OI: One way that language is understood in our current age is as a description of our world, a set of labels that we use to describe things and people, a medium for the transfer of information. Much research in language has worked in this framework—that words correspond to entities and phenomena in the world. We see that a word like ‘chair’ corresponds to an artifact by that name in the world.

NI: While our old interpretation works, it hides that language is generative, and highly creative—not just descriptive. Language has the power, and through language, we generate

  • action,
  • outcomes of action,
  • possibilities,
  • commitments,
  • identities,
  • opinions,
  • moods and emotions and much more.
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