The Language of Systems

One Linguist’s Perspective
  • M. R. Combs


Once a linguist and anthropologist; I am now struck by a number of parallels between some of the assumptions that have been made (and debated) about linguistics and language, and between those that I have recently begun to make about the language of systems and the ideas that it contains, particularly in the context of business and information systems development. In so far as making a case for a link between language, linguistics and systems is concerned, I would not be initiating a debate but entering one which has occupied some rather more illustrious minds than my own. Stafford Beer (1985, p.vii), for example, notes that language was one of the viable systems which informed some of the discussion that gave birth to what has come to be known as the Viable System Model.


System Thinking Purposeful Activity Information System Development Viable System Model Viable System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. Combs
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HumbersideHullUK

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