Language is an objective reality that people have described through abstracting general use. One of the earliest theorists of language Dionysius Thrax (2nd ce. BC) sketched out a theory of grammar and syntax on the basis of assumed and stated rules of language. Like Isaac Newton’s discovery of the law of gravity became an assumed and unquestioned reality, so also laws of language have come to be understood—at least when it comes to grammar and syntax. Most will also affirm the reality of rhetoric—that the shape and form of speech matters for communication and that patterns of speech exists across cultures and can be discerned.
Yet fewer people are aware of speech-acts since the language to describe speech-acts is relatively new. [Read more…] about Language works at (at least) four levels: grammar, syntax, speech-acts, and rhetoric.