Analytic languages and their function (6)

A. Katz amnfn at
Mon May 29 18:31:27 UTC 2006

Steve Long wrote:

>What "dog" or "ball" or "Mommy" are doing is giving those objects a NAME
>-- a label, a symbolic equivalency, an independent representation made
>with specific sounds.

My point with regard to the development of early human language is that
using a symbol to stand for a concrete object which is stable through time
and space is a very late development in language, both in ontology and
phylogeny. Before we break down a sentence into its component parts and
figure out which parts refer to which participants, we have to first
understand what event the whole sentence referred to.

It's true that in second language acquisition, especially under formal
teaching, the parts are presented to us already broken down. However, for
someone who has never had language comprehension, getting to that point is
a very big deal. It's not the first thing that happens for infants, and it
was probably not the first step we took as a species on the road to modern



Dr. Aya Katz, Inverted-A, Inc, P.O. Box 267, Licking, MO
65542 USA
(417) 457-6652 (573) 247-0055

More information about the Funknet mailing list