link: language

                         

                   LANGUAGE AS REFLECTION OF THINKING OR 'COGNITION' (subconscious cognitive processes):

                              FUNCTION OF LANGUAGE TO reflect and to CONSTRUCT MEANING

 

theme: The function of language is to reflect meaning as what has been learned... process of knowing or 'knowledge'. Personal knowledge... the person's perception of 'reality' is reflected in functional language.

Rhetoric and verbiage outside of a given context have no valid 'meaning'. Most terms in the dictionary ... multiordinal. The multiordinality of a term is a natural fact since meaning depends on context. The recognition of the multiordinality of terms is the fundamental mechanism of the full conditionality of human semantic reactions... and is fundamental for sanity... and consequently for our ability to solve our human problems.

 

"Whole-language is a vision of learner-oriented education 'embedded within a sociopolitical context'; it is a holistic critique that draws from an integrated understanding of human development. The field of sociopsycholinguistics does provide strong empirical support to this understanding... language is a fluid, evolving tool which communities and persons use to establish meaning.  This scientific fact has moral and political implications... when we take hold of our cultural conditioning through a critical use of language we claim the power to reframe meaning and recreate society." (Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times p.18)

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language as biological mode of behaviour: 'sociopsycholinguistic theory' of language...

significance of language in human evolution...  selection pressure of language...

language as a reflection of cognition... of subconscious cognitive cognitive processes...

  function of language is to create meaning...   importance of semantics...

 functional language and 'survival order' (observation prevents overstimulation of the thalamus)...

patternment aspect of language (sentences) overrides lexation (words)...

   product of language is culture...

language as a vehicle of social transformation...

                                 incorrect use of language...   power of language...

  whole language philosophy...

references...

 Language is a strictly biological mode of behaviour...  'sociopsycholinguistic theory of language'. According to the sociopsycholinguistic theory of language Lalguage is an instinctive biological mode of behavior... fundamental biologically based psychophysiological process of constructing meaning or function with the focus on meaning... emerged from earlier biological activities... originating as a medium of communication... through which the individual human organism communicates to bring about deliberate cooperation and competition in conjoint activities which are necessary for survival. Survival of human species depends on cooperation and communication between individuals... for work and for defence.  

language is a vehicle of transformation...

the function of language ...reflects thinking... subconscious cognitive processes. Hence the importance of the subconscious in perception of 'reality' as 'truth'.

Language and the brain evolved through natural selection because it was of survival value for the species... language conferred upon existential things their signifying or evidential power.

the acquisiton of language involves cognitive and linguistic processes or 'neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic mechanisms' which operate in a social context. Our semantic reactions are controlled by ...the structural basis for the proper integration of the emotional and 'intellectual' levels of semantic reactions for the human organism as a whole is the integrated functioning of the cortex and the thalamus. Integrated functioning of the brain depends on the capacity for observation and inquiry. The proper use of language involves observation. Importance of observation powers... the properties of language make it possible to verbalize inquiry required for problem-solving... and the logical reasoning which leads to their resolution. The result is a properly developed capacity for evaluation, adjustment, and sanity.

 Language is "a strictly biological mode of behavior , emerging in natural continuity from earlier organic activities ...serving as a  medium of communication." (John Dewey Logic: Theory of Inquiry p.48)

Language produces culture ... the product of language is culture... Capacity for language allows for transmission of knowledge or 'education'

With the production of intelligent behavior through language... in producing intelligent behavior... human experience acquired a new dimension...language provided experience with a new dimension... the new dimension was 'culture' and all that culture entails. 

transmitted in a process of 'education' by way of communication through language.. culture ... the only means of retaining and transmitting to subsequent generations acquired skills, acquired information and acquired habits... through language the human organism records and transfers to subsequent generations the skills, information and habits which have been acquired through learning...

By means of language, experience - results of trials and errors, what may happen and what to do, is collected and transmitted. Through social inheritance - via language - human experience can be pooled. More than a simple vehicle of social inheritance.... Language affects what is transmitted. The socially accepted meaning of a symbol such as a word is almost necessarily abstract.

