Is there a relationship between linguistic sounds and meaning?


What connection is there between linguistic sounds and meaning? The present study claims that there is no such connection, and that linguistic sounds are the same as meaning. It is traditionally accepted that there is an arbitrary association between linguistic sounds and meaning. In the present paper, drawing from the concept of language authority for mind, I will talk about a distinction between live time of understanding - in which linguistic sounds are produced and understood - and non-live or historical time of understanding. Through making this distinction, I will show that in live time of understanding, assuming any relationship between the mental state of linguistic sounds and that of meaning is inadequate, and that the best way to explain why linguistic sounds are understood instantly and effortlessly as soon as they are heard is to imagine that linguistic sounds are the same as meaning or that at least we are only faced with a single sound-meaning mental state. In addition, making a comparison between hearing linguistic sounds and seeing objects helps us consider linguistic sounds the same as meaning in the context of live time of understanding.

Author's Profile


Added to PP

1,293 (#9,030)

6 months
639 (#2,050)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?