[From Rick Marken (01.02.13.1500)]
Bruce Nevin (01.02.13 15:44 EST)]
The structures of language and the use of those structures
("language behavior") are not the same thing.
Yes. I think the structures of language are perceptions, some
of which are controlled ("used") and some of which are
irrelevant side effects of control.
How those structures themselves are perceived and how those
perceptions are controlled has not been determined, for the
most part, but it is clear that language is structured
Sure. As is all behavior, when seen by a person who can perceive
"structure". But that structure, like the rings formed by the
individuals in the CROWD program, is probably an irrelevant side
effect of the fact that people are controlling perceptions that
have nothing to do with that structure. The individuals in the
CROWD program, for example, are controlling for proximity, not
for being in a ring. The ring structure you observe is an
irrelevant (to the individuals themselves) side effect of
controlling for proximity. Similarly, the grammatical and other
structures (such as subject/verb phrase order) we see when we
look at spoken language are very likely to be (like the rings)
irrelevant side effects of the fact that speakers are
controlling for perceptions that have nothing to do with
Data from various forms of testing for controlled variables, plus
methods for identifying dependencies among those controlled variables,
tests and methods that have been in use in descriptive linguistics...
for the past 50 years.
I find that very hard to believe. I studied some linguistics in
college and it seems to me that linguists are rather attached to
the notion that people "generate" grammatical utterances rather
than control perceptual variables. It's hard for me to imagine
how anyone could systematically test for controlled variables
if they assume that language is a generated output.
I don't think I'll have much chance to read these. But I would
like to know what you think constitutes a linguistic test for a
controlled variable. It would be nice if you could give a brief
description of the testing for controlled linguistic variables
that is described in these references.
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
MindReadings.com mailto: email@example.com