The designed features of language by Charles F. Hockett
Charles Francis Hockett (* 17 as January as 1916 – 3 as November as 2000 ) was a linguist American who developed many influential ideas in American structuralism.
He represented the post bloomfieldian phase of structuralism, often taking as a reference the distributionalism or taxonomic structuralism.
In his “Aim on Structure” he argues that linguistics can be seen as a game and as a science. A linguist like the player (actor) is free to experiment on all expressions of a language, but no criteria to compare his analysis with other linguists. Late in his career, he was known for his attack on Chomskian linguistics which he called “a theory spawned by a generation of vipers.”
The fifteen design features that characterize the language
- Vocal-auditory canal
Reception is done through the ear canal. The broadcast is done through the oral channel.
- Irradiated transmission and directional reception
The broadcast signal circulates in all possible directions and whoever receives the message is able to know where it comes from.
Talk about emissions, these are transitory. They disappear quickly.
Participants of a language can exchange their roles. Thus we have that the sender can become a receiver and vice versa.
It has to do with the awareness of being speakers, we are aware of our broadcasts and the effects they produce on the receiver.
The only function of human language is to communicate and that leads each language to specialize in social, geographical issues …
In a language system its units have a fixed meaning, each expression has to be associated with a meaning. Any communication system that establishes a relationship between signal and real-world information is semantic.
It is synonymous with “conventionality.” Language systems are arbitrary. Conventionality is the result of an agreement between speakers. There does not have to be a relationship between the sign and the meaning.
- Discreet character
There must be discrete units, that is, well differentiated.
It indicates that through a limited set of elements we can understand an unlimited set of elements.
- Duality or double articulation
Human languages must always be doubly articulated, this characteristic has to do with the structural question of Saussure:
- Traditional transmission
It indicates that human languages are transmitted culturally from generation to generation.
- Learning capacity
It is the criterion that indicates that all languages are capable of being learned.
It is the possibility of transmitting false information, that is, messages issued with awareness, knowing that they are false.
Possibility of offering the linguistic codes in a past, present or future time.