Monolingual

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Monolingual

Postby falasha » Fri 02 Jul 2010 3:50 am

Hello,

I am very interested in the origin of language. Unfortunately, I only speak English!
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Re: Monolingual

Postby dtp883 » Fri 02 Jul 2010 4:33 am

Luckily for you, those things are not related!
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Re: Monolingual

Postby Yaziq » Fri 02 Jul 2010 6:35 pm

Basically, I believe that language has nearly disappeared from the face of the Earth and somehow been revived multiple times. There have been at least nine major extinction events on the Earth and Mankind was involved in a few of those. I really don't find the story of the Tower of Babel to very convincing. If someone could find proof that a mud-brick or stone tower as tall as the one described in the Bible actually existed, I would be willing to take another look. Sumerian or Akkadian ziggurats don't constitute proof. However, it is conceivable that there was a time on Earth when, due to a worldwide extinction event, there were only enough people surviving to be speaking only one language.
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Re: Monolingual

Postby falasha » Fri 02 Jul 2010 6:52 pm

My view is that belief in the supernatural (religion) built culture, culture built language, language built conscious awareness.

Babel = Gate of God. To me, this myth is relating how men tried to reach God through their physical efforts (which were futile.) By the way, I am not religious.
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Re: Monolingual

Postby formiko » Fri 02 Jul 2010 11:45 pm

I am not religious either, but I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I worship Jesus Christ. He wasn't religious either, and neither were the first Christians, so I'm in good company ;)
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Re: Monolingual

Postby linguoboy » Sat 03 Jul 2010 1:13 am

falasha wrote:My view is that belief in the supernatural (religion) built culture, culture built language, language built conscious awareness.

This all seems bass-ackwards to me, since I don't see how you can have "culture" without language or "language" without conscious awareness. What animals have culture but not language? What organisms of any sort have conscious awareness without language?

There's plenty written about the origin of language in English. I recommend you read an introductory work such as Lieberman's Eve spoke or Pinker's The language instict to get some idea of the current state of knowledge in the field.
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Re: Monolingual

Postby falasha » Sat 03 Jul 2010 4:39 pm

linguoboy wrote:
falasha wrote:My view is that belief in the supernatural (religion) built culture, culture built language, language built conscious awareness.

This all seems bass-ackwards to me, since I don't see how you can have "culture" without language or "language" without conscious awareness. What animals have culture but not language? What organisms of any sort have conscious awareness without language?

There's plenty written about the origin of language in English. I recommend you read an introductory work such as Lieberman's Eve spoke or Pinker's The language instict to get some idea of the current state of knowledge in the field.


Thank you for that suggestion. I have read Eve Spoke but not Pinker's book.

I know of no other organism that has conscious awareness so your question seems bass-ackwards to me. Also, I know of no other animal that has culture so that question also seems bass-ackward.

I realize my views are non-conforming but so are most new ideas.
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Re: Monolingual

Postby dtp883 » Sat 03 Jul 2010 10:55 pm

New ideas should conform to logic. It's usually agreed that dolphins, and gorillas have some sort of conscious awareness and that they, especially gorillas, have some grasp on the idea of language and rudimentary communication as you can read here and here. But none of these creatures have a recognizable form of culture: art, music, cooking style, religion.
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Re: Monolingual

Postby falasha » Sun 04 Jul 2010 2:04 pm

Washoe could communicate using SYMBOLS taught to her by humans. Her gorilla culture did not invent these symbols. (BTW, can you give an example of gorilla culture?) It is the same with dolphins. They are able to rudimentarily communicate cross-specie using symbols taught by humans. Cetaceans are a special case. They may be able to create symbols and transmit these symbols through sonar to other water-adapted mammals. But they are not able to communicate to humans with the cultural symbols common to other dolphins. So common sense tells me that simple parlour tricks are not helpful when trying to determine the origin of human language.
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Re: Monolingual

Postby linguoboy » Mon 05 Jul 2010 12:51 am

falasha wrote:I know of no other organism that has conscious awareness so your question seems bass-ackwards to me. Also, I know of no other animal that has culture so that question also seems bass-ackward.

I don't think you understand what "bass-ackward" means.

falasha wrote:I realize my views are non-conforming but so are most new ideas.

And most "new ideas" are worthless. There are always more dead ends than steps forward.
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