Wittgenstein used the term "language-game" (Sprachspiel) to designate simple forms of language, "consisting of language and the actions into which it is woven" (PI 7), and connected by family resemblance. The concept was intended "to bring into prominence the fact that the speaking of language is part of an activity, or a form of life" (PI 23).
The term 'language game' is used to refer to:
These meanings are not separated from each other by sharp boundaries, but blend into one another. The concept is based on the following analogy: The rules of language (grammar) are analogous to the rules of games; meaning something in language is thus analogous to making a move in a game. The analogy between a language and a game brings out the fact that only in the various and multiform activities of human life do words have meaning. (The concept is not meant to suggest that there is anything trivial about language, or that language is just a game.)
The language is meant to serve for communication between a builder A and an assistant B. A is building with building-stones: there are blocks, pillars, slabs and beams. B has to pass the stones, in the order in which A needs them. For this purpose they use a language consisting of the words "block", "pillar" "slab", "beam". A calls them out; — B brings the stone which he has learnt to bring at such-and-such a call. (PI 2.)
Later "this" and "there" are added (with functions analogous to the function these words have in natural language), and "a, b, c, d" as numerals. An example of its use: builder A says "d — slab — there" and points, and builder B counts four slabs, "a, b, c, d..." and moves them to the place pointed to by A. The builder's language is an activity into which is woven something we would recognize as language, but in a simpler form. This language-game resembles the simple forms of language taught to children, and Wittgenstein asks that we conceive of it as "a complete primitive language" for a tribe of builders.
Playing the Corporate Language Game: An Investigation of the Genres and Discourse Strategies in English Used by Dutch Writers Working in Multinational Corporations. (Book Reviews).
Feb 01, 2002; Catherine Nickerson. 2000. Atlanta, GA: Rodopi. [ISBN 90-420-0730-3. 240 pages including notes, references, and two appendixes....