Question: Write a short note on the three approaches explaining howrepresentation of meaning through language works. Answer: The three approaches thatcan be used for explaining how representation of the meaning through languageworks are the reflective, the intentional and the constructionist approaches.In reflective approach, meaning is supposed to be present in the real world andlanguage acts like a mirror which shows the exact real and clear picture of thepresent world. As the poet Gertrude Stien once said, “A rose is a rose is arose “(Source: Stuart Hall, The Work of Representation. Page-10).In theprevious times their image of the present situation was explained by thelanguages, paintings, drawings which were similar to the image of natureoutside.
So basically nature was depicted through copying it in the form oflanguage painting etc. So the concept of mimetics is that language works as amirror by simply reflecting truth that is fixed in the world. So now talkingabout the above phrase, what we can see can be co-related to the actual object.But there are some words, sounds etc which we do understand but they are not apart of existing world but they are the fantasies and imaginary world which wecreate ourselves. The word rose can be used to explain the actual existingplant only because it is known to us in our own my language, but it is notnecessary that the word is present in their dictionary too, for them it will bea foreign word which they won’t understand.
And if according to someone thereexists no such word in their language then the presence of that object cannotjustify its significance and meaning. Due to differentiation in linguisticskills of the individuals the above stated opinions are right at their pointand to understand the words the other language should be known to one of them.In the second approach the concept is reversed, it says that the author or thespeaker himself decides the meaning of the words and makes the world understandthe words from his point of view. And again argument to this statement can besited as sometimes individuals tend to express their views through the means oflanguage, so there cannot be any unique source of meanings in language althoughin this existing world we tend to express ourselves in our own privatelanguages.
The third approach is all about what the actual meaning of languageis. It says that neither the individual nor the things decide the meaning inlanguage. Things themselves don’t have a meaning we ourselves create it. Andthis approach explains that the language is not explained with the help ofmaterial world. So the social actors create linguistics through differentmediums which help in making the communication easy for the world.