[EDLING:1015] Origin of language

Gerald van Koeverden gvk at CIACCESS.COM
Fri Sep 30 04:24:32 UTC 2005

	"Can it be shown that learning our first language, like any other
skill, is a personal work of art emerging from the interaction of mind and
body as one integrating unit, in making one "common sense" of the world?"

	In the past, I enjoyed reading the nature vs. nurture" debates
between the Chomskyists "it's all in the genes" and the behaviourists "it's
all in the environment."   But these polarized debates lead nowhere.  After
reading them, we as pragmatists know that both have some validity, but
neither have the whole truth.  And to further frustrate us, we realize that
there is no way to integrate the two approaches to come up with one
integrated explanation.
	When we study learning patterns, we do not find at its roots a
dialectical battle between two opposing sides.  Rather learning - in its
widest sense -can be much better encapsulated as a continual cycling through
four different modes of knowing our reality: feeling, thinking, conceiving
and doing.   Through seeing how each of these activities is reflected in an
analysis of the basic components (subject-verb-object) of a sentence and its
dynamics, we can understand the origin of language in the infant as
attempting to make one common sense of all four modes.
	That is the thesis of my book "The Child's Secret of Learning"
published last month.  Do you know of any professional linguists who are
exploring similar avenues?

Gerald van Koeverden

More information about the Edling mailing list