Science, Technology, and Current Futurism
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How to Understand the Deep Structures of Language

How to Understand the Deep Structures of Language | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

In an alternative to Chomsky’s "Universal Grammar," scientists explore language’s fundamental design constraints

 

There are two striking features of language that any scientific theory of this quintessentially human behavior must account for. The first is that we do not all speak the same language. This would be a shocking observation were not so commonplace. Communication systems and other animals tend to be universal, with any animal of the species able to communicate with any other.

Likewise, many other fundamental human attributes show much less variation. Barring genetic or environmental mishap, we all have two eyes, one mouth, and four limbs. Around the world, we cry when we are sad, smile when we are happy, and laugh when something is funny, but the languages we use to describe this are different.


Via Ashish Umre
Sharrock's insight:

I am fascinated by domain-specific universals, commonalities, and constants. This is what can be taught to others or learned through experience, research, and reflection, but they can be overlooked by experts of other fields make the mistake of generalizing knowledge in one domain to another domain or profession. Not that there are no interdisciplinary cross-overs, but the "outsider" should respect and recognize that lack of domain-specific knowledge as a limitation of understanding. We must also understanding that we professionals/practitioners should do what we can to be able to articulate the domain-specific universals, commonalities, constants, principles, practices, etc. 

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