Meaning and Linguistic Sound: Why Are Sounds Imposed on Our Minds?

Dialogue: Journal of Phi Sigma Tau 56 (1):14-23 (2013)
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Abstract

An interesting fact about the meaning of words is the compulsion to perceive them; when we encounter a symbol, we perceive its meaning without the least mental effort. In this paper, I answer the questions, "How does the meaning of a word impose itself on us?" and "How does a symbol become meaningful and what is the meaning of a symbol?" By emphasizing the time when we understand a word, I introduce the reality of words versus the language convention. By distinguishing between giving meaning to words and their having a meaning, I show how, just like a reality, a word has a function appropriate to its unique character. We replace an independent entity called "meaning" with this function of understanding. Eventually, by distinguishing between the language act and the speaker's act, I show that the creative aspect of language is related to the layer of the language act rather than the speaker's act.

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