The Instruction of Imagination: Language as a Social Communication Technology by Daniel DorThe Instruction of Imagination: Language as a Social Communication Technology by Daniel Dor

The Instruction of Imagination: Language as a Social Communication Technology

byDaniel Dor

Hardcover | August 28, 2015

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The book suggests a new perspective on the essence of human language. This enormous achievement of our species is best characterized as a communication technology - not unlike the social media on the Net today - that was collectively invented by ancient humans for a very particularcommunicative function: the instruction of imagination. All other systems of communication in the biological world target the interlocutors' senses; language allows speakers to systematically instruct their interlocutors in the process of imagining the intended meaning - instead of directlyexperiencing it. This revolutionary function has changed human life forever, and in the book it operates as a unifying concept around which a new general theory of language gradually emerges. Dor identifies a set of fundamental problems in the linguistic sciences - the nature of words, the complexities of syntax, the interface between semantics and pragmatics, the causal relationship between language and thought, language processing, the dialectics of universality and variability, theintricacies of language and power, knowledge of language and its acquisition, the fragility of linguistic communication and the origins and evolution of language - and shows with respect to all of them how the theory provides fresh answers to the problems, resolves persistent difficulties inexisting accounts, enhances the significance of empirical and theoretical achievements in the field, and identifies new directions for empirical research. The theory thus opens a new way towards the unification of the linguistic sciences, on both sides of the cognitive-social divide.

About The Author

Daniel Dor received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford University, and he is currently head of the Department of Communication, Tel Aviv University. He has written extensively on a wide variety of issues: the relationship between semantics and syntax, the pragmatics of newspaper headlines, the emergence of a new sociolinguistic reg...
The Social Origins of Language
The Social Origins of Language

by Daniel Dor

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Title:The Instruction of Imagination: Language as a Social Communication TechnologyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:August 28, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190256621

ISBN - 13:9780190256623

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Functional Specificity of Language3. How the Technology Works4. Sign and Meaning5. The Spiral of Relativity6. Production and Comprehension7. The Social Autonomy of Syntax8. The Universality of Diversity9. Acquisition as a Collective Enterprise10. The Evolution of Language and its Users11. ConclusionReferences