By Katherine Demuth
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Additional resources for Basic Sesotho: An Oral Approach
Heidegger (1993) argues that individuals have their ‘being’ within language and language allows the world to come into being. ‘Thus we are within language, at home in language, prior to everything else’ (Heidegger 1977, 1993: 398). He maintains that speech is a matter of showing or pointing, which is bringing to presence all things that are in our concerns; language operates by pointing and reaching out to every area of presence, letting what is present appear. Furthermore he goes on to say that speakers come to own their speech and belong to what they say.
This view of an a priori inner language structure, finding its linguistic match in the language of the outside world, is contested by Kilpert (2003), who maintains that there is no such thing as a linguistic inner–outer match but that language has to be constructed; language has to construct categories ab initio on its own as they are not already there in the world awaiting activation. Chomsky, by contrast, uses his theory of Universal Grammar to explain why children learn their native language(s) so quickly and effortlessly: because, in fact, the job is already done in the deep mental structures.
This presents us with a unified theory of language. They define this as a ‘dialectic of the semiotic and the social in a wide variety of social practices . ’ (1999: 17). Chouliaraki and Fairclough are not discourse idealists who view the entire social world as a product of language and discourse, and as they state, ‘We believe that it is important for critical social science to incorporate discourse in its theorizing but to do so in a non idealistic way which does not reduce social life to discourse’ (1999: 28).
Basic Sesotho: An Oral Approach by Katherine Demuth