Bill 5/25; quick response to Tom

[From Bruce Nevin (Fri 930528 14:59:35)]

( Bill Powers (930525.1930) ) --

<Long discussion of how there are only signals within a CS, not
"perceptions" in the ordinary sense of the qualia of aware experience.
This parallels the "information in the signal" discussion: the
"information" in a signal is available only to some other CS either
higher or outside; ditto the qualia experience.>

I don't _think_ I contradicted any of this. Did I?

( Bill ) --

V ===========================================================
only way to get the "no" signal to appear is to supply signals
from phoneme detectors within a certain range of temporal and
amplitude limits.
^ ===========================================================

I have been pushing kind of hard on what it takes to get a signal
out of a phoneme detector. Experimental evidence, such as that
cited by Liberman & Mattingly, suggests that "invariants" in the
acoustic signal corresponding to phonemic contrasts or to phonetic
differences are few and may be dispensed with under some conditions,
calling in question just how "invariant" they are. What appears to
happen is that the hearer imagines the gestures of speech articulators
intended by the speaker. This is in fact L&M's claim. The phonemes
are then contrasts among these gestures, perhaps as if they were carried
out to their full or ideal extent. Input sufficient for the perception
of these contrasts among imagined (and perhaps ideal) gestures, and
a fortiori sufficient for controlling perceptions of contrast between
words, come from many sources: acoustic, visual, kinesthetic, perceptions
of what word ought to be there or what word I would say if I were saying
what I perceive you to be saying, etc.

This is responsive I think to Tom's of today, which I will take more
time to examine:

( Tom Bourbon (930528.0810) ) --

V ===========================================================
I try to understand the implication (sometimes
the claim) of great significance in the fact that changes in configurations
of the speech apparatus lead to changes in the sounds that are produced
and perceived. Every time, I come back to the thought that those
configurations vary any way necessary to produce perceptions (requested
by a higher level) of consequences other than the configurations and
sounds themselves. I still cannot see why the facts of configuration-
sound associations are different from, for example, the facts of various
configuration-movement associations we would observe were we to as
carefully monitor the activities of various motor units and joints in hands
and arms during arm waving, stick wiggling, gesturing and typing.
^ ===========================================================

There is another point that I have been trying to communicate. Whatever
the means may be by which we control the perception of contrast between
non-repetitions--by perception of acoustic invariants, by imagined
(reconstructed) perception of intended gestures, or whatever--it is
essential that we effect that control in a recognizeable way. This is
where we get the business about norms being preset in all participants.
If I say "no," I am controlling contrasts such as those between the
following pairs of words:

        no gnaw
        no knee
        no gnu
        no doe
        no toe
        no mow
        no bow
        no row
        no ...

I am not controlling a particular configuration for the word "no,"
rather, I am controlling the distinctness of my pronunciation from
the pronunciation of any other possible word. If "gnaw" is unlikely
in a given context, I may very well say a synonym for "no" that is
pronounced the same way, "naw!".

Now, if you are controlling for contrasts between many of the same
words as I, then you recognize the contrast between "no" and "naw/gnaw"
regardless of the particular way I pronounce these words. My "accent"
may be quite different, but if you hear me say "toe" and "saw" and
"rhododendron" and various other words, even though the acoustic
consequences are different for me and for you, you can reconstruct
the contrast between intended gestures and intended words.

It is this--the fundamental fact of repetition, as distinct from imitation
--that sets control of language apart from control in which one is not
obligated to advertise one's intentions in a reliable way to others.

How do you model "repeating X" rather than "imitating X"? Sounds like
X is a category. How do you model "person B repeating the X that person
A produced" as distinct from B imitating A's behavioral outputs?
Is it not the case that both A and B must have a prior agreement
as to what behavioral outputs constitute an X? That is, what behavioral
outputs advertise the intention to produce an X?

I have a meeting. I'll look at mail over the weekend. Have a
delightful one!

Rick: if you are still willing to send me some code for generating
the sound disturbances, please do, and I'll work on the other pieces.