Language as a Communication Technology

A Proposal for a New General Linguistic Theory

The Structure of the Argument

The theory of Language as a Communication Technology (LCT) is a large-scale attempt to develop a unified model of language – a model that captures the essence of language as a general phenomenon, and provides the necessary common ground for the description, analysis and explanation of its different facets. This article presents a skeletal description of the entire line of argumentation of the theory. It begins with a new characterization of language as a communication technology of a very specific functional type, a collectively-constructed technology that allows for communication across the experiential gaps between its users. It then shows (very informally) how this characterization allows for the unified treatment of major theoretical issues from the realms of functional and structural analysis, lexical semantics, language production, pragmatic interpretation, the philosophy of language, sociolinguistics and the sociology of language, language and power, the relationship between language and thought, the dialectics of the universality of language and the variability of languages, and the questions of language acquisition and the human capacity for language. The article then shows how the theory meets the single most important explanatory challenge that any general theory of language should be able to meet: An explicit, detailed and multi-dimensional speculative narration of the evolution of language – a narration that meets the requirements of current evolutionary theory. Download here.