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What do we really know about the African languages spoken in Brazil?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is almost nothing
Originally posted by Direne
reply to post by abeverage
Hello. Those are questions that need a lenghty answer. I will give you some hints, and then we can proceed with the details.
Most of the team at FL do agree with Chomsky's theory of Universal Grammar, but modulated with Hallidays' views on the role of sociocultural influence. Our main criticism to Chomsky's theory is that he assumes all brains are the same, something that is not clear to us. Unless we have a clear definition of what means 'a human brain'. For what concerns Hallidays' proposal, I would say that he assumes that sociocultural environment affect equally on all individuals, something which I'm afraid I cannot agree. I feel that it is in the study of child language acquisition that some answers can be found, but I strongly advocate for the study of language in extreme scenarios: coma, altered state of consciousness, stress, schizophrenia, trance, autistic individuals, etc.
To know about matter, you need to apply high energies and actually break it into its essential components; similarly, to really know about language you need to go to extreme situations: you need to 'torture' language itself. It is when you are close to a total collapse of language that language reveals its secrets. That's my view.
Your question "Do you believe society influences language or does language program and influence society?" is quite difficult to answer. It is the so-called Whorfian dilemma. I guess it is a two-way interaction. However, my view is that language is the only way we have to describe reality. As language is part of that reality, you cannot simply rely on language to know reality: your conclusions will be limited by language itself. If you are exposed to aspects of reality that language cannot describe properly, your knowledge about those aspects will be extremely limited.
A good example is quantum gravity (or just quantum mechanics). The math here is more powerful than language itself. You cannot describe properly the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiment or the quantum nonlocality. The sentence "The photon is in two places at the same time" means nothing if expressed using natural language. The quantum world does not have "here" and "there". If you were to be reduced to the size of a photon, language would collapse.
Cassini Diskus is an experiment to cope precisely with those scenarios in which language collapses. We noticed that each time you change the scale of a problem, language should change accordingly. Otherwise, it proves useless as a means for communication.
Originally posted by Direne
reply to post by Doodle19815
Couldn't be better to 'read' that neural configuration somehow? And, wouldn't be wonderful if you could read that neural configuration at a distance? Same for images. If your brain takes a particular, measurable, configuration when exposed to an external image, wouldn't be better to learn how to read that configuration in order to 'see' the image your communication partner is seeing mentally?
We feel that's possible. At least, we feel that's where evolution is leading us.
The opposition of m e / partsu and n a m t a r / shimtu is not just conceptually implied, but turns out to be made explicit in third millennium cosmogony. Herein a cosmic ocean, N a m m a , produces a proto-universe, Heaven and Earth undivided. In a series of stages, all represented by gods, Heaven and Earth produce the Holy Mound (d u k u g ), which in its turn produces E n l i l , ‘Lord Ether’, who by his very existence separates Heaven and Earth. E n l i l , representing the space between Heaven and Earth, the sphere of human and animal life, organises what he finds by his decisions (n a m t a r / shimtu), and thus puts everything into place: the universe becomes a cosmos. Before being permanently subjected, however, the primordial universe (Heaven and Earth) rebels; its representative, a member of the older generation of gods, E n m e sh a r r a , ‘Lord All M e ’, tries to usurp E n l i l ’s prerogative to n a m t a r / shimtu (i.e. prerogative to make decisions). He is defeated by E n l i l and incarcerated in the netherworld for good. The myth can be read as a theistically-slanted argument on two modes of defining order: an immutable cosmological order (m e / partsu) whose unmistakable champion is E n m e sh a r r a , against a protean, individual-centred, volitional, anthropomorphic order, whose champion is E n l i l .
2. If the resources were available for universal usage, it would erase cultural and even ego distinctions in one fell swoop.
Originally posted by Brotherman
reply to post by Eidolon23
The core essentials of what makes a human an individual not only remain but become reinforced by being able to freely communicate without the need of language and cultural barriers?
Originally posted by Direne
reply to post by Brotherman
Hello Brotherman. The best starter in phonosemantics is Margaret Magnus' dissertation. I am sure you can find it in the internet, in PDF format. In case you do not find it, I can make available a copy to you. Additionally, Margaret used to have a website with examples and even some tests for you verify her theory. As far as I understand, she made the observation that words related to some actions (say, to strike) do always contain the same phonemes, even when the words are not etymologicaly related. Mind that this observation are language specific and, some times, language-family specific.
More interesting are her experiments in which she showed her students abstracts images and asked them to give them a name. It came out that most of the students invented words that were quite similar, though the students were working in isolation. The key ideal experiment would be to show someone an object he/she has never seen, and ask him/her to invent a word to name it. If you prove that there is a statistical correlation between the answers of several individuals, in the sense that they invent words using the same phonemes, that would point to the fact that there is a correlation between how humans perceive objects and how they name those objects. The question then is: why is this so?
We simply consider that speaking out words is the last step in a complex process, a step that can be removed (and should be removed) if we wish to communicate in those situations in which language collapses and is of no use. If the brain adopts a given specific measurable configuration milliseconds before opening your mouth to pronounce a word, why pronouncing a word at all? Couldn't be better to 'read' that neural configuration somehow? And, wouldn't be wonderful if you could read that neural configuration at a distance? Same for images. If your brain takes a particular, measurable, configuration when exposed to an external image, wouldn't be better to learn how to read that configuration in order to 'see' the image your communication partner is seeing mentally? We feel that's possible. At least, we feel that's where evolution is leading us.
So i have a very interesting question in regards to all this language study with regards to sound and sight,if one wanted to transcend barriers of such a limited form of communication to better convey themselves to other sentient beings would they not want to develop Telepathy as a more true method to express there feeling and emotions while literally eliminating or minimizing the chance of having a miss-communication? Also i do believe this would greatly reduce security issues in certain situations,and in some greatly increase it! One other thing of note in regards to Telepathy,Telepathy would eliminate technology and constraints of time and distance in regards to communication,but it is not "monetarily lucrative"to advance the general population this way which is indeed sad!
Originally posted by Ghostcooler
The forgotten language of no language audible or visually that is,spatial communication(Telepathy)=anti-language! I have been reading and following this thread very closely and from what i have gleaned so far,especially in regard to the above post i do believe i have discovered the true means to which your groups study's are looking to come to,please correct me if i am wrong i can take constructive criticism quite well.