Analytic languages and their function. (4)
Salinas17 at aol.com
Salinas17 at aol.com
Sun May 28 03:28:42 UTC 2006
In a message dated 5/27/06 7:01:33 PM, phonosemantics at earthlink.net writes:
<<With all due respect, pidgin speakers do not start from scratch. The words
they use COME from other languages, with their own individual evolutionary
Very true. But for the purposes of this discussion re typology -- in theory
-- pidgins represent the closest thing with we have to a language with the
bare minimum of grammatical features. ("...nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so on
tend to have only one invariant phonological form... The verbal root itself
does not express any particular tense or aspect. When used in a clause, it is up
to the listener to interpret this aspect of meaning in accord with the
context.") That is close enough to the form I'd suspect early languages would have
taken. The point is that form is more in the direction of analytic languages.
<<Twin-speech might come close, but then twins may be more easily able to
come to mutual understanding, being clones, than the average genetically mixed
There's no real scientific evidence for any such thing and I'd suggest its
just another expression of genomania.
<<I don't think bee communication is all that sophisticated compared to many
communications of higher animals- for instance the growing known number of
chimp food calls.>>
Bee communication is extremely sophisticated -- especially because it is
truly representational -- especially in terms of mapping distance and direction.
Wild chimps exhibit nothing as sophisticated in terms of intricate spatial
representations. Bird calls are far more intricate than any communications by
chimps that has been credibly reported in the wild (in captivity, chimps have
far outperformed their wild cousins). The use of the term "higher animals" is
just not good scientific terminology. The efficency or effectiveness of
exchange of communal information is not correlateable to the relatedness to humans
as the crowns of creation. Nor does it seem to be relateable to a species
brain size. If a species -- particularly communal species -- specializes in
communication, it will demonstrate features that are very similar to human speech.
The underlying mechanisms are of course quite different.
<<calls used in intraspecific conflicts and their resolutions were part of
the same system of signal modulation, across quite a few different vertebrate
No reason to attribute this to heredity between species. The environment
will select the same formulas either as species specific adaptions or learned
behavior. However, I would like to see evidence that cats, dogs and rats share
the "same system of signal modulation" -- I'm pretty sure they don't.
<<Can't assume English human as the standard reference model.>>
Nevertheless, any model that excludes English in terms of human language
functioning is bound to be wrong.
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