Monday, April 22, 2024

This, Clearly, Isn’t Language

Any communication
That can say what isn’t is
As easily as saying

What is isn’t, and be known
To be communicating
A state that isn’t the case—

To the communicator,
To the receiver, to both—
That can propose p, not-p,

As easily, regardless
Of the experienced state
Of p or not-p outside

Of any statement, isn’t
Simply communication
Or effort at deception,

But is language. The presence
Or absence of some agreed
Complexity of syntax,

Symbolism, or abstraction,
Is not the criterion
To vet a proposition

That the communication
Is or isn’t echt language.
Can the proposition state

Of itself or anything
The opposite of the shared
Experience of the case,

State p when not p, not p
When p? That proposition
Is a statement in language,

Not a communication,
Not only one. Every poem
Is genuinely language.

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