The main aim of this book is to enable the reader to find ways of talking about meanings in language, particularly in relation to English. Meaning is fundamental to human society and language is one of the primary ways of conveying meaning. However, meaning is not a simple phenomenon and even the previous sentence could be seen as over-simplifying the relationship between meaning and language. It implies, after all, that meanings are there first, and that language comes later, as a straightforward representation of these prior meanings.
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