Effect of Change on Language
Social changes produce changes in language. This affects values in ways that have not been accurately understood. Language incorporates social values. However, social values are only the same as linguistic values when the society is a stable and unchanging one. Once society starts changing, then language change produces special effects.
The use of language forms a closed circle, since it is modeled on the circle of projection and introjection. The difference between the two circles is simply that the psychological one is based on individual meanings and the linguistic one on social values. This link between language and social values is one of identity, but only as long as society is static or is evolving slowly. In a static society, the language is the society. Society is its language. The two are one.
Language and society are two different systems since the structure within language centers on the static signifier whilst the structure within consciousness orientates on the dynamic signified. In times of stability the dynamic structure of consciousness is put on hold, so linguistic values and social values are one. However, as society changes so the dynamic structure gradually comes into the foreground. Perhaps it is more accurate to put this effect the other way around: as the dynamic structure of consciousness becomes accentuated, so society begins to change. As society changes, social values and linguistic values begin to diverge.
Language contains traditional values â€“ this is what is implied in the ideas of social conditioning and social learning. In a static society, traditional values are unquestioned. Hence social learning takes the form of social conditioning. Social conditioning is the unquestioned or confused adherence to social norms, and occurs when society is taken to be self-referential. Society is the judge of its own needs.
The only circumstance that normally breaks social conditioning in some degree is change. Therefore in a period of fast social change, chaos occurs as social norms are questioned, altered and perhaps even rejected. New norms are slowly generated. This chaos ensures that society can no longer be regarded as being self-referential.
In this situation of chaos, language is grasped as being self-referential. Then language is no longer necessarily tied to social reality. In such times, values change as the values within language change and we may witness radical innovation in artistic genres.