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#40081 - 09/07/01 06:11 PM Re: Sign and Speech  
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Faldage Offline
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an article in Science News which reported that two areas of the brain used by hearing people when perceiving and speaking language are also used by deaf people when using sign language.

And now this from Nature about babies, whether hearing or not, babbling with their hands when exposed to signers.

http://www.nature.com/nsu/010906/010906-16.html

It also references Dr. Petitto's work.


#40082 - 09/10/01 05:02 AM Re: What's the Word?  
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milum Offline
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Wow! You folks raise a hi-bar challenge. You Pooh-bahs, Honorable Old Hands,and Veteran Exalted Members of the Grand Lodge ask that we of unproven mettle...
(1) Explain the origin of God and the Universe.
(2) Solve the mystery of the rise of language.
(3) Speculate on the the progenitor of the word "word".
...all within the confines of an email reply, but what the heck, thats no hill for a stepper, so here goes...
(1) IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD. AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD. AND THE WORD WAS GOD. I find this phrase foremost of the two most intriging concepts in the Bible. Bobyoungbalt notwithstanding, the semantics of "word" in this context seems not to denote "communication" as communication requires two entities, but it might convey a semblance of meaning to a band of wandering Jews bereft of prissy words like "process". "Process" seems to fit although it smarts of Determinism. The other phrase I find so fascinating in the Bible is...***AND IN THOSE DAYS GIANTS INHABITED THE EARTH. THESE WERE THE MEN OF OLD, THE MEN OF RENOWN.***...but to date no one has asked me for an opinion on this dramatic pronounsement.
(2)The rise and fall of language: This one is easy. I will present the answer in a single sentence...***WORDS HAVE NO MEANING, THEY ONLY HAVE FUNCTION***This being true it becomes obvious that I can't explain this by using a logical sequence of words so I have perfected a method I call "concept grouping" designed to transfer information and get the transferee to shout "Ah-ha!", as follows...
...No two objects in the Universe are identical.
...Words are abstracted from the oneness of the Universe.
...Words are as concrete as ,well, concrete.
...( __ ___ ) fill in the blank with Ah-ha!.
(3) Speculation on the word "word": The word "word" is a high level abstraction that came relatively late in the evolution of human speech, likely the whr, wrr, wor, sounds were imitative of the wind of air as it rushed from the throat.As heartless evolution enriched the language of primative man, his estrangement from wordless, mindless, Nature became more complete. As time passed only magical words and arcane chants could conjure up the fading memories of the ignorant, less vocal, and happy times. Are there any magical words in our world today that resonate back to the days when mankind was ignorant and happy? The answer is yes if one knows how to recognize these words. I do and below are the results of my study...
The year is 1957: A brand new street wine is introduced to the street running public. Forty-five years before Whitman O'Niel asked his famous email question, the question was asked and answered in this clever, layered meaning, advertisment...
What's the word? Thunderbird.
What's the price? Forty twice.*
How's it taste? Mighty nice.

*(For you the unhip, Forty twice is eighty cents.)

The year is 1968: A new song is making the rounds. The lyrics are simple but somehow profound...
Bird,bird,bird, bir-bir-bir-bir.
Now don't you know about the bird ?
Everybody knows that the bird is the word.
Word,word,word, wor-wor-wor-wor.
(Repeat seven times until end.)

The year is 1998: A hip hop hit is making the rounds entitled "Word Up". The accompanying lyrics are meaningless except to the cognoscenti. "Jive Talk", you see, only has value if there are no concrete referants. In fact,in Birmingham, Alabama "Word up" was found to too wordy so the cognoscenti greeted each other with simply..."Word, Brother".
So in the spirit of magical words and koans, I will end this email in summary of evervthing said and everything that could be said by saying simply..."WORD" And I hope I have had the final word.





#40083 - 09/10/01 10:42 AM Re: What's the Word?  
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Jackie Offline
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Oh, milum, what a smilum you posted! I don't have a clue as to what you said, but I loved every word of it!
Welcome aBoard...sir?


#40084 - 09/11/01 01:59 AM St. John I:1  
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Bobyoungbalt Offline
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Milum asserts >the semantics of "word" in this context seems not to denote "communication" as communication requires two entities ...<

This conjures up Bishop Berkely and the conundrum of the tree which falls in the middle of the forest. He would say that it does make a sound because even if no one else is present to hear it, God hears it. With respect to the Logos, he would point out there were not only two entities in the beginning but three, and would clue you in on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.


#40085 - 09/11/01 11:06 AM Re: St. John I:1  
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Keiva Offline
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This conjures up Bishop Berkely and the conundrum of the tree which falls in the middle of the forest. He would say that it does make a sound because even if no one else is present to hear it, God hears it.

There once was a man who said, "God!
I find it exceedingly odd
To think that the tree
Will continue to be
When there's no one about in the Quad."

response:
"Dear Sir:
Your confusion is odd,
For there's always someone in the Quad,
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be:
I shall be there."
Sincerely yours,
God


#40086 - 09/11/01 11:30 AM Re: St. John I:1  
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Jackie Offline
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Hi, Keiva--nice to know you're back.


#40087 - 09/11/01 11:45 AM Re: St. John I:1  
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maverick Offline
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For there's always someone in the Quad…

Dear God, you sound dreadfully odd:
Did you catch a bad cold in the quad?
Your tree is long dead
And your church gone to bed:
If you want to go, quietly, just nod!



#40088 - 09/11/01 02:24 PM Re: St. John I:1  
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Faldage Offline
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it does make a sound because even if no one else is present to hear it, God hears it.

Not to mention all the squirrels, chipmunks and chickadees.


#40089 - 09/11/01 09:42 PM Re: language  
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Keiva Offline
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Going back to origins of language,

First: I understand that detailed control of the vocal chords is possible only because humans have a hyoid bone (and that recently a hyoid bone was tentatively discovered in Neanderthal man, suggesting that that line was capable of detailed speech.)

Second, quoting from Charles Panati, Browser's Book of Beginnings:
In the total absence of any clue to the speech patterns of prehistoric man, several theories have been in and out of vogue.
The Bow-Wow Theory: that language grew out of man's attempts to imitate natural sounds, as an infant calls a locomotive a choo-choo or a cow a moo. (onomatopoeic or echoic words)
The Pooh-Pooh Theory: that speech originated from spontaneous exclamations and interjections: cries of fear, surprise, anger, pain, disgust, despair, and joy. [Aside: Pooh-bahs, take note!]
The Yo-He-Ho Theory: that language evolved from reflex grunts, gasps, etc. evoked by strenuous physical exertion, such as hacking up a carcass or dragging a heavy log thorough underbrush.
The Sing-Song Theory: that human speech arose from primitive rhythmic chants associated with ritualistic dance.

At one time linguists believed that language originated merely facilitate communication. Today, however, it is widely thought that language originated so that earty man could think more effectively.

[Which, parenthetically, somewhat reflects an experience I had as noted in the -pyg- thread.]


#40090 - 09/12/01 12:38 AM Re: language  
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Bingley Offline
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Keiva, do you have any references for the Neanderthal hyoid bone?

Bingley


Bingley
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