"It is language, originating as a medium of communication in order to bring about deliberate cooperation and competition in conjoint activities, that has conferred upon existential things their signifying or evidential power."(56)

 

Language transformed animal activities into intelligent behavior having the properties which, when formulated are logical in nature. In producing intelligent behavior, language provided experience with a new dimension. The new dimension was 'culture' and all that culture involves. Culture is a product of language. Language is the only means of retaining and transmitting to subsequent generations acquired skills, acquired information and acquired habits. Human survival depends on intelligence and the ability to learn. For other animals the skills required for survival are instinctive and genetically transmitted. In human evolution, survival depends on the genetic transmission of the ability to use language for communication, the ability to learn, the ability to think logically, and the ability to behave intelligently. Modifications are wrought within the biological organism by the cultural environment.

 Language transformed animal activities into intelligent behavior having the properties which, when formulated are logical in nature." In producing intelligent behavior, language provided experience with a new dimension. The new dimension was 'culture' and all that culture involves. Culture is a product of language. Language is the only means of retaining and transmitting to subsequent generations acquired skills, acquired information and acquired habits. Human survival depends on intelligence and the ability to learn. For other animals the skills required for survival are instinctive and genetically transmitted. In human evolution, survival depends on the genetic transmission of the ability to use language for communication, the ability to learn, the ability to think logically, and the ability to behave intelligently.  

This capacity for language enables him to learn from previous generations and to pass on what he has learnt to succeeding generations. This aspect of human language has been called the 'time-binding function' of languagle. By agreement or 'convention' the sounds become words and signals for action and symbols for objects and events familiar to other members of the social group. The words were invested with meanings agreed on by members of the society ...social meanings or 'conventional meanings'. In the process of language aquisition, offspring learn the conventional meanings attached to the sounds and their 'education' involves communication with words which carry the conventional meanings.

Language is a vehicle of transformation.

 "Language transforms the process of social tradition; precept accelerates education." A mother can show her offspring what to do when a beast appears. By precept, she can explain in advance what to do if the beast appears and increase the chances of survival. Language makes it possible to prepare for emergency situations. "Language is the vehicle for the transmission of the social heritage of experience." By means of language, experience - results of trials and errors, what may happen and what to do, is collected and transmitted. Through social inheritance - via language - human experience can be pooled. More than a simple vehicle of social inheritance, language is a vehicle of transformation. Language affects what is transmitted. The socially accepted meaning of a symbol such as a word is almost necessarily abstract. Language involves classification. The word 'banana' stands for a class of objectshaving in common certain traits - edible, banana shaped, etc. Details are ignored as irrelevant in the use of the word. Though all 'bananas' have the same edible qualities, same shape, same odor, same biology, each banana is different with respect to the number of spots on the skin, the position on the tree etc. Banana1 is different from banana2. (Gordon Childe, Archeology and History, chapter 1, What Happened in History, Harmondsforth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1942)

As a simple vehicle of social inheritance, language transforms social tradition. Language has an important effect on what is being transmitted. Language transforms the process of social tradition.

In human evolution.. intelligent behavior results from cognition ...and morality....and communication via symbolic language which evolved in a social context... Survival of the human species depends on evolution of language

The human being is a social animal 

  Intelligence is a human characteristic which evolved because it had survival value for the species. Survival of the organism and evolution of the human species depended on the development of intelligence. "Preparation for possible action in situations not as yet existent in actuality is an essential condition of, and factor in, all intelligent behavior." (Dewey ,J. Logic:The Theory of Inquiry:New York,London: Holt Rinehat and Winston, 1938) Survival of the species depended on the intelligent behavior coupled with the ability for speech and language.

 "Preparation for future possible action in situations not as yet existent in actuality" was necessary for survival of a species not endowed with the other physical characteristics of other animals which they used for self protection. Man survived as a species because of the specialized brain functions, ability for speech and tool making etc. Intelligent behavior was necessary for survival. . The human being must survive as an individual and as a member of a society. Survival of the individual depends on intelligent behavior for self-preservation and intelligent behavior in a social context as well.

