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Normal human communication via oral language. A speaker has an idea he wishes to communicate. In order to do so, he moves the parts of his articulatory system, producing an acoustic signal. speaker. Articulator movements. Communication via oral language.

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normal human communication via oral language
Normal human communication via oral language
  • A speaker has an idea he wishes to communicate.
  • In order to do so, he moves the parts of his articulatory system, producing an acoustic signal.

speaker

Articulator movements

communication via oral language
Communication via oral language
  • The signal reaches the ears of a hearer.
  • The hearer perceives and interprets the signal.
  • This stimulates in his mind the idea that the speaker intended.

hearer

speaker

Reception of the signal by the audio-perceptive system

Articulator movements

this is how humans normally communicate
This is how humans normally communicate

hearer

speaker

Audio-perceptive routines

Articulatory movements

terminology
Terminology
  • The idea the speaker wants to communicate is the meaning(signifié).
  • The meaning which the speaker intends is often a bit different from what the hearer comes up with. Thus we can distinguish the meanings from the meaningh.
terminology1
Terminology
  • The phonological structure which the speaker activates is often a bit different from what the hearer gets. Thus we can distinguish the phonological structures from the phonological structureh.
  • The cognitive routines of production, perception and interpretation of the signal symbolizethe meaning. They constitute the phonological structure (signifiant).
terminology2
Terminology
  • The mental (cognitive) association between a phonological structure and a meaning is a symbolic link.
  • The structure formed by the association of a meaning and a phonological structure is a symbol.
applying the terminology to the model of communication
Applying the terminology to the model of communication:

symbol

hearer

speaker

symbolic link

meaningh

meanings

phonological structureh

phonological structures

a specific example from mixe
A specific example(from Mixe)

symbol

hearer

speaker

symbolic link

audio-perceptive routines

audio-perceptive routines

neuro-muscular routines

important points
Important points
  • Phonological structures are cognitive structures (=routines).
  • They include a productive (neuromuscular) aspect, and a receptive (audio-perceptive) aspect.
  • The signal does not “have” or “carry” meaning. The meaning is in the minds of the speaker and hearer.
important points1
Important points
  • The symbols in the minds of the speaker and hearer must be quite similar.
    • Otherwise comunication will be very difficult.
  • In normal conversation the speaker and hearer constantly switch roles.
    • They do not have two separate sets of symbols in their minds, one for speaking with and the other for hearing.
important points2
Important points
  • For those two reasons,
    • The similarities between symbols in the minds of different people, and
    • The unity of the symbols in each person’s mind,
  • We often get away with speaking of meanings and phonological structures without distinguishing between the production and the perception of a symbol,
  • though sometimes we do well to distinguish.
terminology3
Terminology
  • The study of meanings is Semantics.
    • The meaning is the semantic pole of a symbol.
  • The study of phonological structures is (of course) Phonology.
    • We also speak of the phonological pole of a symbol.
terminology4
Terminology
  • Symbols are bipolar
other types of signals
Other types of signals
  • There are other types of signals
    • Gestures and bodily movements (sign languages)
    • Writing (of many types)
    • Morse code, Braille, etc.
  • Anything that a communicator controls, and a “communicatee” perceives, can function as a signal.
spoken language is prototypical
Spoken language is prototypical
  • Much of what is said of the speaker and hearer is true, mutatis mutandis, in the case of communication via other kinds of signals.
  • In many contexts, as a result,
    • Speaker = communicator
    • Hearer = communicatee
    • Phonological structure = signifiantof whatever kind
the symbolic link
The symbolic link
  • The symbolic link is at the heart of language.
the symbolic link1
The symbolic link
  • What is its basic character?
    • It is a mental association
the symbolic link2
The symbolic link
  • What is its basic character?
    • It is a mental association
    • that works in both directions
the symbolic link3
The symbolic link
  • It works in both directions
  • If you activate the semantic pole,

the link facilitates the activation of the phonological pole

the symbolic link4
The symbolic link
  • It works in both directions
  • On the other hand, if you first activate the phonological pole,

