[EDLING:1042] RE: Origin of language

Gerald van Koeverden gvk at CIACCESS.COM
Sun Oct 16 19:38:25 UTC 2005


In inventing an idea of how we function, scientists insist on being totally
'objective,' i.e. they consider only the interaction of our physical parts
since that is the only part that can be treated experimentally.  In effect
our felt emotional half is dismissed as illusory - of significance only as
'ornamental' or 'decorative,' or at most the fuel that runs the engine of
cognition/behaviour.  
 
Being a lover of both science and arts, I created a model for our 'operating
system' that gives equal time to both subjective and objective elements of
our psyche.  To do this, I had to draw on the thoughts of as many artists as
scientists.  But at least this model can spontaneously generate the full
dimensions of language.  
 
The most controversial part of this four-part 'operating system' is the
first part - sensation.  How do we communicate emotion through sensation?
Do we just 'read' somebody's body language through perception as most
psychologists claim, or do we directly feel the emotion that the other is
expressing as artists claim?  More and more research in human physiology is
revealing the fact that all sense organs have lines of transmission to both
cognitive and limbic/emotional centers.  In effect, all sensation has a
simultaneous direct effect  - both on what we perceive and on what we feel.
The sensory system splits sensation into a dual stream, whereas the motor
system re-combines them into how we express ourselves in words and actions.
These two parts are the first and fourth part of the cycle.  
 
Gerald van Koeverden


  _____  

From: owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
[mailto:owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of lbenderphd at comcast.net

Thank you for the reply. As a classroom ESL teacher, I have been looking for
a theory that integrates these four aspects of language learning. Most
teachers/administrators/parents believe children will "just learn English"
naturally. And with the No Child Left Behind Act, teachers are forced to
teach only to the test, not to the child. 
 

 
Just to give you a general idea, below I have copied a few paragraphs out of
the introduction to "The Child's Secret of Learning."  (published August,
2005)
 
Gerald van Koeverden
 
 " What is the child's secret? The majority of linguists are so dumbstruck
by the enormity of the task of learning one's first language they have
virtually washed their hands of the question and passed it on to the
biologists! They assert that it must be innate. Already, geneticists are
working on the idea that language originates in the genes, as though humans
are programmed with the right genetic "software" at conception and just need
time to mature and ripen with age.

Is learning then only the gradual actualization of this software? What about
all our other skills like driving a car, writing poetry, or using a
computer? How did we learn them? Since the linguists have failed to discover
the origin of language in consciousness, it is up to the philosopher to at
least ask the right questions before abandoning the idea altogether. Through
exploring the basic structure and dynamics of language, can we rediscover it
as the resolution of a creative synthesis? Can it be shown that learning our
first language, like any other skill, is a personal work of art emerging
from the interaction of  brain and body as one integrating unit, in making
one "common sense" of the world? "

 

 



 " In Part A, we begin by exploring our personal experience of everyday
skills like driving a car, singing a song, and doing arithmetic, before
going on to the dynamics of insight in playing bingo and the art of racing
dune buggies. Then we can incorporate both emotions and physics into our
understanding of learning to type. This leads naturally into the first
chapter of Part B on some reflections about the nature of language as
garnered through learning a second one, and then two chapters on how a child
even develops his or her first language.

With these basic images down, the reader can move into Part C-the
theoretical part describing the functioning of our "operating system." I
have rooted this quarrelsome quartet squarely in both the emotional and
thinking centers of the brain to catch all the inputs from the sensory
organs as well as enable it to motor into action. The artist is the
"antenna" of the system, reveling in the whole kaleidoscope of perceived and
felt sensation. The theorist processes the artist's raw perceptions
originating ideas, which in turn allows the empiricist to be able to
conceive the world and all the things in it. Finally, it is up to the
idealist-the "transmitter"-to choose the right purpose to bring them all
together and do something.  Instead of there being only one type of
creativity, we have "four-into-one."

But having dissected the person into four parts of a cycle, it is then
difficult to see how all four can be active in one person at once. That is
why I developed a metaphor earlier in Part B on language. The basic sentence
provides us with an ideal framework. The artist's spontaneous emotion fits
the felt energy of the "verb." The theorist-our deep thinker-perceives the
ideas for the "subject" in which the empiricist can dwell to conceive and
study her "objects." To complete it, the idealist provides the right
intentions for the "subject" as the agent of the action to motivate her to
fulfillment in the right aspirations for her "objective." (For the sake of
literary convenience, I have made the artist and theorist male, and the
empiricist and idealist female throughout the book.) This basic structure
and dynamics of the sentence is very flexible. As young children, we
invented it through struggling to make one common sense out of the quartet
of our operating system. As adults, we use it as a template to accommodate
all four characters separately, in various combinations, or all four at
once! "  

 

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Sorry I missed the beginning of this conversation. Where can I get more
information about Gerald's theory?
Linda Bender 

 

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