 Human nature and Values - biological basis (for survival) and modifications from culture: social norms etc. Education- biological basis and modificatins from culture: social norms

Function of language is to create meaning

 "Language is a complex system for creating meaning through social conventions." (Halliday, M . 1978. Language as a social semiotic.:the social interpretation of language and meaning. Baltimore, University Park Press)" Language can only mean what its community of users know- the meanings users have attached to the experiences they have had" (Edelsky, Altwerger, Flores 1991 Whole Language:What's the Difference? Portsmouth: NH Heinemann)"

Language is constantly evolving as it stretches and expands to accomodate and represent a community's new experiences".(Lois Bridges Bird "The Whole of Whole Language" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 130)

 Children learn language, oral and written, by moving from wholes to parts. Focus is on meaning before mastering the fine points of form. Language that is broken down into isolated sounds, letters, syllables, and words loses its communicative function and no longer operates like real language. (Psycholinguist Ken Goodman K.S. & Goodman Y.M. 1990 Vygotsky in a whole-language perspective. In Luis Moll (Ed) Vygotsky and Education, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press)

 "Meaning does not reside in the text; meaning is created as the reader and author interact through the text." (Lois Bridges Bird "The Whole of Whole Language" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 132)

Like reading, writing is a process of constructing meaning through multiple drafts. Knowledge of the conventions - spelling etc.- develop within the context of writing. Sociolinguist Michael Halliday students learn about language as they use language to learn. The best traditions of progressive education: education that begins with students' strengths, experiences, and interests, that enables students to learn by doing, that is as rich, meaningful, and functional as real life- are now supported by research in child language development, cognitive psychology, sociolinguistics, linguistics and anthropology. (Lois Bridges Bird "The Whole of Whole Language" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 133)

"At the core of Whole Language philosophy is the belief in learning as the birthright of every human being,: learning that is natural, life-affirming, and joyful". (Lois Bridges Bird "The Whole of Whole Language" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 146)

"Following the lead of John Dewey, Whole Language teachers believe that school is life and not for the preparation for living in the real world Drawing on the work of Paulo Freire, Whole Language educators, reject autocratic teaching methods, and build a sense of community and democracy into their classrooms...With Paulo Freire, they believe that one must 'read the world' as we read the word. (Freire, P. & Macedo, D. 1987. Literacy: Reading the Word and the World, South Hadley, MA.: Bergin and Garvey) (Freire, 1973) Education for Critical Consciousness New York: Continuum)

EVOLUTION OF LANGUAGE ... FUNCTION OF LANGUAGE IS TO CONSTRUCT MEANING... NATURAL SELECTION OF THE FUNCTION OF LANGUAGE WHICH IS OF SURVIVAL VALUE TO THE HUMAN ORGANISM ...AS A SOCIAL ORGANISM DEPENDS ON COMMUNICATION FOR DEFENSE AND FOR WORK ....FOR SURVIVAL...

build a scientific study of 'man-as-a-whole' based on the recognition that language is a fundamental psychophysiological function... involves those 'semantic reactions' of functional language... reflecting the structure of the world - the structure of 'reality'...reflecting the individual's perception of the world...

  Significance of development of language in evolutionary terms... Selection pressure of language in human evolution ..The function of language is an integral factor in the evolution of the human organism as a social animal. requiring language for communication.. communicative function of language was the biological function which provided the 'selection pressure' in human evolution... evolution of the social brain.

Two general characteristics of the evolutionary process must be kept in mind in any discussion of the origins of human nature. First, evolution is utilitarian - because the main directing force of evolutionary change is natural selection. Secondly, it is opportunistic - because it lacks a prescience of the future... significance to the evolution of the human species.

language in the context of its biological significance for the human organism as a social animal... in terms of its biological function as a powerful instrument for tightening the coherence between individuals in .. language in context of biological significance increasing the coherence between members of a social group and thus increasing chances of survival for the individual as well as the social group and the species. Discuss significance of development of language to the history of the human species. Man became a winner in the process of biological evolution because of powers of his brain not of his body... The unique human quality which has brought about the biological ascendancy of our species is the ability to think in terms of symbols and abstractions.... language. This ability permitted the development of the peculiarly human mode of communication, by means of symbolic languages. through which the human organism records and transfers to subsequent generations the skills, information and habits which have been acquired through learning.

