chapter  2
7 Pages

Subject-matter Views

This chapter considers the reality-construction view of language in detail and discusses the nature of subject-matter views. Subject-matter views can be analyzed into sets of assumptions made about the subject matter in question. Each scientific discipline may be thought of as maintaining an ongoing discourse that is effectively governed by the respective subject-matter views of the particular disciplines. In the case of language descriptions, the problem which the openness poses is not regarded as being as great, because linguists have worked out various conventions for making descriptive decisions in spite of the internal diversity. It should be equally possible to establish comparable conventions for the description of subject-matter views if people were sufficiently desirous of doing so. The 'mapping' view of language is not being proposed as representing the beliefs of linguists or of anyone else, but rather as assumptions of linguistics as a scholarly tradition.