Type: Reflective Essays
Sample donated: Stacey Little
Last updated: September 30, 2019
Question: What are the three approaches explaining howrepresentation of meaning through language works. Answer: Thethree approaches that can be used for explaining how representation of themeaning through language works are the reflective, the intentional and theconstructionist approaches.
In reflective approach, meaning is supposed to bepresent in the real world and language acts like a mirror which shows the exactreal and clear picture of the present world. As the poet Gertrude Stien oncesaid, “A rose is a rose is a rose “(Source: Stuart Hall, The Work ofRepresentation. Page-10). In the previous times their image of the presentsituation was explained by the languages, paintings, drawings which weresimilar to the image of nature outside. So basically, nature was depictedthrough copying it in the form of language painting etc. So, the concept ofmimetics is that language works as a mirror by simply reflecting truth that isfixed in the world. So now talking about the above phrase, what we can see canbe co-related to the actual object.
But there are some words, sounds etc whichwe do understand but they are not a part of existing world but they are thefantasies and imaginary world which we create ourselves. The word rose can beused to explain the actual existing plant only because it is known to us in ourown language, but it is not necessary that the word is present in theirdictionary too, for them it will be a foreign word which they won’t understand.And if according to someone there exists no such word in their language thenthe presence of that object cannot justify its significance and meaning. Due todifferentiation in linguistic skills of the individuals the above statedopinions are right at their point and to understand the words the otherlanguage should be known to one of them. In the second approach the concept isreversed, it says that the author or the speaker himself decides the meaning ofthe words and makes the world understand the words from his point of view. And again,argument to this statement can be sited as sometimes individuals tend toexpress their views through the means of language, so there cannot be anyunique source of meanings in language although in this existing world we tendto express ourselves in our own private languages. The third approach is allabout what the actual meaning of language is.
It says that neither theindividual nor the things decide the meaning in language. Things themselvesdon’t have a meaning we ourselves create it. And this approach explains thatthe language is not explained with the help of material world. So, the socialactors create linguistics through different mediums which help in making thecommunication easy for the world.