Survival of the individual depends on intelligent behavior for self-preservation and intelligent behavior in a social context as well. Intelligent behaviour for survival depends on the instinctive skill for language. In the process of human evolution, language produced intelligent behaviour...natural selection of intelligent behavior has resulted in the evolution of the human brain, the biological organ of the physiological processes of language and learning. Human survival depends on intelligence and the ability to learn with the use of language required for logical thought and intelligent behavior. survival of the human species as well as the human individual depends on the conjoint evolution of natural creative intelligence and the ability to learn and communicate. ...natural selection of intelligent behaviour resulted in the evolution of the human brain, the biological organ of the physiological processes of language and learning. Human survival depends on the ability to learn with the use of language required for logical thought and intelligent behavior. ....The ability for speech and language originated and evolved as a human characteristic which had survival value for the individual and the species. Speech and language allowed for the preparation of future possible action, thus increasing chances of survival in situations which were not yet existent in actuality...Preparation for possible action in situations not as yet existent in actuality is an essential condition of, and factor in, all intelligent behavior...was necessary for survival of the human species ... not endowed with the other physical characteristics used for self protection of other animals ... survival for the human species depended on the human ability to prepare for the future...on behavior which was transformed into intelligent with the ability for speech and language.. language transformed animal activities into intelligent behavior having logical properties... The survival of the human species depends on the development of specialized brain functions which resulted in the ability for speech, for tool making, for intelligent thinking and intelligent behavior. With the production of intelligent behavior through language... in producing intelligent behavior... human experience acquired a new dimension...language provided experience with a new dimension... the new dimension was 'culture' and all that culture entails. Culture is a product of language... transmitted in a process of 'education' by way of communication through language.. culture ... the only means of retaining and transmitting to subsequent generations acquired skills, acquired information and acquired habits... through language the human organism records and transfers to subsequent generations the skills, information and habits which have been acquired through learning... For all animal species, the skills required for survival are instinctive and genetically transmitted. For the human species the skills required for survival are also instinctive and genetically transmitted ... the instinctive skill required for survival is the ability to communicate through language... the skill inherited is the ability to use language... In human evolution, survival depends on the genetic transmission of the ability to use language for communication, the ability to learn, the ability to think logically, and the ability to behave intelligently. Intelligence is a human characteristic which evolved because it had survival value for the species. Survival of the organism and evolution of the human species depended on the development of intelligence. Man survived as a species because of the specialized brain functions, ability for speech and tool making etc. Intelligent behavior was necessary for survival ...depends on the process of intelligent thinking and decision making...cognition ..

The human organism is a social organism. Language has a social function... .communication... Language originated as a medium of communication to bring about deliberate cooperation and competition between members of a group. Communication made possible the cooperation required was necessary for human preservation... self-preservation... of the individual and preservation of the group in the face of danger ...Increasing the coherence between members of a social group, the function of language is to increase the chances of survival for the individual as well as the social group and the species Language is a strictly biological mode of behaviour ... fundamental biologically based psychophysiological process function... emerging in natural continuity from earlier organic activities ...serving a medium of communication... originating as a medium of communication to bring about deliberate cooperation and competition between members of a group in conjoint activities... through which the individual human organism communicates in order to bring about deliberate cooperation and competition in conjoint activities which are necessary for survival... language conferred upon existential things their signifying or evidential power. ...language and the brain evolved through natural selection because it was of survival value for the human individual and the human species.

 The human being must survive as an individual and as a member of a society. Survival of the individual depends on intelligent behavior for self-preservation and intelligent behavior in a social context as well. In human evolution, survival of the human organism as a social organism depends on the genetic transmission of the ability to CONSTRUCT MEANING WITH THE USE OF LANGUAE AND the ability to communicate that meaning.... use of language for communication... the ability to learn, the ability to think logically and creatively... to construct meaning, and the ability to behave intelligently... Human evolution is based on the genetic transmission of cognitive and communicative skills: the ability to communicate with language, the ability to plan with foresight... The most important equipment of the human organism i.e. the bodily physiological basis to man's equipment is the human brain. Survival of the human species depends on the genetic transmission of the instinctive capacities for creative intelligence and symbolic communication.

