I am puzzling over this question awhile, and I can’t find any good, clear reference on the topic without going way to deep into linguistics and getting too abstract. Can anybody explain to me if architecture can be considered a language? Linguistically speaking does it have the characteristics to be considered a language? Mies van Der Rohe use to say that if one knows the language of architecture quite well, they might be able to write poems with it. Now, this said, what would be the foundational principles from a linguistic standpoint that would allow one to “speak” in the language of architecture ? I surely doubt that a facade could be seen as a direct absolute translation of an actual text, having the characteristic of human language grammar, but if it were a language, how could it "communicate", or in general what would it be? I was intrigued by Chomsky's statement regarding language whose first function is not to communicate but to somehow produce… I'm still fascinated by the theory of universal grammar of Chomsky, and I would be be curious to understand if we, regarding architecture, could have a kind of “internal grammar” which helps us to identify sentences with no meaning (like in human language). From the SEP Article "Philosophy of Architecture":
Goodman (1985) proposes that buildings have meaning in that they function symbolically relative to properties, feelings, or ideas, sometimes through “standard” denotation, as when representing symbolically (whether as building part or whole) some other object in the world. Primarily, though, buildings function symbolically through exemplification (literal or explicit denotation) or expression (metaphorical exemplification) of properties of ideas, sentiments, or objects in the world. Buildings only constitute architecture per se, in Goodman’s view, if they bear meaning in one or more of these ways. While Goodman may have identified a denotative role for buildings, this is not clearly a semantic role.
For example in architecture there are things which within the context of our current physical terrestrial condition (gravity) are not feasible and buildable, statically. Still many “Escher” like impossible figures are understood spatially by the brain as plausible… could anybody point me in the right direction of making sense of these thoughts??
Thanks in advance.