Definition Of A Language Authority Essay

Definition Of A Language Authority Essay

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I believe that while we may identify people trying to rise to the challenge of being a “language authority”, no one can succeed in becoming one, as the responsibility that comes with that title is too great to assume by oneself. The only “authority” that drives the changes a language suffers is the entire body of everyday speakers, who unconsciously push it towards an innate model they have embedded in their minds.
First of all, we should note that even though language is a tool we use to convey meaning and exchange ideas between members of the same community, everyone has a unique copy of this tool – what we call “common language” is actually a collection of mutually intelligible dialects we created upon learning the language and gradually refined by using it. Since the language acquiring process is unique for each speaker, the end product is too. For instance, the meanings we attribute to generic words vary between individuals1, as they have to encompass a class of objects rather than an individual item. This aspect allows small differences in the exact meaning of a word – what I consider a chair might not be one in someone else 's version of English, but that does not mean that we lack a common general notion of what a chair should be like – while small details may differ “the big picture” is still the same. Therefore, language only exists as a concept that encompasses all of the generally accepted and employed ways of conveying meaning and cannot be someone 's special property in its entirety2 – since we are the only users of our personal dialect, we know more about it than anyone else ever could, meaning that no one can claim jurisdiction over any version of the language other than their own.
Additionally, Plato 's “Cratyl...


... middle of paper ...


...fulfill the only role an authoritative figure has left if we take into account Chomsky 's theory.
To sum up, we do not have a language authority in the conventional meaning of the word. What we have is the natural governing power of public scrutiny, unified under the theory of universal grammar. What is left for the conscious mind to handle – noting down the evolution of language – is still too difficult to handle, as history has shown numerous times, but we should nevertheless keep trying, as those efforts reinforce the unity of the language in conjunction with the direct effects of our innate sense of syntax. Therefore, we can accurately say that the only language authority we have is the combined influence of all speakers of a language and their only role is to instinctively move the language forward towards the grammatical model that is embedded into our brains.

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