Creative intelligence is a human characteristic which evolved because it had survival value both for the individual and for the species. Survival of the organism and evolution of the human species depends on the development of natural creative intelligence. Survival of the species depends on intelligent behavior coupled with the ability for speech and language. The development of both intelligent behavior and language enables the individual to prepare in advance for situations which require preparative measures to insure the survival of the organism and the survival of the species. Through the evolutionary process of natural selection, ...biological structures...organs ... evolved through a process of natural selection which made it possible for the human organism to emit a large range of noises 'articulate sounds' ...structure of the larynx, tongue muscles and expansive brains... make possible the emission of a large range... technically called 'articulate sounds'...Living in societies and possessing expansive brains, the human organism was able to invest these sounds with 'conventional meanings'useful for living in societies ... these sounds were invested with conventional meanings... By agreement or convention, sounds became words..words became signals for action and symbols for objects and events which were familiar to other members of the group... Sociopsycholinguistic theory of language ...both cognitive and linguistic processes occur in a social context ...an instinctive biological mode of behavior which emerged from earlier biological activities ...emerging in natural continuity from earlier organic activities ...a psychophysiological process of constructing meaning... with the focus on meaning language is a vehicle of transformation... the function of language ...reflects thinking... subconscious cognitive processes. Thus the importance of the subconscious in perception of 'reality'. Reality as truth. Importance of observation powers...the properties of language make it possible to formulate the verbalization of inquiry required for problem-solving...and the logical reasoning leading to their resolution... 'functional' language reflects the wholistic perception of 'reality' Survival of human species depends on cooperation and communication between individuals... for work and for defence... The most powerful instrument for tightening the coherence between individuals in a group is language...biological significance of language for the human organism as a social animal...survival value of language: increases the coherence between members of a social group and thus increasing chances of survival for the individual as well as the social group and the species.Survival of the human species as well as the human individual depends on the conjoint evolution of natural creative intelligence and the ability to learn and communicate. Language transforms the process of social tradition... precept -explaining beforehand - accelerates education and increases chances for survival...a mother can show her offspring what to do when a beast appears. By precept, she can explain in advance what to do if the beast appears and increase the chances of survival. Language makes it possible to prepare for emergency situations. The unique human quality is the ability to think in terms of symbols and abstractions. This ability has permitted the development of the peculiarly human mode of communication, by means of symbolic languages. ..depending on the society in which he grows up... the child learns....children are taught the conventional meanings of words...which are attached to the sounds ...the earliest 'human' skulls bear marks of a swelling of the brain in the speech regions so that language seems as old and universal a human trait as tool-making... as a medium of communication... the skill for the actual use of language must be learned.. language itself is transmitted through culture by means of a process of education...language is the vehicle for the transmission of the social heritage of experience. the product of language is culture...By means of language, experience - results of trials and errors, what may happen and what to do, is collected and transmitted. Through social inheritance - via language - human experience can be pooled. More than a simple vehicle of social inheritance.... Language affects what is transmitted. The socially accepted meaning of a symbol such as a word is almost necessarily abstract. . .. natural learning is life-affirming .. The human species is the only animal species able to control its own environment. The human organism creates an artificially complex environment. In a continual effort to adapt to the environment, the human organism devises words to deal with the artificiality and the complexity of his environment. In efforts to understand new complexities, new terms are invented to communicate his perceptions of new realities. Brain-based learning involves the natural learning and 'thinking' functions of the brain. The natural learning functions of the brain are based on its special ability to search for meaning in the environment. In the natural process of meaningful learning, the brain is driven by the instinctive need to search for meaning. In its search for meaning in a complex environment, the brain responds automatically to complexity. Human instincts are weaker than instincts of other species of animal...human instincts for language and learning include introjective instinct... the human species is the only species with language. Survival of the human organism depends on its capacity for symbolic representation - language - and communication through language.. The function of language is an integral factor in the evolution of the human organism as a social animal. Increasing the coherence between members of a social group, language has a social function... communication. In the evolution of the human species and its language the 'natural order' of evaluation consisted of facts first and labels and words next. This is the same order for a growing child as he learns to observe and explore the world around him... linguistic training is of no avail to a child unless his level of cognitive development has already reached the point at which it can embrace the relevant concepts represented by the words.

 significance of development of language in evolutionary terms...

