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Communication Processes at the Seam of Life

Marta Bogusławska-Tafelska

This volume proposes a new, post-Newtonian alley in modern language and communication studies. The new linguistics receives here the label ecolinguistics, as the conceptual-terminological field founded on the «ecological» metaphor seems optimal to formulate the thesis of human language being a life process, and involving a repertoire of ecosystemic, not exclusively cognitive or social, parameters. Communicators are living systems and as such they transpersonally co-build momentary meanings and communicational senses together with the rest of the communication field. The communication apparatus which is phylogenetically present in humans includes both the cognitive modalities and the noncognitive communication modalities. The ecolinguistic paradigm in modern linguistics offers new theoretical departure models for educational programs, for psychological/therapeutic interventions, or for self-exploratory and self-educational undertakings of a human communicator.
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Chapter Three: The possibility of a paradigmatic shift in present-day linguistics


3. Introduction

Having looked at contemporary language studies and working in the community of linguistic scholars for over a decade now, we have come to two realizations. Firstly, it occurs to us that the vast field of linguistics, with its present multimodal perspective, remains unable to propose constructive, applicable solutions, even when communicative tensions and problems that communicators face are recognized. As a result, pedagogical books classify and discuss complex communication problems in the domain of the psycholinguistics of education. Volumes have been written on the topic of language manipulation and lying in interpersonal or mass/media communication. The language of (Western) medicine and communication processes in politics have received scholarly attention as well. However, the academic effort of linguistics seems unable to move beyond mere recognition of the surface layer of these problems. Linguists build more and more complex theoretical classification frames for what they observe and study, without constructive proposals addressing the basic concern: so, what now?

Due to the fact that we do not like the idea of a modern linguist being indifferent to the applications of his or her academic pursuit, we have reached the second realization, namely, that it may not be particular linguistic models or theories which are crippled or poorly constructed, nor is it scholars’ lack of passion to push the research further towards socially and individually appreciated proposals. It seems that a deep-level, paradigmatic reconsideration is needed here, as mainstream linguistics working within the confines of the...

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