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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Looking for Ludwig?
Author:   Steve Deiss
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   In a recent brainstorm (brainout depending on your viewpoint), I proposed that meanings have partly to do with the recipient of a message 'getting' the intent, aka what is meant, by the sender by knowing what to do, or say (out loud or not), or how to react (according to script) in response. Most importantly, I have said that the recipient becomes aware of having understood through a conscious feeling of comprehension or knowing, a sort of 'warm-fuzzy' which is a kindred spirit to Festinger's old work on cognitive dissonance and consonance. This view goes with the mantrum - ''Words do not have meaning by themselves, people mean things with words.'' (If the word ''hello'' popped out of the vacuum in a universe without people, it would be meaningless). Note that misunderstanding comes from having the feeling but not demonstrating the performance the sender expects. (Profs. and T.A.'s know what I am saying here, especially during finals week.)

I would like to know if this is old news or a well worn trail from the linguistic point of view. I am planning some experiments. If anyone knows of related views that attempt to ground meaning, I'd like to hear more. If you don't feel you understand, I'd be glad to clarify.

Stephen Deiss (deiss at appliedneuro dot com)
Applied Neurodynamics
Encinitas, CA
www dot appliedneuro dot com
LL Issue: 15.1015
Date posted: 24-Mar-2004


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