Too Many Combinations

Have the researchers figured out how many combinations of words there are in languages? Have they figured out the form it assumes in human speech? Can they predict the form that language assumes?

I’m thinking not. I don’t see how they could, anyway. There are  too many combinations. So my opinion of language is that it can go in any direction and is infinite in its possibilities.

This should affect how I teach. But for a long time I always thought that I could use stories to teach patterns which would then replicate themselves over and over and the mind would be able to create language that way, because of all the repetition I did in the classroom.

The idea was that we take a target and repeat, repeat, repeat until the form of the target “took hold” and there would be language gains in the student.

Maybe it’s true. But why worry about it so much? Good heavens, we have enough to worry about!

Language is such a grand thing! A conversation can go in any, any, any direction in less than a second. Infinite directions. A linguistic fabric that functions like fascia to hold people together. Improvised and free and it also cements a person’s membership in the group. Expansive and not reductive. Full of unknown and invisible possibilities. Chances to uplift.

Hmmm. If that is true then I want to teach that way. Otherwise it’s too boring. Stories taught with targets are boring. I am glad that they are working for a lot of people anyway. I personally just don’t want to reduce what I teach to aim at only parts of the language. I want to my conversation to be able to go anywhere.



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