The Unusual Language That Linguists Thought Couldn’t Exist

Discussion of consciousness: what it is, what it isn't, Jaynes's ideas vs. other theorists, consciousness and language, studies of cognition in non-human species, etc.
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ETSubmariner
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The Unusual Language That Linguists Thought Couldn’t Exist

Post by ETSubmariner » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:12 pm

Came across this article about a mode of communication some linguists felt unique.

"ABSL provides fodder for researchers who reject the idea that there’s a genetic basis for the similarities found across languages. Instead, they argue, languages share certain properties because they all have to solve similar problems of communication under similar pressures, pressures that reflect the limits of human abilities to learn, remember, produce, and perceive information. The challenge, then, is to explain why ABSL is an outlier—if duality of patterning is the optimal solution to the problem of creating a large but manageable collection of words, why hasn’t ABSL made use of it?"
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Re: The Unusual Language That Linguists Thought Couldn’t Exi

Post by Moderator » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:11 pm

Similar to the language of the Pirahã of the Brazilian Amazon, this represents another blow to Chomsky and the genetic basis for universal grammar crowd.

ReneeDegutis
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Re: The Unusual Language That Linguists Thought Couldn’t Exi

Post by ReneeDegutis » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:16 am

ETSubmariner wrote:Came across this article about a mode of communication some linguists felt unique.

"ABSL provides fodder for researchers who reject the idea that there’s a genetic basis for the similarities found across languages. Instead, they argue, languages share certain properties because they all have to solve similar problems of communication under similar pressures, pressures that reflect the limits of human abilities to learn, remember, produce, and perceive information. The challenge, then, is to explain why ABSL is an outlier—if duality of patterning is the optimal solution to the problem of creating a large but manageable collection of words, why hasn’t ABSL made use of it?"

It is actually a substitution of words by holistic gestures which makes linguists wonder about the fact that the words are not made from smaller (meaningless) units. For me, it's just a new universe of signs and sounds.

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