The Organization of Meaning in Language

Essay, 2005

7 Pages, Grade: 2

Abstract or Introduction

Language enables humans to convey and exchange information about the world they live in. A person’s interpretation of the real world is represented by the conceptual structure in the head. Concepts are “organized bundles of stored knowledge which represent an articulation of events, entities, situations, and so on” (Cruse 2004: 125). In order to interact with the world successfully one must have a concept of its structure and meaning, this concept can be represented by human language. This ability is species specific, i.e., only humans can manipulate the world symbolically. Furthermore symbolic behaviour is species uniform, which means that all humans have the ability for it. Children seem to acquire a language automatically according to a certain pattern. They learn a language on the basis of cultural context and without real instruction: linguistic ability appears to be a genetic predisposition of the human race. It is a fundamental aspect of our life as, our understanding of the world is “imposed on us by our language’s distinction” (Pinker 1994: 154). This essay will explain how meaning of language is organized and how it is reflected in the structure of language. I will first deal with the nature of the sign and then go on to explain how the meaning of complex signs is built up by word formation processes. The last part of the essay will investigate some of the processes which are involved when we categorize the world. [...]


The Organization of Meaning in Language
University of Cologne  (Englisches Seminar)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
511 KB
This essay describes the nature of the sign as the basis of symbolic behaviour and the relationship between signs and word structures in the English lexicon. It deals with such key concepts as mental representation, arbitrariness, sound image, categorization, semantic features, word formation rules, and secondary motivation (transparency).
Organization, Meaning, Language, Hauptseminar
Quote paper
Benjamin Althaus (Author), 2005, The Organization of Meaning in Language, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: The Organization of Meaning in Language

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free