"The origin and the primitive form of the language game is a reaction; only from this can more complicated forms develop.And Sraffa, I guess, wrote the following in the early 1930s:
Language - I want to say - is a refinement, 'in the beginning was the deed'." -- Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value (Translated by Peter Winch) (1980)
"If the rules of language can be constructed only by observation, there can never be any nonsense said. This identifies the cause and the meaning of a word.
The language of birds, as well as the language of metaphysicians can be interpreted consistently in this way.
It is only a matter of finding the occasion on which they say a thing, just as one finds the occasion on which they sneeze.
And if nonsense is 'a mere noise' it certainly must happen, as sneeze, when there is cause: how can this be distinguished from its meaning?
We should give up the generalities and take particular cases, from which we started. Take conditional propositions: whan are they nonsense, and when are they not?" -- Piero Sraffa as quoted by Heinz D. Kurz, "'If some people looked like elephants and others like cats, or fish...' On the difficulties of understanding each other: the case of Wittgenstein and Sraffa", The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, V. 16, n. 2 (2009): pp. 361-374