Sound and Meaning

zainurrahmanSound And Meaning

An Introduction

Zainurrahman

For centuries, experts try to define the primary form of language; and in connection with the Ideolinguistics paradigm language is primary formed in idea. As mentioned in other Ideolinguistics discourses that formerly human use picture and gesture to communicate idea. Picture and gesture are believed as the main way to communicate idea (keep in mind that “idea” is emanated from “eidos”; means “what is seen or recognized”. Lately, a controversial thought appears; beside ancient human use picture and gesture in communicating idea, it was impossible if they did not create certain articulations that have meaning. We then recognized that people use gesture and voice at the same time. However, it is not fully true that which preceded which; but it is true that one empower one. Tentatively, we consider that sound and gesture work in a same time; meaning that sound was created by ancient human to refer to gesture. Sound is now perceived as a more practical (easier) way to be used in communication. Then, people reform (or it was developed) picture (hieroglyph) to be smaller and more smaller, finally become letter. Ideolinguistics then define picture or letter as a way used by human as an effort to immortalize speech. It is not a final thesis can be proposed, because people also use letter to pack certain information or pack meaning. Therefore it can be tentatively said that human use letter to pack intended meaningful information and distribute or save it through time and space.
As mentioned before that sound is automatically articulated to refer to meaningful gesture. Meanwhile in some Ideolinguistics discourses we defined meaningful sound as “name of thing” and it is depended on the social convention. To make it clearer, here is the brief explanation:
Ancient people use certain voice (now is recognized as word) for and over the times. It must be culture, and we believe that language is one of the seven elements of the culture. In other side, the way used by people in different place must be different too. Therefore it can be assumed that the assimilation (or acculturation) take place there. From time to time, the certain voice was survived and became convention holded by the society, until now.
Nowadays, we use sound or voice to refer to a certain meaning without reason to empower gesture, because the mutual understanding takes place in communication process. However, it will not work if we are communicating with people who have different convention. Words or spoken language used mainly to empower gesture, to emphasize meaning; and at the same time, it also packs meaning itself.
Written language is actually become secondary when sound perfectly packs the meaning and there is mutual understanding between the sender and the addressee, of course it is contextually bound. For instance in English “forever” can be substituted with “4ever”. Grammatically it is incorrect, but pragmatically it is understandable. It proofs that written letter is not perfectly contained meaning. People understand “4ever” as “forever” based on how it sounded is.
In its process, we realize that gesture is very limited in reflecting idea. Most of abstract ideas cannot be represented by gesture, but picture can help people to give a little clear intention. Certain sound such as dream, sad, angry, and so forth, was created to represent most of the abstract ideas. Actually it was used to refer something exists in the sender thought. The sender idea was the direct reference of the sound that cannot be represented by gesture or picture. It can be assumed that sound also completes gesture and picture in packing meaning; beside its function to empower both gesture and picture.

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