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Lecture 3

CMNS 110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Everytime, Concatenation, Arbitrariness

Course Code
CMNS 110
Gary Mc Carron

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Week 3 - Language and Culture
Structuralism: everything is based on an underlying structure
Language Origins
-Ancient Greeks questioned it
-naturalistic explanation of language
-language had to come from something in the natural world
-visitation from the gods
-They were the first to study language
-Corax (crow)
-Him and his friend were interested in language, and the capacity of language to make
Changes in the world
-You can change the world by speaking
-There should be a way to teach people how to persuade people (speak well) - wrote a
book on it
-Tisius (his friend)
-People would study with them to learn how to support their case in court
-Language is a way of proving probabilities, not the truth
Rederick: the queen of sciences
Corax introduces us to the problem: where does language come from? Don’t know, so
discusses what we can do with language
-Can’t look at the origins of language
-Answer the question of language origins by talking about language acquisition, instead
-Womanizing alcoholic who turned it around, became Christian, and wrote a book about his
-Language acquisition involves imitation. The imitation involves verbalization and gestures
-Gesture to dog and say “dog”. Implants the association between the two in your brain
-He said he experienced this when he was young. He has the process correct, but he
Lied. He couldn’t have actually remembered that
-Augustine discovered language acquisition instead of the origins
-God puts English sounds in English babies at birth. Wrong: children babble universally, then
adapt to their environment (start babbling in Irish, English, Chinese, etc)
Sigmund Freud:
-Word magic: fearing what you say might come true, so you don’t say it even though it is
The original words were: shit, piss fuck
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