ABSTRACT

As we have already seen, the linguistic choices a speaker or writer makes (consciously or subconsciously) will affect the meaning of what they say or write, often in quite subtle ways. These choices may be related to lexical choices, sentence structures, what is included or left out of a text, and the amount of attention given to certain pieces of information. Because we are so familiar with our language and the different uses to which it is put, it is easy to be lulled into assuming that whatever is expressed about the world through language is, in some sense, ‘real’. However, language itself is one step removed from reality. For example, nouns like ‘car’ or ‘rain’ or ‘dog’ are not those things themselves, but representations of them in speech or writing.