Linguisticity

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I need linguisticity to induce people to reflect on the characteristics of language as a medium and, more so, on languages as media. There is language and then there are languages.

What is the job of language? What is the job of each language? How well do languages do their jobs? Do absolutely all languages, including the ones we invent in computer technology, have anything meaningful in common? Is there a process or method for understanding language - how it is constructed, how it operates - that characterizes each uniquely? Are there features or attributes of written versus spoken language that mark them as absolutely distinct notwithstanding the media that transport them? What about language implied in non-verbal media? I'm a photographer, so I'm conscious of the language and syntax of photographs? What is a photograph now that we manipulate images electronically and has the language changed as a consequence?

These questions are not just rhetoric. I would like them answered.

I thought I had invented linguisticity. Silly boy! Interestingly, the references I found neatly circumscribe my concerns. The following (rather large) quote is the abstract of a paper (that I won't purchase), Double articulation as a criterion of linguisiticity by André Martinet, that addresses one or two of my questions:

The difference between language in general and individual languages should always be kept in mind. The Saussurean dichotomy of langue vs. parole should yield before linguistically relevant vs. linguistically irrelevant. Languages should not be identified with codes. Proceeding inductively when trying to define the object of our science has proved impracticable. We should rather stipulate what we want to call a language. From a language we expect that it be actually used for communicating experience by means of a succession of vocal products analyzable into segments equated with some features of the total experience; each of those segments being analyzable into a succession of well-defined vocal units. Speaking here of dual patterning would obscure the fundamental hierarchy of the double articulation of language. The economical nature of double articulation is obvious: the vocal auditory nature of language, determining the linearity of speech, will automatically lead to it. But there is more to it than sheer economy: the analysis of experience into features corresponding to the significant units of a language makes it possible to communicate new experience by means of unexpected combinations of these units. The second articulation into phonemes is instrumental in stabilizing the perceptible forms by making them independant of the correspponding meanings. ([1])

There's more, such as a guy, Fabio Rambelli, that discusses the linguisticity of mantras [2].

I don't know what to do about it. The idea of linguisticity and the act of plumbing its depths is a considerable project of its own. I may go further at need, but for now I leave you with the un-answered questions to tease some cognisance of this matter out of you. Go ahead and google linguisticity.

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