Friday, September 16, 2011

German, Chinese, and Word Fallacies

Six minutes and my time in this typical overseas internet cafe is up.

It occured to me that speakers in certain languages are more prone to certain word fallacies than others.  For example, words in German often do combine parts together in ways that Germans consider meaningful.  Similarly, the pictures in Chinese and other languages do suggest pictures behind meanings.

From the standpoint of meaning, however, these tendencies to the etymological and overload fallacies are onlz because the speakers of those languages use words in those ways.  The words do not have to have those sorts of connections.  Thus Wittgenstein and the pragmatist understanding of language continue to hold valid--meaning is constructed up.  These are special cases where the use of words in certain languages tends to use etymologies and such as meaningful.

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