Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2020, Page: 1-5
On the Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity of Language
Li Feng, School of Foreign Languages, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China
Received: Dec. 20, 2019;       Accepted: Jan. 2, 2020;       Published: Jan. 9, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.cls.20200601.11      View  565      Downloads  203
When uttering a sentence, the speaker not only objectively expresses the propositional content of the sentence, but also conveys his views, feelings and attitudes toward the sentence. The speaker’s imprint is inherent in language. However, due to the dominance of structural linguistics and formal linguistics for a long time, “the speaker’s factor” in language has not been given due attention. With the advent of “linguistic turn” in the 20th century, language has become one of the objects of philosophical research and the significance of “the speaker’s factor” in language has attracted a host of scholars from philosophy, ethics, psychology, linguistics and many other disciplines. This paper firstly explores the mostly-acknowledged definition of subjectivity of language put forward by pioneering linguists, then discusses different approaches to the subjectivity of language from pragmatics, Relevance Theory, cognitive linguistics and Systemic Functional Grammar. Based on the previous research, the paper further explicates the speaker’s subjectivity from three aspects, viz. the speaker’s perspective, the speaker’s affect, and the speaker’s epistemic status. Lastly, the paper probes into the definition and development of intersubjectivity of language and points out that “the speaker’s factor” in language has been and will definitely be a vital topic in the future linguistic research.
Subjectivity, Speaker’s Perspective, Speaker’s Affect, Speaker’s Epistemic Status, Intersubjectivity
To cite this article
Li Feng, On the Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity of Language, Communication and Linguistics Studies. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2020, pp. 1-5. doi: 10.11648/j.cls.20200601.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Austin, J. L. 1962. How to do Things with Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bakhtin, M. 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. M. Holquist (ed.). C. Emerson and M. Holquist (trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press.
Benveniste, E. 1971. Problems in General Linguistics. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press.
Bréal, M. 1964. Semantics: Studies in the Science of Meaning. New York: Dover.
Bühler, K. 1990. Theory of Language: The Representational Function of Language. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Butler, C. S. 1985. Systemic Linguistics: Theory and Applications. London: Batsford.
Clark, H. H. 1973. Space, time, semantics and the child. In T. Moore (ed.). Cognitive Development and the Acquisition of Language. New York: Academic Press.
Finegan, E. 1995. Subjectivity and Subjectification: An Introduction. In Stein, D. and Wright, S. (eds.). Subjectivity and Subjectification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1-15.
Grice, H. P. 1975. Logic and conversation. In S. Davis (ed.). Pragmatics: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 305-315.
Halliday, M. A. K. 1994. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd ed.). London: Edward Arnold.
He Ziran, 2007, New Development in Pragmatics: Relevance, Adaptation, Memetics. Shanghai: Shanghai Education Press.
Jakobson, R. 1957. Shifters, Verbal Categories, and the Russian Verb. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Russian Language Project.
Jakobson, R. 1960. Linguistics and poetics. In T. A. Sebeok (ed.). Style in Language. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 350-377.
Langacker, R. W. 1987. Foundation of Cognitive Grammar (Vol. 1): Theoretical Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Li Hongru, 2001, A study on the development of semantic theory from the logic and philosophical perspectives. Foreign Language Research (1): 31-38.
Liu Jin, 2010. Perspective in Language Expression. Foreign Language Research (4): 40-43.
Lyons, J. 1977. Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lyons, J. 1995. Linguistic Semantics: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Martin, J. R. and P. White. 2005. The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Miller, G. and P. Johnson-Laird. 1976. Language and Perception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nuyts, J. 2005. Modality: Overview and Linguistic Issues. In W. Frawley (ed.). The Expression of Modality. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Ochs, E and B. Schieffelin. 1989. Language has a heart. Text 9.1 (Special Issue on the pragmatics of affect). 7-25.
Palmer, F. 1986. Mood and Modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Palmer, F. 1990. Modality and the English Modals (2nd ed). London: Longman.
Palmer, F. 2001. Mood and Modality (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Perkins, M. 1983. Modal Expressions in English. London: Frances Printer.
Sanders, J. and G. Redeker. 1996. Perspective and the representation of speech and thought in narrative discourse. In G. Fauconnier and E. Sweetser (eds.) Spaces, Worlds and Grammar. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 290-317.
Schiffrin, D. 1990. The principle of intersubjectivity in communication and conversation. Semiotica 80: 121-151.
Sperber, D and D. Wilson. 1986/l995. Relevance: Communication and Cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.
Shen Jiaxuan, 2001. A Survey of studies on subjectivity and subjectivisation. Foreign Language Teaching and Research (4): 268-275.
Traugott, E. C. 1999. The rhetoric of counter-expectation in semantic change: A study in subjectification. In A. Blank and P. Koch (eds.). Historical Semantics and Cognition. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 177-196.
Verhagen, A. 2005. Constructions of Intersubjectivity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wang Yin, 2005. On embodiment of language - from the perspective of embodied philosophy and cognitive linguistics. Foreign Language Teaching and Research (1): 37-43.
Browse journals by subject