 Significance of language in human evolution.... the human organism as a social organism..  social function of language ...the communicative function of language provided the 'selection pressure'  in evolution of the human brain as a social brain... so human evolution...

Man became a winner in the process of biological evolution because of powers of his brain. The unique human quality which has brought about the biological ascendancy of our species is the ability to think in terms of symbols and abstractions. This ability allows for the development of the peculiarly human mode of communication -symbolic language through which the human organism records and transfers to subsequent generations the skills, information and habits which have been acquired through learning.

Function of language to reflect meaning...  to construct meaning... a function which is of survival value to the human organism as a social organism  which depends on language for defense and for work ... negotiation of meaning is 'dialogue'...

The function of language is an integral factor in the evolution of the human organism as a social organism  requiring language for communication.. Language has a social function....communication... Language originated as a medium of communication to bring about deliberate cooperation and competition between members of a group. Communication made possible the increasing the coherence between members of a social group... cooperation  was required for preservation of the individual and preservation of the group in the face of danger .The most powerful instrument for tightening the coherence between individuals in a group is language... biological significance for the human organism as a social organism...The function of language in terms of its biological function as a powerful instrument for tightening the coherence between members of a social group and thus increasing chances of survival for the individual as well as the social group and the species.

Language transforms the process of social tradition...

Survival value of language... language makes it possible to prepare for emergency situations. Survival of the human species as well as the human individual depends on the conjoint evolution of natural creative intelligence and the ability to learn and communicate.

- accelerates education and increases chances for survival... a mother can show her offspring what to do .

 conventional meanings Language and 'precept'... explaining beforehand... make it possible to prepare for emergency situations. Conventional meanings attached to sounds makes it possible for members of the group to cooperate for work and for defense - for adaptation and survival. For example, a mother can show her offspring what to do when a dangerous predator appears she can explain in advance by 'precept' and thus increase the chances for survival.

 Precept accelerates education as the social heritage of experience. Language is the vehicle for the transmission of the social heritage of experience. By means of language, experience - results of trials and errors - what may happen and what to do, is collected and transmitted. Through social inheritance - via language - human experience can be pooled.... work ...and utimate survival.

Living in societies and possessing expansive brains, the human organism acquired a capacity for symbolic representation or 'language'. . language is the vehicle for the transmission of the social heritage of experience.

The ability for speech and language originated and evolved as a human characteristic which had survival value for the individual and the species. Speech and language allowed for the preparation of future possible action, thus increasing chances of survival in situations which were not yet existent in actuality...Preparation for possible action in situations not as yet existent in actuality is an essential condition of, and factor in, all intelligent behavior...was necessary for survival of the human species ... not endowed with the other physical characteristics used for self protection of other animals ... survival for the human species depended on the human ability to prepare for the future... on behavior which was transformed into intelligent with the ability for speech and language.. language transformed animal activities into intelligent behavior having logical properties... The survival of the human species depends on the development of specialized brain functions which resulted in the ability for speech, for tool  making, for intelligent thinking and intelligent behavior.

For all animal species, the skills required for survival are instinctive and genetically transmitted. For the human species the skills required for survival are also instinctive and genetically transmitted ... the instinctive skill required for survival is the ability to communicate through language... the skill inherited is the ability to use language... In human evolution, survival depends on the genetic transmission of the ability to use language for communication, the ability to learn, the ability to think logically, and the ability to behave intelligently. Intelligence is a human characteristic which evolved because it had survival value for the species. Survival of the organism and evolution of the human species depended on the development of intelligence. Man survived as a species because of the specialized brain functions, ability for speech and tool making etc. Intelligent behavior was necessary for survival ...depends on the process of intelligent thinking and decision making...cognition ..

 Survival of the species depends on intelligent behavior coupled with the ability for speech and language. The development of both intelligent behavior and language enables the individual to prepare in advance for situations which require preparative measures to insure survival.

