What are the characteristics that you feel best describe language? Why?
I believe that all language is perceived very differently and varies from person to person. However, language can only be language if there are common boundaries and structures that are generally known by everyone speaking that language. One of these requirements is that it has to be expressible. It does not matter what language it is (body language, sign language, spoken languages, etc.), but it has to be shown in one way or another in order for another person speaking the same language to understand what you are saying. The second characteristic is that all language has to follow some sort of structure. For example, in the english language, we have different rules such as subject-verb agreement, past/present tense, etc. However, rules have to be present in other languages as well, or else always saying something different will not result in a person understanding the speech. The final important characteristic of speech is that it has to have meaning. We can only understand and perceive language if words have meanings behind them, and without meaning we wouldn’t have proper language.
What might be some of the weaknesses of language?
One weakness is that it always requires 2 or more people to understand and speak a language. For example, babies are able to “baby-talk”, but if no one speaks their language, no one is able to understand the meaning behind the words, although there is intention and meaning inside the baby’s head.
After this class, I believe that I am more of a perceptual realist rather than a perceptual relativist. Mainly, I believe that for the most part, what we see in our everyday lives is what is really out there, and not many things in life can easily trick our eyes (exceptions being optical illusions, etc.). I believe that we have evolved enough to a point where our eyes should be feeding us correct information 90% of the time. If that wasn’t the case, our species would’ve been wiped out long ago. Also, I believe that I know when my eyes are being tricked and that there are logical explanations behind it. I do not agree for the post part with the fact that what you see is completely different from what I see, for example I see the colour blue while you see the colour red. I also believe that illusions and delusions are indeed glitches, as we don’t normally have these experiences on a daily basis. If we did, we would be able to know and recognize that what we see is not real, just like ancestors did to come up with the terms “illusions” and “delusions”.