we do and on our degree of fitness. If an Italian can assume his carbohydrates in Java eating pasta, it is because now they sell some Italian food even in some Indonesian supermarkets. That is, I would not deny relativity, but would oppose the idea that relativity begins with language.

Existence and reference

LEONARDI, PAOLO
2013

Abstract

The core of language, I shall argue, highlights what exists. Hence, prima facie my paper has nothing to do with language and relativity, and up to a point that’s true. An Inuit, an Indonesian and an Italian speak differently because they speak to different people of different things, and that makes them have different needs and wishes. If an Italian wants to speak to an Indonesian, he learns some Javanese. Because things have changed, many Indonesian and many Italians want to speak with more people, and with people living in far away places. That has turned into a lingua franca the language of the most powerful group, English, and the Indonesian and the Italian have a chance of understanding each other speaking English. Even if there are regularities in the environment and survival is fundamental for the Inuit, the Indonesian, the Italian and the American, there are huge variations through space and time – even in how to survive. Language is like food – we need water, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fat, etc. How to get that depends from what is available where we live, how much of each ingredient depends on what we do and on our degree of fitness. If an Italian can assume his carbohydrates in Java eating pasta, it is because now they sell some Italian food even in some Indonesian supermarkets. That is, I would not deny relativity, but would oppose the idea that relativity begins with language.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/398313
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