Print

Print


On Wed, 2005-12-28 at 11:35, Gary Shannon wrote:

> Counter argument: For emerging proto-humans in a
> rudamentary hunter-gatherer society there are a very
> limited number of things that need to be discussed,
> and the ways of putting those things together into a
> single utterance are mathematically very limited. "Me
> goat see", "Goat me see", "Me see goat", "Goat see
> me.", "See goat me.", "See me goat." Which, for
> reasons of survival, would have to be differentiated
> in meaning from "Tiger see me.", "See tiger me.", etc.

I'm not quite comfortable with at least one assumption you seem to be
making here.  Why would language even at a very early stage necessarily
be limited to matters of immediate physical survival?  Language doesn't
seem to be necessary for survival at all: AFAIK humans are the only
species that use syntactic language as such and while we're very
successful we're not alone in being successful.  I have to wonder if
language more likely started from interpersonal interactions and then
later turned "outwards" to deal with other matters?


Regards,
Cian Ross
[log in to unmask]
http://crlh.tzo.org/~cian/conlang/