|Language, philosophy: language is a set of phonetic or written coded forms fixed at a time for the exchange of information or distinctions within a community whose members are able to recognize and interpret these forms as signs or symbols. In a wider sense, language is also a sign system, which can be processed by machines. See also communication, language rules, meaning, meaning change, information, signs, symbols, words, sentences, syntax, semantics, grammar, pragmatics, translation, interpretation, radical interpretation, indeterminacy._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
Colin Allen on Language - Dictionary of Arguments
Colin Allen und Eric Saidel Die Evolution der Referenz in D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg.) Der Geist der Tiere, Frankfurt 2005
Language/Evolution/Allen/Saidel: to what extent can different functions of language be separated from each other and be proved in different phylogenetic groups?
a) harder line: (stronger separation of man and animal): Homology (common precursors) is necessary, homoplasia (convergent evolution) is not sufficient.
Vs: that's premature. Although homology provides more evidence of a common historical path, but also Homoplasia provides relevant information: it presupposes a similar selection pressure. It can also uncover general principles.
Language/Evolution/Allen/Saidel: if they are to be homologous, there must have been a common ancestor with the disposition to it.
To answer this, one needs comparative work on people, apes, monkeys and nonprimates.
Animal/Species/Reference/Allen/Saidel: E.g. Seyfarth, warning calls from long-tailed monkeys offspring must be confirmed (repeated) by adults so that they are taken seriously by the others.
Shared attention/language/animal/Allen/Saidel: if it is present, the utterances of humans and adult animals maintain the same relations to the objects of attention._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
"The Evilution of Reference", in: The Evolution of Mind, C. Allen and D. Dellarosa Cummins (Eds.) Oxford 1998, pp. 183-203
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005