Language is a tool to communicate with the means of verbal symbols. But language is complex and paradoxical. Hopi, the language of Pueblo Indians of Arizona in the US, consists of various grammars. For instance, the Hopi language doesn’t have the same tense system, and a similar expression to express ideas like that of the future and nor does the modern English language. They are expressed in different ways. In the Nepali language, there is a future verb but not in English. They express future tense saying either “I will go home” or “I am going home.”
On the subject of different grammars of languages, the speakers of different languages have different observations and evaluation of externally or physically similar acts of observation. The Chinese say “grass greens,”, instead of saying “it is green.” They see green as a process rather than a state. Another striking example of dissecting the nature along the lines of language is with colors. We say there are seven colors because we don’t have the idea of other kinds of colors.
Likewise, African-origin English speakers do not use “if” to make conditional sentences. Rather, they use the rising intonation to signal the conditional connection.
Jacques Derrida, the father of Deconstruction, who accepted language as a system of communication yet extended its problem. He claimed that the knowledge of language and communicability and its meanings don’t give the desired relation.
Language conveys a number of meanings from time to time and person to person. A question arises: Does the word “communication” give that determined meaning? Western metaphysics believes that communication is a vehicle for thought and passage of meaning. So, communication is polygenic or plural in nature. It is difficult to bridge the gap between a reader and a writer.
We also think that communication conveys the intended meaning, but actually it doesn’t. The person we talk to understands it in accordance with the concept, thinking and AMAR SHERMA (LIMBU)
context. What matters more is that limitations or orientation in language are not absolute, for as long as competency is there. Performance will take place in whatever way. This is why it is wise to deconstruct the traditional idea of fixity of knowledge of language and communication capability or meaning. Today’s knowledge will be insufficient for tomorrow and tomorrow’s for next tomorrow.
The writer is currently studying at RR Campus and teaches English in Chelsea Academy in Kathmandu