Language is the most important human medium. Language was the quantum leap in the evolution of Homo Sapiens. But it is also a highly complex system that is constantly evolving, because otherwise we would still be speaking Middle High German today, for example. The decline in everyday language is currently being proclaimed through the use of emojis and anglicisms in social media. However, language diversity is hardly considered.
Another phenomenon of societal and political changes in language is perhaps most strikingly evident in the current debates on gender and inclusive language. Does language change consciousness and thus society? Is the precise use of language still relevant today? Are “the limits of my language still the limits of my world?” as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein postulated in the Tractatus? Will artificial intelligence transform human language beyond all previous borders into infinity?
Franz Schuh, Writer and essayist and Elisabeth Nemeth, Institute for Philosophy at the University of Vienna, with Walter Hämmerle, Editor-in-Chief of the “Wiener Zeitung”.