private language


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private language

1. A way of communicating that is shared between and understood by only a few people. My sister and I have had our own private language ever since we were girls—our brothers still can't understand it! After working together for so many years, Ellen and I have a private language that is all our own.
2. philosophy A type of inner language only comprehensible to a single person. The concept was introduced by Ludwig Wittgenstein, who argued that it could not exist. The concept of private language is still a topic of debate among philosophers, especially due to its potential ramifications for metaphysics.
See also: language, private
References in periodicals archive ?
I will do so by employing his own strategy which he mounts against the possibility of a private language.
The final cycle of the book bears the title "Caspar Hauser"--a reference to the satire by Jakob Wassermann (1908) about an autistic foundling with his private language who had spent his entire childhood in a dark prison tower before the "humane" society decided to "civilize" him.
Phenomenal Concepts and the Private Language Argument, DAVID PAPINEAU
Wittgenstein's private language argument is built on how people acquire and use language in ways appropriate to their relationships.
In particular, he looks at its criticism of his earlier Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the material on rule-following, and material on private language.
Several thousand foreign nationals come to Wales every year to study courses at a range of institutions from private language schools to sixth-form colleges and universities.
refusing to speak to adults, the twins communicated in their own private language, their only relationship being their intense and turbulent bond with each other.
It's a wonderfully sophisticated private language known only to her, and my stubborn attempts at humanising it, by pointing at Truffle and endlessly repeating the word "dog", have been completely ignored.
Even as her flute-like voice speaks aloud her shopgirl's dreams, her busy hands tell the true story in a private language of twisted fingers, clutched palms and tightly balled fists.
At the core of Kearney's work is a tension between private language and public display, between hermeticism and seduction; the echoes of artists as diverse as Christian Boltanski, Tatsuo Miyajima, and Robert Gober merely enhance this sense of a ceaseless, melancholic shuttling between personal reverie and something approaching communal memory.
The teacher of English at a private language school in Bangkok was arrested with two others at the city's Don Muang airport last Friday.
Beyond the technical challenges, Watson found that working on ``The Boxer'' was like coming into a marriage where there was already a private language that she didn't quite understand.
Evans has created an almost private language made of Welsh transliterated into English and mixed and warped with biblical phrases.
DLS), the largest private language training firm in the Washington, DC metro area, servicing government and corporate clients alike.
What Stern is mainly out to establish, however, is bigger--that the material on private language in the Investigations, the bulk of which comes from 1944, is 'less didactic, and more dialogical' than the material written earlier (113) and Wittgenstein, early and late, should be regarded as moving 'back and forth between proto-philosophical theorizing and Pyrrhonian criticism of such theories' (120).