Neanderthals and Language

What did you say? And what did you mean by it?

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TimeSeeker
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:28 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:00 pm
Hi, "Commonsense". I take it you are a linguistic "prescriptivist"?
I guess there is an erudite way of saying 'grammar Nazi'.

commonsense
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by commonsense » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:28 pm

Without linguistic purism, there can be no literal meaning. There can be no reasonable approximation of literal meaning. Without reasonable approximation, there can be no valid communication.

If a stop sign means to me one must stop driving his vehicle, while to you the sign means you should stop your vehicle but you can continue if you want, there would be an increased chance that a collision will occur anytime you and I approach a stop-signed intersection.

So, to answer your post, Gary: yes, I am.

TimeSeeker
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by TimeSeeker » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:49 pm

commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:28 pm
Without linguistic purism, there can be no literal meaning. There can be no reasonable approximation of literal meaning. Without reasonable approximation, there can be no valid communication.

If a stop sign means to me one must stop driving his vehicle, while to you the sign means you should stop your vehicle but you can continue if you want, there would be an increased chance that a collision will occur anytime you and I approach a stop-signed intersection.

So, to answer your post, Gary: yes, I am.
I dunt now abot dat. U ken undastand wot I em seyeng jus fain.

The human mind is all about heuristics/approximation despite channel noise.

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Gary Childress
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by Gary Childress » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:24 pm

commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:28 pm
Without linguistic purism, there can be no literal meaning. There can be no reasonable approximation of literal meaning. Without reasonable approximation, there can be no valid communication.

If a stop sign means to me one must stop driving his vehicle, while to you the sign means you should stop your vehicle but you can continue if you want, there would be an increased chance that a collision will occur anytime you and I approach a stop-signed intersection.

So, to answer your post, Gary: yes, I am.
How strange. I wrote the OP which you dismissed and I still stop at road intersections when there is a "Stop" sign present. I'm therefore not seeing the validity of your analogy. It sounds like it might be a false one to me. :?

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:08 pm

commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:28 pm
Without linguistic purism, there can be no literal meaning. There can be no reasonable approximation of literal meaning. Without reasonable approximation, there can be no valid communication.

If a stop sign means to me one must stop driving his vehicle, while to you the sign means you should stop your vehicle but you can continue if you want, there would be an increased chance that a collision will occur anytime you and I approach a stop-signed intersection.

So, to answer your post, Gary: yes, I am.
It's posts like this that make this site worthwhile. Thank you.

commonsense
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by commonsense » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:48 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:49 pm
commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:28 pm
Without linguistic purism, there can be no literal meaning. There can be no reasonable approximation of literal meaning. Without reasonable approximation, there can be no valid communication.

If a stop sign means to me one must stop driving his vehicle, while to you the sign means you should stop your vehicle but you can continue if you want, there would be an increased chance that a collision will occur anytime you and I approach a stop-signed intersection.

So, to answer your post, Gary: yes, I am.
I dunt now abot dat. U ken undastand wot I em seyeng jus fain.

The human mind is all about heuristics/approximation despite channel noise.
I can understand what you are saying just faintly because I suspected that you are not a prescriptivist.

commonsense
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by commonsense » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:11 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:24 pm
commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:28 pm
Without linguistic purism, there can be no literal meaning. There can be no reasonable approximation of literal meaning. Without reasonable approximation, there can be no valid communication.

If a stop sign means to me one must stop driving his vehicle, while to you the sign means you should stop your vehicle but you can continue if you want, there would be an increased chance that a collision will occur anytime you and I approach a stop-signed intersection.

So, to answer your post, Gary: yes, I am.
How strange. I wrote the OP which you dismissed and I still stop at road intersections when there is a "Stop" sign present. I'm therefore not seeing the validity of your analogy. It sounds like it might be a false one to me. :?
During the Great American Depression, one phrase that was popularized was, "There's no free lunch." Apparently, "free lunch" was invoked loosely, resulting in disillusionment for the ones who were surprised by the strings attached to the meal.

Likewise, "sale", when referencing commercial items, sometimes means merely that the items are for sale, and not on sale at a special price.

And so!

