Showing posts from 2017

What is so mysteriously indecipherable about language evolution

Reading the abundant literature treating the evolution of language with a preliminary consent of failure to build up a theory that would come close to the stream of real events that made language live, is frustrating.
Yet, is this frustration justified?
Do we already have a well developed theories of other abilities of human beings?
Of walking, for instance? of the many ways of using our hands? of sexual courting? Can anyone answer the question of the evolution of walking? be sure, it takes much much more than telling us that in some ancient time some animal developed legs in order to be able to walk. Such answers, surely much richer in details, usually describing the structures of legs and pelvics (see for example this paper evolution of human walking). What we get in such descriptions equals, when talking of speech, to description of the changes of the organs of the vocal tract,
What we actually look for is the development …

Has Chomsky advanced linguistics?

Surely the headline question has many aspects, and a short post can't take the mission of answering it correctly. Yet I am going to look into one quite recent paper published by Chomsky and three of his followers, to find out that the Chomskyan school is wrong in the most basics of language.
The paper is titled "How could language have evolved?" It seems to propose some of the important failures of the Chomskyan theory.
Take the use they do with "faculty of language". Is there a department - which is the meaning of "faculty" - of language in the human body, brain, or elsewhere? why no one other than the Chomskyans speaks of any "faculty" in the human sciences?
The answer is quite simple. No one other than Chomsky regards language as a department. Rather it is regarded as a collective name of  fitness and capability of producing meaningful patterns by voice, writing or signing. The common perception of language shared by most people and most non…