Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 1977 Issue »

    Two Functions of Language

    Carol Fleisher Feldman
    For many years scholars have debated the question of the source of meaning in language. In this article Carol Feldman advocates the view that meaning is necessarily dependent upon the communicative function of language and examines the objections, particularly those of Noam Chomsky, to this view. She argues that while Chomsky disagrees with the idea that communication is the essential function of language, he implicitly agrees that it has a function. Feldman discusses in detail Chomsky's examples of noncommunicative functions of language and maintains that each of his examples represents fundamentally communicative uses. Contrary to Chomsky, she concludes that the meaning-determining rules of language can only be understood by reference to the function of communication.

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    Fall 1977 Issue


    Eugene Radwin, Maryanne Wolf-Ward
    Helen Popp
    From Utterance to Text
    The Bias of Language in Speech and Writing
    David R. Olson
    Two Functions of Language
    Carol Fleisher Feldman
    Trends in Second-Language-Acquisition Research
    Kenji Hakuta, Herlinda Cancino
    Learning about Psycholinguistic Processes by Analyzing Oral Reading
    Kenneth S. Goodman, Yetta M. Goodman
    Alternative Conceptualizations of Dyslexia
    Evidence in Support of a Verbal-Deficit Hypothesis
    Frank R. Vellutino
    An Interactionist Approach to Advancing Literacy
    Nan Elsasser, Vera P. John-Steiner
    The Nature of Literacy
    An Historical Exploration
    Daniel P. Resnick, Lauren B. Resnick
    Making Sense of Reading—And of Reading Instruction
    Frank Smith
    Varieties of Deficiency in the Reading Processes
    Magdalen D. Vernon
    Reading Reconsidered
    Thomas Wolf
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