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Euro Studies Final F@#K
Terms in this set (79)
How are vervet monkey calls different from human language?
Vervet monkey calls depend on indexical relationships and based on a correspondence in fact, but human language depends on symbolic relationships that can refer to things that do not currently exist.
How are indexical relationships maintained in animal calls?
Through a stable correlation to the presence of what they refer to.
What are the primary differences between indexical relationships and symbolic relationships according to Deacon?
Indexical relationships are based on the relationship of a sign to an object, while symbolic relationships are based on relationships between signs.
Why must chimpanzees begin to learn to use signs as indices?
Indexical relationships form the underlying basis of symbolic relationships.
Why is it so difficult to learn the workings of a symbolic system using an indexical learning method?
Indexical learning relies on memorizing many sign combinations.
How does one make the shift from indexical leaning to symbolic learning?
One replaces memorized combinations with an understanding of the rules that govern sign combinations.
How does one keep track of indexical relationships using a symbolic system?
One uses sign-to-sign relationships to keep track of the underlying indexical relationships.
How does a grammatical structure create a category of names?
A grammatical function establishes sets of words that can fit into the roles defined by the function.
Why does semantic meaning depend upon syntactical relationship in human language?
The relationships between signs create meaning in a symbolic system.
How do variations in language lead to changes in the structure of language in future generations according to Deacon?
There are variations in language use from individual to individual, and only some variations are passed on to future generations.
What is the measure of success for determining the survival of new language structures?
The ability of children to learn the new language structure.
What is the difference between Pinker's and Deacon's interpretations of the meaning of variations in language use?
Pinker sees variations in language as surface phenomena, and Deacon sees these variations as defining for the structure of language.
Why does Deacon think that a language is like an organism?
Language functions as a complete system that can grow and develop over time.
Why can children's learning limitations be an advantage for learning human language?
Children's poor memory and attention span helps them to ignore indexical sign-object relationships until they have understood how they are governed by sign-sign relationships.
Why has language evolved to be learned better by children than by adults?
Younger learners are better at making the shift from indexical to symbolic learning.
How does universal grammar develop according to Deacon?
Natural selection according to child learning biases leads language to develop in the same way each time.
How do Pinker and Deacon differ in their explanation for why universal grammar exists?
Pinker sees universal grammar as pre-programmed in the brain, while Deacon sees universal grammar as something that spontaneously develops when language develops.
How do Pinker and Deacon differ in the way they explain the compatibility between human language and the human brain?
Pinker sees the compatibility as based in a language module, while Deacon sees the compatibility as the result of the way in which language has adapted to the structure of the child brain.
What is the relationship between brain evolution and language evolution according to Deacon?
The brain and language co-evolved with each other in a symbiotic relationship.
Why is it misleading to speak about brain size and encephalization without discussing their causes according to Deacon?
There are different causes of variations in brain size and encephalization, and these different causes lead to different brain structures.
What are the specific developmental processes that lead to human brain size and encephalization being greater than that of mammals and of nonhuman primates according to Deacon?
Embryonic reduction of body growth as compared to brain growth, and later prolongation of brain growth without extension of body growth.
How does the brain develop in a way that requires the least possible amount of genetically pre-programmed information according to Deacon?
By initially creating more neurons than necessary and then later killing off the ones that are not used.
How do brains adapt to the particular body to which they are matched according to Deacon?
Brain cells are not specialized and develop in reaction to a specific body's needs.
What kinds of neurons predominate in the human brain, and what effect does this have on human brain development according to Deacon?
The human brain has comparatively many neurons that are only connected to other neurons, leading to more possibilities for internal processing.
What types of brain connections promote voluntary over involuntary control over motor and sensory processes such as vocalizations and directing attention according to Deacon?
Brain connections between neurons rather than to the external world.
What is the primary effect of damage to the prefrontal cortex according to Deacon?
An inability to subordinate one set of associations to another set of associations.
What makes the human brain particularly suitable for symbol learning according to Deacon?
The large prefrontal cortex makes it easy to subordinate indexical relationships to symbolic relationships between signs.
Why does Deacon believe that symbolic processing does not take place in a specific part of the brain?
Symbolic processing is the ability to re-interpret linkages between signs in a new way, which is not done in one place in the brain but through reconfiguring neuronal relationships between different parts of the brain.
What are three reasons that Deacon provides for why a relatively small number of genetic changes could have resulted in the human language ability?
All of the above.
How does Deacon interpret Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia differently from Pinker and in a way that avoids the idea of a language module?
Broca's and Wernicke's areas are areas that connect different parts of the brain to each other, and damage to these areas impairs the brain's ability to make connections between its different parts.
How does Deacon interpret Williams (Chatterbox) Syndrome differently from Pinker and in a way that avoids the idea of a language module?
Williams Syndrome creates symbolic relationships without a sufficient grounding in indexical relationships.
How does the phrase structure of language function as an accommodation of language to fit the structures of the brain according to Deacon?
The phrase structure accommodates the brain's need to split short-term from long-term processing to different areas.
How are indexical relationships of words to objects processed by the brain according to Deacon?
Through cross-modality relationships like comparison of sound and vision.
How does the brain use the separation of left and right hemispheres to help with language processing according to Deacon?
It allows the brain to process different sorts of information, for instance, emphasis and syntax, at the same time.
In what sense did language begin as an idea according to Deacon?
The first invention of a symbolic system created a selection pressure on the brain to be able to better understand symbols.
