• We use language in many different ways and for many different purpose.
  • The purpose of logic is to improve our critical thinking.
  • To think critically is to recognize, construct, analyze, and evaluate arguments
  • doing these things requires that we able to separate the argumentative uses of language from the other uses.
  • these categories are not mutually exclusive. A sentence may be used in more than one way on any given occasion.

Categories of use of language

the uses of language it is divided in 5 broad categories

1. the informative:

  • What we express, when using language informatively , can be judged true or false
  • we may not know which it is, but we know it is one or the other. for e.g., consider the sentence,"there are intelligent life forms on other planets". it may be the case that there are no life of any kind in any other galaxy.
  • Either way, it is an informative use of language because the sentence expresses something that is either true or false.
  • A sentence used informatively is usually, but not always, a declarative sentence.
  • if we wish not only to inform,but also to add emphasis to the information, we might use an exclamatory sentence.
  • A student might say to the teacher, "is it already noon?" the purpose is not to inquire, but to tell the teacher that it is time to stop for a lunch break.
  • The informative use of language itself has many uses. included are reports, descriptions, analyses, explanations and argument.

2. the evocating

  • when used evocatively,serves to bring about a response, usually from another person.
  • commands are one large group of evocative expressions.
  • if i use the sentence, "close the door", presumably there is an open door and someone present whom i want to close it. the sentence is used to evoke the action of door closing.
  • Questions, like commands, are an evocative use of language
  • The function of a question, in normal cases, is to elicit an answer
  • if your instructor asks"are you sure you've studied enough?" she probably is encouraging you to study more.
  • Feeling or emotions, as well as actions, may be evoked by language.
  • one of the things we must be cautious of is language that pretends to be informative, but is actually evocative.
3. the expressive: 

  • The expressive use of language is best characterized by its lack of other directedness.
  • we can express our joy, sadness, or pain privately or publicly. expressions such as "oh, " "wow", and "ouch" curses and cheers are typical of the expressive use.
  • because we are social beings, and language is a primary vehicle of our social interaction, it is frequently the case that language is simultaneously used to express and evoke.
  • we have empathy with others. when they express joy through laughter, we laugh with them. when they cry, we cry with them.
4. the evaluative

  • language is used evaluatively to express ethical, aesthetic, or functional judgments.
  • terms like "good,"bad","right", "wrong"'"beautiful", "ugly", "efficient", and "inefficient" are clues to the evaluative use of language.
  • Evaluative language falls into three major areas:
  • ethical,aesthetic and technical.
  • Ethical language is about right and wrong, duties and obligations, rights and responsibilities.
  • Aesthetic language is about beauty and ugliness, the pleasing and displeasing
  • technical language is about what is useful and useless, efficient and inefficient, functional and dis functional.
5. the performative

  • A performative expression is one used to accomplish some social act in contrast to reporting, evaluating, provoking, or reacting to it.
  • to say, "i apologize for my offensive behaviour", is to apologize for that behaviour.
  • it i not to report an act, which has been performed or will be performed. it is the performance of apologizing.
  • both the recognition and the execution of performatives require knowledge of social roles and actions.
  • voting is done by citizens or by members of organization.
  • promises are generally binding only on those who make them.

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