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Jerry Moore
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If, say, from next generation human start looses his ability to talk due to some mutation, what going happen with Language? Is it going parish together with culture and all sorts of linguistic theories? If your answer is No, you have to think again about eminence, prime and special position of speech/vocal manifestation of Language facility and about the relevance of FOXP2 to this facility. Investigate Language ability on the merit of ability to speak seems equally unproductive as on ability to write. ------------------------------------- BLOGGER: I'm more interested in what happened than in what will happen. We ended up as a talking species that includes some signers and writers. How did that happen?
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2011 on What Makes Humans Tick? at Babel's Dawn
Karthil Durvasula, did you ever tried to formulate what is research of Chomsky et al. about? Language? Speech? If it is targeting Language (as the plural for all spoken languages), it is tragically lacking Universals, as the most of results of the study statistically circumcised and hardly able to substantiate a qualitative approach. If it is targeting Language (as the “biological presets” or “organ” [N.C.] for the grammar acquisitions), it supposes to be brave enough to state principal role of the formal (grammatical) structure and clear explain the derived or secondary status of the semantic hub of such “presets”. Till then neurolingustic part of that study is dealing with the unclear types of stimuli. Few equations. You wrote: “modern theoretical linguists, who see the work as in fact very-well laid of theoretically” Can you advance us to that theory? In brief. It not supposes to be a secret one. You wrote: “the Phillips camp (I like your word “camp” J.M.), as far as I know, will be one of the last people to think of language …(cut)... Their view is more about how to study language - which is by taking theoretical entities seriously” Could you point as any of their developed methodology or somehow summarise their advances in study? You wrote: “the rather mundane task of defining what language is - which is mostly a pop-science issue to a professional theoretical linguist” Are you serious? With philosophy like this it is no wonder that main achievements of this branch of science (2 billion dollars pull of mainly taxpayers’ money) is the development of all sort of talking vending machines and automated telephone services so far. On this note, please, let me leave unchallenged the last part of your comment. ---------------------------- BLOGGER: i don't mind commenters yelling at each other, but this dspute seems to me to have run out of gas.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2011 on Does Language Exist? at Babel's Dawn
Regretively, Colin Phillips’s work is lacking the basic theoretical foundation except from few speculative remarks of N.Chomsky and is vague going around neuro and motor processing of various grammatically driven speech constructs. I wonder how they define Language: as some attribute of speech practice?, grammar processing? Any idea? His discovery of phonemic mismatch is not making for Linguistics more then graphemic mismatch in: “The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm.”
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2011 on Does Language Exist? at Babel's Dawn
Language in Action. Reinterpreting Gesture as Language. by Nicla Rossini to appear. IOS Press: Amsterdam, Berlin, Oxford, Tokyo, Washington.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2011 on The Signs of Sarcasm at Babel's Dawn
Scientific research supposes to include erudition. Erudition itself is able to exist apart from scientific reasoning. For last 10-12 years scholars of different fields produced abandon number of papers in relation to Coevolution of language and mind, language and ToM. I remember fascination of many blogger with Pinker’s book as an example. From other hand all hard tries by ethologists to find traces of some Language use by animals fail to produce any results. Remember of coevolution of language and mind, it is pointless to wait for discovery of some traces of Mind in non-human animals as well. This field of science is developing rapidly so “wikipedia” can’t catch up.
I remember your childish remarks on my previous comments and can’t see the way or need to improve your wiki-skills and manners. ----------------------------- BLOGGER: Okay, you two, take it outside. I like a good argument, but not at this level.
You better read youself: J.Call and M. Tomasello "Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? 30 years later." Then "Frontal lobe contributions to Theory of Mond", "Core mechanisms of 'Theory of mind'" and MUST read paper from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/35/5/1311/ Thank for your interest to this issue.
Read "reflexes"
In brief: Training is the development of fixed forms of behavior with alternating positive and negative reinforcements. (applyed to reflecses) Teaching is mainly anwering on questions “why”, “how”, “where”, “who” and etc. (applyed to mind) In the human educational practice training and teaching are often combined and viewed as a single educational process. You asked me “~what do you mean?” From my answer you learn my position. You were not trained to it.
