The Controversy Between Private And Public Languages: The Search For A Third Way

Chrysanthus N. Ogbozo


The concept of ‘private language’ is explained as a language that is in fact understood by one person and in principle can only be understood by one person. But a public language argues against such a private language on the ground that “if ideas are private entities accessible only to the person who has them, how is common meaning possible”? Amid the arguments that are prevalent on both sides of the divide, the present article searches for a third way which can be rooted in the dynamic feature of language which is its adaptability or openness to varied linguistic contexts, that is, to both the old root-meanings and new construct-possibilities. Such a feature makes language a truly living and real thing and hence a truly human activity.

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