Communication of meaning is achieved through words and grammatical structures alone



Today, there a more than 7 billion people living on this planet. We have surpassed all other species of animals by an incredibly long margin. We have achieved feats that were inconceivable once. We have touched the moon, discovered particles that are infinitesimally small and galaxies that are larger than we can even conceive, we have conquered the high mountains, trekked impassable deserts, scoured the skies and tamed even the raging seas. But one feat that separates us completely from all that came before us - the ability to believe in an imagined reality, to believe in a collective myth and values and this is what has ultimately given shape to modern human society.

The telling of myths and stories allow Homo sapiens to collaborate in large numbers in extremely flexible ways. This separates us from all other animals. And, all this is possible because of the human ability to communicate with extreme efficiency and precision. This ability to communicate efficiently and effectively is what creates scientific and artistic breakthroughs, leads to the establishment of companies, corporations, markets and even nations. It is indeed how we human beings have literally conquered the world.

What is Communication?

The word communication is derived from the latin word communicare which means to share. "Communication is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another." Language serves the most organised and efficient mode of communication. But it is not the only mode. Visual arts in the form of sculpture, paintings and photography, performance arts in the form of acting and dancing often convey deep emotions that get deeply engraved in our minds, something that even the finest constructed sentences fail to do. Such forms of communication certainly do not rely on words or grammatical structures.

Much of modern linguistic theory is based on the assumption that the primary and fundamental function of language is communication. But that certainly doesn't make language the sole authority or mode over communication.