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Wording, Meaning, and Linguistic Ideology

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Abstract

Two seemingly disparate areas of English language structure—the grammar of reported speech and of textual cohesion—are functionally related in that both entail a distinction between “wording” and “meaning.” This is consistent with the Western ideological disjunction between language and reality, talk and action. Neither these language structures nor this linguistic ideology are found among the Ngarinyin people of northwestern Australia, suggesting a Whorfian hypothesis about their possible interrelationship.

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