Czech and Slovak Linguistic Review


pages 5-19

Linguistic Memory

by  Juraj Dolník

Comenius University in Bratislava
Department of Slovak Language

The thesis of the author is that the past of the language and of the linguistic community is projected into the linguistic memory as a component of the cultural memory. If we raise the question what referential entities of the past are meant within the metaphorical usage of the term memory with regard to the language, this evokes the idea of the coexistence of external and internal memory. The explanations of the author are conducive to the hypothesis that internal linguistic memory is constituted on the basis of the functioning of the mechanism which guarantees the continual identity of the language. This mechanism is based on the constantly repeated cross-generational communication within the framework of which the linguistic memes are passed onto the following generations on the basis of the analogical linguistic behaviour of the receiving generations. External linguistic memory is constituted by the institutionalization of interpretations from the data from the past of the language, and of the manners of reactions to it with regard to the particular needs and interests of the whole speech community or to some particular intentions and goals. It is inherently connected with creating collective self-image based on the need of self-identification which is carried out within various historical-social conditions which, however, influence the interpretation.
cultural memory, linguistic memory, internal and external linguistic memory, collective self-image, naturalness of the language usage

pdf  Download PDF