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authors Glanville, R.
year 1996
title Communication without Coding: Cybernetics, Meaning and Language (How Language, becoming a System, Betrays itself)
source Modern Language Notes, Vol 111, no 3 (ad Wellbery, D)
summary In this essay communication is considered as a cybernetic system in which two participants (the representer and the representee) share a representation (made up of a representing and a represented), each constructing his own meaning from the identity of the representing and the represented in the representation in the form of a conversation. Meaning, in this context, is not seen as lying in any part of the representation. This system is modified so as to incorporate a meta- and a subconversation which allow the participants in the conversation to negociate agreement more effectively, and to better handle error. Types of agreement are examined, as is the conversation as a source of novelty. Further pragmatic considerations are introduced such that a series of agreements may allow it to appear that there is, after all, meaning in the act of representation, although this is always a matter of "as if". Certain consequences of this cybernetic system are developed and some of the prerequisites for such a system to exist are explored. Possible tests (and the value of such testing) are considered.
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