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“Do bees communicate when dancing?” (Darwin and Chomsky together…at last…)
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:41
English to Spanish
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Feb 3, 2003

\"Lingua ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the human brain\" - William H. Calvin and Derek Bickerton, (MIT Press, 2000).



A must for those who love linguistics.

Some of the questions the authors analyze: how does language arise? how does it evolve? And … why? In the case of children: how do linguistic systems form? why do they take so long?



Contents

1. The Villa Serbelloni

2. What Are Words?

3. Why Putting Words Together Isn’t Easy

4. Bigger than a Word, Smaller than a Sentence

5. Language in the Brain

6. How Are Memories Stored?

7. Hexagonal Mosaics and Darwin Machines

8. A Common Code: The Brain\'s \"Esperanto\" Problem

9. Protolanguage Emerging

10. Reciprocal Altruism as the Predecessor of Argument Structure

11. Role Links for Words

12. The Word Tree as a Secondary Use of Throwing’s Segmented Movement Planner

13. Corticocortical Coherence Promotes a Many-Voiced Symphonic Sentence

14. The Pump and the Slingshot

15. Darwin and Chomsky Together at Last





And a “teaser” from the book´s glossary

Cheers!

Au





bee dance:

The honeybee appears, at least in the context of a simple coordinate system, to have broken out of the usual animal communication that has a single meaning. When the bee returns to her hive, she performs a \" waggle dance\" in a figure_8 that communicates information about the location of a food source that she has just visited. The angle of the double racetrack’s common axis communicates the direction of the new-found food, and the number of circuits that she does around the loops communicates the distance from the hive. But, as Bickerton said in Language and Species,

All other creatures can communicate only about things that have evolutionary significance for them, but human beings can communicate about anything.... Animal calls and signs are structurally holistic [and] cannot be broken down into component parts, as language can.... Though in themselves the sounds of [human] language are meaningless, they can be recombined in different ways to yield thousands of words, each distinct in meaning.... In just the same way, a finite stock of words... can be combined to produce an infinite number of sentences. Nothing remotely like this is found in animal communication.









[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-03 19:32]


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Maria Eugenia Farre  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:41
English to Portuguese
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Dance with the Bees Feb 3, 2003

Hi Aurora,



There is a cool bee language exhibit at



http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bees/danceslang.html



Have fun!



ME


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:41
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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I've been giving it a read Feb 4, 2003

The book has been made available on-line. For those of you with ADSL:



http://faculty.washington.edu/wcalvin/LEM/#1





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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
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Fascinating! Feb 5, 2003

Thanks for that link Ceci,



it certainly looks a great and thought-provoking read,



Berni


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
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It seems so, Au and Ceci Feb 5, 2003

\"Linguistics is arguably the most hotly contested property in the academic realm. It is soaked with the blood of poets, theologians, philosophers, philologists, psychologists, biologists, and neurologists, along with whatever blood can be got out of grammarians.\"

– Russ Rymer in The New Yorker, 1992



[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-05 14:49]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:41
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
:-) Feb 6, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-05 14:47, jacek wrote:

\"Linguistics is soaked with the blood of poets, theologians, philosophers, philologists, psychologists, biologists, and neurologists, along with whatever blood can be got out of grammarians.\"



and translators...



Au





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