:lol:

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Gary Childress
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by Gary Childress » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:54 am

commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:11 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:24 pm
commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:28 pm
Without linguistic purism, there can be no literal meaning. There can be no reasonable approximation of literal meaning. Without reasonable approximation, there can be no valid communication.

If a stop sign means to me one must stop driving his vehicle, while to you the sign means you should stop your vehicle but you can continue if you want, there would be an increased chance that a collision will occur anytime you and I approach a stop-signed intersection.

So, to answer your post, Gary: yes, I am.
How strange. I wrote the OP which you dismissed and I still stop at road intersections when there is a "Stop" sign present. I'm therefore not seeing the validity of your analogy. It sounds like it might be a false one to me. :?
During the Great American Depression, one phrase that was popularized was, "There's no free lunch." Apparently, "free lunch" was invoked loosely, resulting in disillusionment for the ones who were surprised by the strings attached to the meal.

Likewise, "sale", when referencing commercial items, sometimes means merely that the items are for sale, and not on sale at a special price.

And so!

:lol:
Fair enough, commonsense.

What are your thoughts concerning Chomsky's assertions that speculation over whether Neanderthals posssessed language or not are "uninteresting" or "means nothing"? Unless I'm mistaken, weren't Gregor Mendel's experiments with Pea plants largely ignored until scientists following Darwin, much later used his experiments to bolster the theory of evolution? Might scientists at some point in the future potentially find some value in whatever research invovling Neanderthals? Do we know for sure at this point?


I mean, I can undertand disuading scientists from doing research where science is used in a truly malicious way--weapons creation for example. However, if there's no real harm in some research, then what would be good reason to pronounce it as "uninteresting" or "meaningless"?

TimeSeeker
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by TimeSeeker » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:12 am

commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:48 pm
I can understand what you are saying just faintly because I suspected that you are not a prescriptivist.
I only said what I said because I suspected that you are. Defiance, you see ;)

Don't tell me how to USE language.

Natural languages are not regular languages ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_language ) - to try to make them such is futile because of the symbol-grounding problem.

Furthermore, prescriptivists tend to be logocentrists too and I think logocentrism is harmful to thought.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logocentrism

commonsense
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by commonsense » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:30 pm

TimeSeeker wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:12 am
commonsense wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:48 pm
I can understand what you are saying just faintly because I suspected that you are not a prescriptivist.
I only said what I said because I suspected that you are. Defiance, you see ;)

Don't tell me how to USE language.

Natural languages are not regular languages ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_language ) - to try to make them such is futile because of the symbol-grounding problem.

Furthermore, prescriptivists tend to be logocentrists too and I think logocentrism is harmful to thought.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logocentrism
Mea culpa. I am guilty as charged.

commonsense
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by commonsense » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:41 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:54 am
What are your thoughts concerning Chomsky's assertions that speculation over whether Neanderthals posssessed language or not are "uninteresting" or "means nothing"? Unless I'm mistaken, weren't Gregor Mendel's experiments with Pea plants largely ignored until scientists following Darwin, much later used his experiments to bolster the theory of evolution? Might scientists at some point in the future potentially find some value in whatever research invovling Neanderthals? Do we know for sure at this point?

I mean, I can undertand disuading scientists from doing research where science is used in a truly malicious way--weapons creation for example. However, if there's no real harm in some research, then what would be good reason to pronounce it as "uninteresting" or "meaningless"?
I cannot answer your questions without further reading at this point. You mistake me for someone who is current rather than someone who is relying on undergraduate work, with a major in computer science and a minor in philosophy, more than 15 years ago. I hope Timeseeker &/or others will continue this discussion with you, as I would like to continue reading this thread whilst I revisit philosophy of language.

Walker
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by Walker » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:48 pm

What would be this research into Neanderthals, should it continue?

Gazing at bones, or cave art?

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Gary Childress
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by Gary Childress » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:37 pm

Walker wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:48 pm
What would be this research into Neanderthals, should it continue?

Gazing at bones, or cave art?
Bones, artifacts (such as cave art) and DNA, I imagine.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:52 pm

Walker wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:48 pm
What would be this research into Neanderthals, should it continue?

Gazing at bones, or cave art?
Or looking at your DNA? (Unless you are fully black African).

Walker
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Re: Neanderthals and Language

Post by Walker » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:07 pm

Huh. I wonder if Chomsky thought of that.

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