Degree & Affiliation
Nielsen, Charlotte M.B.
MA.Thesis, University of Copenhagen
Sprog der ikke kommunikerer - integrationismens centrale kommunikationssynspunkt som grundlag for en sprogpsykologisk analyse af kampagnen som meddelelsessituation med eksempel i Sundhedsstyrelsens succeskampagne i uge 40. [Language that does not communicate – central communication perspectives of integrationism as the base for a language psychological analysis of the communication campaign as message situation with example in the Danish public health administration’s successful week 40 anti-alcohol consumption campaign]
I investigate the dire rhetoric of the Danish National Health Board’s 40 week anti-alcohol consumption campaign, in particular the model of communication implied by the campaign's strategy. Contrasting the campaign's strategy in 2002 with the results of evaluations of previous years' campaigns suggests that the theory of communication underlying the campaign has its basis in mechanical action rather than in human communication. The practice of 'Communication’ is investigated in relation to this metaphorical 'abstract’ model of communication and contrasted with the human-centered theory of communication advocated by the authors applied integrationism.
Adrian Pablé and Christopher Hutton
Ph.D. Thesis, University of Hong Kong
System, order, creativity: Models of the human in twentieth-century linguistic theories
My thesis conducts a close reading of major linguistic theories in the twentieth century with a focus on three themes: linguistic system and the individual speaker, social order, linguistic creativity. The examination of these three fundamental themes concerning language and human nature, I argue, on the one hand, provides a fine-textured understanding of the implicit and explicit models of human nature endorsed by major theorists, on the other hand, reveals the methodological dilemmas of linguistics. Modern twentieth-century linguistics struggles to solve the tension between the recognition that language is a phenomenon inseparable from individual speakers, culture, communities, society, history, politics and an explicit need to objectify language as an observable entity. The three themes mentioned are foregrounded in the respective theories of Ferdinand de Saussure, Harold Garfinkel and Noam Chomsky. By exploring how these linguists, together with those influenced by them and those who hold contrastive views, approach these themes, I attempt to demonstrate their efforts of confronting the inherent tension in linguistic theorizing. Many of the mainstream theories under scrutiny all imply a reduced image of the human being characterized by a codified view of communication, a machine model of human behavior and a formalistic understanding of creativity, which do no justice to the reflexive and moral dimensions of human communication. By arguing that this representation is highly problematic my thesis seeks to counteract the tendency of mainstream linguistics to promote its status as an autonomous, scientific and ideologically neutral discipline. In the end, drawing on discussions about the heavily technologized nature of communication in contemporary societies, I examine closely the human-machine dilemma and advocate a more human view, which sees human speakers as socially embedded and having a history and a memory.