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How do we . each of us, for ourselves and for others . make meaning How do we make sense of 'it all' - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class 8 December 2012 What I Mean is What I Mean and Oftentimes, What Others Mean Too: Individual and Collective Meanings through Language, Art, and Performance What people mean is what they mean, and sometimes, what others mean too, although not all the time…
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How do we . each of us, for ourselves and for others . make meaning How do we make sense of it all
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Download file to see previous pages Language is the most prominent way of making meaning, although this does not mean that the illiterate, blind, deaf, mute, and others who cannot speak, read, or write cannot make meaning. Meaning is not limited to the written or verbal language systems. This paper analyzes what meaning is and where it comes from and why. Although people can generate meaning without language, the system of language and the openness of arts and performance allow people to think about meaning in both traditional and nontraditional means that can affect their meaning-making practices and that of their audiences too. Meaning is defined through several approaches. The first group of theories focuses on the “referential” or “denotational” meaning of meaning (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet 53). They stress that meaning is the “aboutness” of the words, where meaning refers to the connection between words and objects, based on what a group or society asserted that they mean (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet 53). Studying meaning requires examining the relationships between words and their signified objects, which are the concerns of philosophical and mathematical logic (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet 53). The second group of theories on meaning can be called “psychologistic” or “mentalistic” because they are “inward looking” (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet 53). ...
The third group of theories is characterized as “social” or “pragmatic” because communication is perceived as a social activity and so meaning is socially made and used (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet 54). These theories provide a full meaning of meaning because meaning has dimensions of representation, denotation, and pragmatism (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet 54). For the purposes of this paper, meaning intersects its representational, denotative, and pragmatic dimensions and functions. Meaning is about what the word means based on what society in general agrees it is, what other symbols it can be connected to, and its actual uses in lived individual and collective lives. Language is the dominant way of making meaning. People make meaning by using language to think about meaning. Kafka’s novel, The Trial, involves making meaning of his experience through language. He strives to understand the origins of the charges against him through the language system that he knows. Nevertheless, because of lack of information, he cannot derive meaning from his predicament. He is being punished for something that is meaningless to him, but meaningful to his judges. Another example is making meaning through reflection and analysis. When reading and analyzing something to find its meaning, students use language to brainstorm ideas and to come up with a thesis. Their language gives them the words and mechanics that help them express their thoughts about the text being examined. Aside from the general process of making meaning, language is used in its denotative form to understand meaning. The word “sad” is about feeling the opposite of happy, at least in the denotative sense. Happiness is about a state of joy or pleasure, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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