the link facilitates the activation of the semantic pole

the arbitrariness of the symbolic link
The arbitrariness of the symbolic link
  • The great Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure said that the symbolic link is “arbitrary”.
    • Many understand him to have meant that there is no reason for associating any particular semantic pole with its particular phonological pole.
  • This is not always or necessarily true, however.
phonological and semantic spaces
Phonological and semantic “spaces”
  • Symbolic links cross the boundary between the semantic and phonological “spaces”.
semantic and phonological spaces
Semantic and phonological spaces
  • Phonological space is also part of semantic space
structuring of symbols by integration and composition
Structuring of symbols by integration and composition
  • The rooster and its crow are components of a more inclusive structure that includes both of them.
  • a. and b. are equivalent: a. is “compacted” and b. is “exploded”
unipolar vs bipolar complexity
Unipolar vs. bipolar complexity
  • Popocatépetl is complex phonologically and semantically, but (in English or Spanish) simple in bipolar terms.
unipolar vs bipolar complexity1
Unipolar vs. bipolar complexity
  • Tumbaburros is simpler in its phonology, but much more complex in bipolar terms.
relative predominance of lexical vs grammatical structures
Relative predominance of lexical vs. “grammatical” structures
  • Lexical structures predominate at the morpheme and word levels, and practically disappear at the discourse level.
relative predominance of lexical vs grammatical structures1
Relative predominance of lexical vs. “grammatical” structures
  • How should we classify or categorize these kinds of structures.
relative predominance of lexical vs grammatical structures2
Relative predominance of lexical vs. “grammatical” structures
  • Traditionally they are separated into different “modules”, run according to different rules, by different mechanisms.
relative predominance of lexical vs grammatical structures3
Relative predominance of lexical vs. “grammatical” structures
  • CG takes this to be wrong-headed.
  • (Empirically it is problematical.)
imposing categories on a cline
Imposing categories on a cline
  • Think of other kinds of gradual or scalar phenomena that we categorize: e.g. age.
moral
Moral:
  • Binary divisions on such a cline oversimplify the reality.
moral1
Moral:
  • Describing it with fixed boundaries between categories, different rules for categories, and no differences within categories, inevitably distorts it.
moral2
Moral:
  • This does not mean that CG cannot distinguish between lexicon, morphology, syntax, etc.
moral3
Moral:
  • It does mean (a) that there will not be fixed boundaries between them.
moral4
Moral:
  • It will also mean (b) that they will be governed by similar rules and mechanisms, so that they can grade easily into each other.
association
Association
  • Perhaps the most basic kind of relationship between structures is association.
  • Association reduces ultimately to some kind of co-occurrence in the mind.
  • “Neurons that fire together wire together”
  • Association is pretty much the same mechanism at a higher level: concepts that occur together get associated.
association1
Association
  • Often two concepts occur together because they are parts of a third, more inclusive concept.
  • E.g. TREE and /tɹi/ are associated because they occur together as parts of the word tree.
  • E.g. chalk and blackboards are associated because they occur together in a classroom scenario.
  • Other relationships can be thought of as adding something to an association.
association2
Association
  • Thus the brute association of chalk and blackboard also involves physical touching, the piece of chalk leaving part of itself behind on the board as a mark, that mark being the result intended by the teacher wielding the chalk, etc.
association3
Association
  • You cannot relate two structures in your mind without their coocurring there.
  • As such coocurrence is entrenched (becomes a unit) an association is established
association4
Association
  • Bottom line: all cognitive relationships are associations, whatever else they may be besides.
  • This includes identifications (correspondences) and schematicity relations (see ahead)
  • We generally talk about associations only when other aspects of the relationships are less prominent / less germane to our purposes
correspondence
Correspondence
  • Two conceived entities correspond when they are taken as identical.
  • This is expressed in diagrams by a dashed line of correspondence. A and B, in the diagram, are understood to be the same thing.
correspondence1
Correspondence
  • Correspondence is a bit of a tricky notion, however, in a couple of ways.
  • In the first place, it is inherently paradoxical.
  • Although two concepts are understood to be one, they nevertheless are two concepts.
correspondence2
Correspondence
  • (That’s not as weird as it sounds, actually. We do it all the time. The changing visual impressions of somebody’s face are understood to be views of the same person, for instance.)
correspondence3
Correspondence
  • What is recognized is that all aspects of A are present in B as well, and vice versa.
  • We thus see A and B simultaneously as two concepts, and yet as the same one.
  • The two concepts may actually differ very significantly in their emphases or in which facets of the understood unity are most in view.
  • This is related to the second kind of oddness.
correspondence4
Correspondence
  • Lines of correspondence are often (almost inevitably, it seems) used in practice in a less strict sense to mean (strict) correspondence of one aspect (an “Active Zone”) of one concept with some aspect of another.
sloppy use of c orrespondence lines
Sloppy use of correspondence lines
  • The sound and the rooster’s mouth are not the same thing.
  • Rather the place the sound comes from is the one defined by the rooster’s mouth.
strictly speaking c orrespondenc e is identity
Strictly speaking, correspondence is identity
  • But when correspondences are used strictly the connected entities are being represented as being identical.
correspondence5
Correspondence
  • The experience of recognition or identification is very important to us.
  • Especially this is true of the identification of part of one entity with part of another.
  • This is absolutely central to our ability to link concepts together to form more complex concepts.
correspondence6
Correspondence
  • Correspondence lines are like the lines on a mechanics’ or a carpenter’s drawings.
  • They can be seen as the record of distortion caused by pulling a unified structure apart.
correspondence7
Correspondence
  • Alternatively they are the instructions telling you how to join the pieces up when putting a complex concept together.
correspondence8
Correspondence
  • Our ability to recognize and establish correspondences is also basic to our (extremely basic ) ability to compare concepts.