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Presuppositions in language

How is it possible that we are able to understand each other? How is it possible that we can give meaning to what the other person is saying?

"Presuppositions in language" goes far beyond the traditional grammar. It's about how the interplay of words gives the whole the sentence a meaning. If your manage this subject well it will be easier to make your language powerful. Speaking the language is at surface level, while the effect of language is in the deep structure, namely the internal representation that the listener makes.

The subject 'presuppositions of language' is the basis of language and

  • helps us to understand the functioning of language
  • teaches us to look at language in another way than the traditional grammar.
  • answers the question of which mental processes are playing in our head so that we can understand language.
  • helps us to listen and use language more consciously

There is for example a difference between the phrase,
"Do you have any questions?" and "What questions do you have?"
In the phrase "What questions do you have?" it’s assumed you have questions while in the phrase "Do you have any questions?” it is kept open.

The same structure can be recognised in the phrases "Have you learnt something?" and "What did you learn?".

By dwelling on the assumptions in our language we discover much about the internal representations of people and we can find answers to questions or problems.

Use of the Presuppositions of language

We use the presuppositions of language for two purposes:

  • To recognize what is presupposed in the language of a person.
  • To create new internal representations in a person.

The 9 language patterns

1. Existence
To recognize nouns and personal pronouns.

  • "He walks past the house."
  • "My doughter has a new bike."

2. Possibility/necessity
To recognise all the words that result in a possibility or necessity (based modal operators).

  • "He could be at home". (possibility)
  • "You must learn this part." (necessity)

3. Cause - effect (A> B)
Words that can be recognized by coupling phrases to each other, and wherein the one part is the result of the other part (A> B). Listen to words such as'' ‘if... then, because '...

  • "If you pay attention then you will learn."
  • "Because you help me, you will succeed."

4. Complex equivalence (A = B)
Identified by coupling words and phrases to connect with both phrases equated as being equal (A = B). Listen to words such as 'are', 'is', 'means' ...

  • "You are awesome!"
  • "Ths chapter is simple."

5. Awareness
To recognize words that reflect how we process our experiences with our senses. Listen to words like "see", "hear", "feel", "smell", "taste", "think", "know", "achieve", "aware of" ...

  • "He smells pancakes."
  • "He is aware of the consequences."
  • "She sees her opportunities."

6. Time
To recognize words that have a time frame in them. Words that give the past, present and future. Listen to the time of the verb and words such as 'stop', 'now', 'still' ....

  • "She did her best."
  • "She is doing her best."
  • "She will doher best

7. Adverb/adjective
To recognize words that say something of a verb (adverb) or a noun (adjective) say. Listen to those words that add detail to verbs and nouns.

  • "I'm going to work hard on that beautiful piece of music."

8.Choice (or)
To recognise words that give a choice. Search for the word "or".

  • "Will you do this yourself, or shall I?"
  • "Do you do this now or tomorrow?"

9. Ordinal (order)
To recognize all the words that give a ranking. Listen to lists, numbers, enumerations, sequences, ...

  • "In the third round we will become first."
  • "This is the ninth presupposition of language."

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