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The Social Origins of Language$
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Daniel Dor, Chris Knight, and Jerome Lewis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665327

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665327.001.0001

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The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology

The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology

Chapter:
(p.105) 9 The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology
Source:
The Social Origins of Language
Author(s):

Daniel Dor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665327.003.0009

This chapter presents a theory of language as a communication technology. At the centre of the theory, lies a new characterization of language as a functionally specific communication technology, dedicated to the instruction of imagination: with language, and only with it, speakers can make others imagine things without presenting them with any perceptual material for experiencing. An explanation is provided of how the instruction of imagination is achieved, with a short introduction to the architecture and modus operandi of the technology. It is then shown that this view of the functional specificity of language allows for a new type of approach to the dynamics of the origins and further evolution of language — one which identifies the instructive strategy itself as the driving force behind the entire process.

Keywords:   experiential communication, the instruction of imagination, functional specificity of language, the experiential gap, experiential mutual-identification, language and emotion, communication technology, social construction

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