Transdisciplinarity in the Study of Human Communication: A 21st Century Challenge

Mapi Ballesteros Panizo


The following article attempts to list a series of theoretical and methodological challenges language studies have yet to overcome. My claims are based on what is known as ‘complex thought’ and a set of conceptual tools that can be traced back to Edgar Morin’s work. Applying complex thought to the domain of human communication reveals that the phonemic, grammatical, non-verbal and cognitive systems are closely related and indeed interdependent, which is why we need to adopt a transdisciplinary approach to the matter.
In accordance with this approach, I have divided my presentation in four parts, namely: (1) I will firstly provide a brief introduction to complex thought and its proposed transdisciplinary method. (2) The second part presents several conceptual tools that can help us understand the complexity of language, such as the concepts of emergence and the hologrammatic principle. (3) The third part of this article deals with a modern cognitive theory that allows us to progress by means of the transdisciplinary method I propose. (4) The conclusion provides a brief summary of previously reviewed questions.

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