Why was it impossible that universal grammar could have developed through a process of biological natural selection according to Deacon?
Universal grammar is a deep structure, and only the surface structures of language would be subject to natural selection.
What is the only possible kind of innate language ability according to Deacon?
The capacity for symbolic processing.
According to Deacon, what kind of learning ability could have been an early animal form of what develops in humans into the ability to see symbol relationships?
Paying attention to one thing in order to do something opposite or complementary
How does Deacon describe the relationship between symbol use and the expansion of the prefrontal cortex in hominid evolution?
Symbol use was the cause of the expansion of the prefrontal cortex.
Why does Deacon think that australopithecines used stone tools before homo habilis?
Australopithecines first learned symbol use, allowing them to use stone tools and begin an evolutionary biological development toward homo habilis.
How does Deacon define "humanness"?
Participation in the use and transmission of symbols.
How is Deacon's story of the origin of language similar to Rousseau's?
Both see the origin of language as linked to a change in mating patterns.
According to Deacon, what is anomalous about the way humans live and mate, as compared with nonhuman social systems?
Humans combine pair bonding with group living.
How does marriage solve the problem of group living combined with pair bonding?
Marriage creates a promise of sexual exclusivity for a pair, allowing pairs to be part of larger groups that can hunt together.
How do rituals guarantee the truth of symbolic systems according to Deacon?
By reconstructing the indexical relationships that create the link to reality.
How is the demonstration of the truth of symbols through ritual similar to the invention of symbols according to Deacon?
In both cases, it is necessary to repeat the indexical associations upon which the symbolic relationships depend.
What evidence is there that children have language as an innate instinct?
Children who do not experience universal grammar are still able to invent universal grammar structures on their own.
What does it mean for Pinker that language is an instinct?
Language is a specialized skill that is different from general intelligence.
What are the two theories of the origin of language that Pinker tries to refute?
Language as cultural invention and language as structure of thought
Why is it important for Pinker that there is no cultural progress in language sophistication?
It indicates that language is an innate module.
Why is it important for Pinker that language is different from human thought in general?
It indicates that language is a separate module in the brain.
How does the evolution of pidgins to creoles demonstrate the existence of a language instinct?
Without a language instinct, children would not be able to turn a pidgin into a creole on their own.
How do Broca's aphasia, specific language impairment, and chatterbox syndrome demonstrate the existence of a language instinct? (You can select more than one answer)
They show how people can be incapable of using language correctly while retaining general intelligence AND They show how people can have well developed language ability while having low intelligence.
What is the relationship between thought and language according to Pinker?
Thoughts and language exist independent of each other.
What is the relationship between cognition and grammar according to Pinker?
Cognition and grammar exist separately from each other.
What is the relationship between universal grammar and a specific language according to Pinker?
Universal grammar establishes the deep structure of every specific language.
What does is mean to say that language is a discrete combinatorial system?
Language consists of a finite number of elements that are combined to form larger structures with new properties.
What is another example of a discrete combinatorial system?
What does it mean to say that language has a phrase structure?
Words in a sentence are organized into phrases in a tree-like system.
How does the phrase structure of language create a link to thoughts?
A phrase in languae corresponds to a thought in mentalese.
What do all human languages have in common in terms of their phrase structure?
All of the above.
What is the function of case tags on nouns?
Case tags determine each noun's role in relation to a verb.
What is the significance of the super-rules of language?
Two super-rules define the principles that underlie all human languages.
How do children acquire the super-rules of language?
They are born with a knowledge of them.
What are the parameters that vary from language to language?
If a language is head-first there will be prepositions, and if a language is head-last there will be postpositions.
How do children acquire the parameters for a specific language?
By listening to how the speakers of that language use those parameters.
What does the universal grammar of language indicate for Pinker?
The mind contains an innate structure of grammar that does not have to be learned.
Where do word meanings come from according to Pinker?
Word meanings come from thoughts in mentalese, which in turn are linked to objects in the world.
How does Pinker's view of language relate to that of Hobbes?
Both Pinker and Hobbes argue that words arise separately from the connections between words.
How does Pinker's view of language relate to that of Peirce?
Pinker argues that word meanings come from mentalese, but Peirce argues that word meanings arise from connections between words.
What are the reasons for the claim that language is a specific instinct?
All of the above.
What evidence suggests that the structures of grammar are passed on genetically?
Brain damage can lead to the disturbance of specific language structures without affecting general intelligence.
How does Pinker's description of human language differ from Herder's?
For Pinker language is a special adaptation like the elephant's trunk, but for Herder language requires a total reorganization of instincts and skills.
How do Pinker and Herder read the same evidence in different ways in order to arrive at their different claims?
In comparing human language to animal adaptations such as the elephant trunk, Pinker sees a similar kind of specific adaptation while Herder sees a general ability to shape oneself to different circumstances and goals.
Why does the idea of a specific language instinct lead to theories of the origin of language that postulate a sudden and unprecedented change?
A language instinct suggests that language is a single module that could have appeared suddenly, like in a freak mutation.
What are the basic prerequisites for the development of complex structures through natural selection?
The variations are inheritable.
What does Pinker think of attempts to demonstrate some level of human language ability in non-human primates?
He does not think that they have been successful.
What does Pinker leave out of this explanation?
Any account of the way in which gradual variations could have led to human language.
What is Pinker's explanation for the origin of language?
Language developed through a process of natural selection in which a specific set of existing brain circuits were adapted to language use.
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