Something about Learning. Human are using huge amount of extra-genetic information for their survival. To pass this information from generation to generation and from individual to individual required Learning. Language is used for this purpose. Human have the ability to heuristic learning as well. None of the above applied to non-human animals. They can be only trained. Learning is coming in package with Language, as a battery and a torch. It was designed by nature this way. ‘Learning’ and ‘monkeys’ stand as apart as ‘training’ and ‘bricks’, when we try to make them stay in right positions in a brick fence.
Some animals and insects are doing well by communicating on chemical level… Communication is something you can see in behavior of gold fishes or trees. We tend to apply our set of mind on nature by inability to “think” like fish or tree. This is what pushing some people away from science to mystics of synergy or even farther. We have to remember that before human language there was quite efficient pre-human communication/”language”. What we call human language came in cluster with consciousness, mind and culture, which hardly applicable to animals as you know. And by the way, this blog is not about human Language. It is about one of its modern manifestations – human Speech – as Blair warned few times.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2011 on Hyena Vocalizations at Babel's Dawn
JanetK, please try this paper. Now it is submitted in part1 & part2. Something is better then nothing. Check its ref-s. http://philpapers.org/rec/MORSP-2
JanetK, you wrote “the neurological signs of consciousness appear in some animals”. Conscious activity or meaningful act cannot be explored without any involvement of the human-centric judgment. Even simple explanations of zones activity in the animal brain scan, when done by human. Philosophy isn’t useless. It stays at foundation of all sort of knowledge and it is reflected in your healthy doubts - “There may be language without consciousness but it is doubtful”.
Thanks for this presentation! Good luck with your book! JM
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2011 on Forbidden Knowledge at Babel's Dawn
It is intriguing to know what is the conscious activity is without any linguistic or cultural context and what is the human language or culture not being involve in the conscious activity process. Don’t you think, we are going back in discussion on creatures like “human with no Language” or “human with no Consciousness” by apposing Second Signal System theory? http://www.springerlink.com/content/7342577504067716/ Best Wishes, JM.
“The evolution of human cultural and language capacities” is synonymous for the evolution of capacities for conscious conduct. Development of the specie unique signalling communicative capacity could be more realistic (less biologically complicated) result for such genetic changes. I believe you are going keep this in focus.
The Linguistic twist of imprinted genes “theory” could be valid if it applies to human biology only. This theory is irrelevant to linguistic issue if birds or monkeys possess the same mechanisms.
Geremy, you pointed at critical resemblance of immune system (triggers - responses) with communicative system (perception - expression). No wonder they govern by the same gene.
Toggle Commented May 31, 2011 on Where Do We Stand with FOXP2? at Babel's Dawn
“To create a language, children would analyze such a unit, extract a single morpheme, e.g. the Indirect Object handshape, and insert that morpheme into other units, thereby forming the regular paradigms that make up a system of grammar.” This is good example of the very common trap, were motor-reflection of speech processing (modern human physiology) is trying to hijack and embed psycholinguistic process existed for ages in another forms of media, well before vocal apparatus full development. In my point of view, you are trying to describe mediamorphism of gestural and vocal media with their syntactic structure (noun, verb, interjection) to verbal medium with its own more advanced syntactic system. But not the Language acquisition as such.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2011 on 300 Years of Wondering at Babel's Dawn
We are standing so far apart in our views for a quite simple reason: for you Language is system of signs and only, I am trying to observe it as the physiological ability to understand and express relation to reality as well (ability to sign systematisation). Unfortunately, we have only one word “language” we suppose to share somehow. Even in this case, I noticed, you are treating this term by tossing it from semiotic system to biology. Phrases ‘mime a movement’, ‘building on the metaphor’, ‘interpret’, ‘understanding’ you refer to justify absence of Language (your - ‘a person without language’). According to definition of Second Signal System, ‘a person without language’ is the absurd. Please, Uzza, pay attention to this well-established fact. Your “grammatical categories … can't exist before there's some grammar” can be opposed by notion “grammar can't exist before there's some grammatical categories” and can’t justify speech-stricture-centric approach to the issue. At the same time it is highlighting biological nature of uniquely human ability and singularly of Language-Mind category. Let me again stress the fact that each medium governed by its own sign system/structure/gramma, where our verbal language is one of those systems, and they can’t be successfully analysed by simple application of rules of one medium to another. In regard to language acquisition by children, I stay on the position of the evolutionary stages reflection in early child development. In our case chain is – development of the basic human composition of sensory system, multimedian expression and perception (at the first communicative stage) and then commonly/culturally accepted way of communication (which is speech language with its rules and tendencies in 99,5% of modern cases). In this developmental chain - Language (biological ability) builds itself up and became functional at one step before its fully vocal manifestation (speech).
