What is Object Language?

Object language (also known as Objectics) is communicative use of material things. It comprises the intentional and non-intentional displays of tangible things; for instance, art objects, the arrangement of flowers, architectural structures, and finally the human body and what clothes it. The choice of code almost always depends on the nature of communication.

Object language—even though it is seldom mentioned—may be a preferred option to use in certain communicative contexts, especially with its direct and immediate nature; for example, the presentation of flowers, or a person tying a knot on the handkerchief to remind himself of something.

The arrangement of the physical environment also conveys information. The furniture may be so arranged in a library so as to say to the reader ‘make yourself at home’ or ‘come in if you must, but keep quiet.’

Object language, because of its time-enduring qualities, plays an enormous role in archaeology Opens in new window, anthropology Opens in new window, and history Opens in new window. Tools and weapons were known as early as the Stone Age Opens in new window, and the fact that material articles almost always carry either implicit or explicit instructions with them makes it possible to reconstruct events of prehistoric times, even though we lack knowledge of the verbal language of a particular period.

Three dimensional models are useful in the appreciation of architectural structures. Object language, because of its enduring qualities, plays an important part in the transmission of documents of our cultural heritage and deforms the subject matter of the branches of knowledge such as archeology.

Until the discovery of the first written document, the only clues we had to the remote past were those that survived in the form of objects (artifacts) and buildings.

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