chapter  2
11 Pages

Language and experience

ByJerome Bruner, Eileen Caudill, Anat Ninio

Let us begin with a Dewey theme. It is that the shape and structure of human experience and human action are reflected in the very nature of language, that language is not itself a system of logic, and that more precisely, the uses to which language is put by any given individual, the linguistic procedures he will employ, necessarily reflect the circumstances in which he has lived and how he has coped with them. In a word, language itself is in some deep sense a record of human experience and its particular personal manifestation is a record of individual experience. In contemporary jargon, language is never to be understood as context independent.