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2011 on 300 Years of Wondering at Babel's Dawn
Uzza -- "we can easily produce a single pantomimed action (+ with emotional/or some else sound expression - /Jerry Moore/) that expresses all these elements simultaneously, and a receiver can process it using no more than the perceptual resources that evolved to interpret our external world. Nothing linguistic required." – sounds strange. From one hand, you are talking about purest act of conscious communication, which, lets say, depicturing hunting experience, but from other hand, you said – “Nothing linguistic required." Please, Uzza, explain why? Why do you believe, that all “perceptual resources that evolved to interpret our external world” engaged in expression and in understanding of some pantomimed action are radically different from Speech Language perception/expression? "The aural medium requires multiple morphemes plus syntactic" – it doesn’t at all, but it can. The same way like gestural medium can (sign language) or even graphical medium could evolutionary transformed from body paintings to hieroglyphs and to writing we use.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2011 on 300 Years of Wondering at Babel's Dawn
Blair, when you have time, look at this information on perceptual compensation and consequent semiomorphism (?). http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nn.2795.html
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2011 on Larger Than Ourselves at Babel's Dawn
"laughable falsehoods as “the elements of sign language … differs radically from the structure of verbal language.” and “all sign languages are onomatopoetic”..." First idea belongs to Armstrong, Stokoe and Wilson. Second notion belongs to McBride. Your hysteric is counterproductive, Uzza. Thanks.
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2011 on 300 Years of Wondering at Babel's Dawn
Uzza -- "To see how mind and language interact, it helps to know what at least one of them is" - notion based on default opposition or established fact of existence of two separate entities. In fact we cannot find example were healthy human has Mind and lacking Language or wise versa, or unhealthy one not having epileptic seizures due to limits of communicational stimulus (informational intakes or inability of expression) (very common condition for blind+deaf ppl). You wrote: “the visual components of every language” – let me rephrase this - “the visual components of every language practices”. This way it sounds less risky, Uzza. “Audiovisual” is the term which is cutting short tactile sensory channels (rich compensatory channels) and, as in case of S. Goldin-Meadow research, leaves the term “gesture” as a single well semantically identifiable act, which is, in fact, consist of graphical and motor components syntactically identifiable as Noun and Verb. More you can find here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1551315
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2011 on 300 Years of Wondering at Babel's Dawn
Exactly, Blair! Art is integrated part of Language, one of its dimensions left from the more then million year routine of use triadic multimediality of pre-speech interactions (image, movement, sound – in their correspondence to - noun, verb, interjection). “In linguistic terms: visual art (including architecture, landscaping, fashion and other graphical genres and elements of graphical presentation in mixed media) – represents an attempt of expression by means of nouns; performing art, dance, pantomime (including elements of movement determined by a technique of a given genre, mixed genres and media) – an attempt of expression by means of verbs; musical art in its diversity – by means of interjections. It is noteworthy that the original multimediality and language interactivity in the pre-speech period allows us to seek parallels with aspirations of the modern mass media and modern educational techniques to achieve the effect of multimediality and interactivity on the basis of the same triad components – graphics, movement, and sound – but expressed on a higher technological level. “
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2011 on 300 Years of Wondering at Babel's Dawn