Biological structures... larynx, tongue muscles and expansive brains.evolved through a process of natural selection which made it possible for the human organism to emit a large range of noises  technically called 'articulate sounds'. ..... make possible the emission of a large range...these sounds were invested with 'conventional meanings' useful for living in societies . By agreement or convention, sounds became words... words became signals for action and symbols for objects and events which were familiar to other members of the group...

 In the process of human evolution, language produced intelligent behaviour... natural selection of intelligent behavior resulted in the evolution of the human brain, the biological organ of the physiological processes of language and learning. Human survival depends on intelligence and the ability to learn with the use of language required for logical thought and intelligent behavior... survival of the human species as well as the human individual depends on the conjoint evolution of natural creative intelligence and the ability to learn and communicate through language . ..

In the evolution of the human species and its language the 'natural order' of evaluation consisted of facts first and labels and words next. This is the same order for a growing child as he learns to observe and explore the world around him... linguistic training is of no avail to a child unless his level of cognitive development has already reached the point at which it can embrace the relevant concepts represented by the words.

 Survival of the individual depends on intelligent behavior for self-preservation and intelligent behavior in a social context. Intelligent behaviour for survival depends on the instinctive skill for language.

 the human species is the only species with language. Survival of the human organism depends on its capacity for symbolic representation - language - and communication through language..

The human being must survive as an individual and as a member of a society. Survival of the individual depends on intelligent behavior for self-preservation in a social context.

 In human evolution, survival of the human organism as a social organism depends on the genetic transmission of the ability to construct meaning with the use of language as well as the ability to use language for communication... the ability to learn, the ability to think logically and creatively, and the ability to behave intelligently...

Human evolution is based on the genetic transmission of cognitive and communicative skills: the ability to communicate with language, the ability to plan with foresight... human brain.

Survival of the human species depends on the genetic transmission of the instinctive capacities for creative intelligence and symbolic communication. .

Creative intelligence is a human characteristic which evolved because it had survival value both for the individual and for the species. ...

the earliest 'human' skulls bear marks of a swelling of the brain in the speech regions so that language seems as old and universal a human trait as tool-making... as a medium of communication... the skill for the actual use of language must be learned.. language itself is transmitted through culture by means of a process of education..

 natural learning is life-affirming .. The human species is the only animal species able to control its own environment... creates an artificially complex environment and devises words to deal with the artificiality and the complexity of the environment in a continual effort to adapt to the changing environment. In efforts to understand new complexities, new terms are invented to communicate perceptions of new realities.

Incorrect use of language... traditional paradigm and the impact of language

"When language and culture are seen as sacred repositories of truth, when so-called 'cultural literacy' is put forward as the ruling purpose of education, then education merely serves to uphold the worldview and  social institutions already in place as well as the elites who benefit most from those institutions." (Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times p.18)

"The incorrect use of the language involving 'false-to-facts' doctrines and the subsequent orientation by the reversed natural order, engages the thalamus and subcortical layers of the brain without correct stimulation of the cortex. In this way semantic blockages lead to improper evaluation, un-sanity and insanity and even to non-survival". (Korzybski)

The power of language ... language has political power... the impact on the mind can result in psychopathology manifest as wicked or 'evil' human behavior. Effect of language as symbolic meaning on thought: Language can be used to manipulate peoples' thinking. Politicians manipulate ideas through the purposeful choice and placement of words. This strategy is called 'diction'. Language can be used to control.  Language can be used by the oppressed to break the power of the oppressor. (see Stuart Chase The Tyranny of Words)

Take seriously the influence of culture and language on thought... language as a factor which interferes with natural thinking processes. Language as influencing thought: By influencing thought processes, language can be used to control peoples' thinking. Hence the importance of observation powers.

 

Wholistic brain-based education for the optimal use of the brain's capacities forms the natural foundation for human intellectual and moral development.

 

  Importance of  the study of word meanings, is concerned with the underlying patterns in the uses of words and symbols... 'semantics' (from Greek 'semantikos' for 'significant').  

Language as reflection of thinking or 'cognition'... as reflection of subconscious cognitive processes... Language is as old and universal a human trait as tool-making. Like other animals the human organism is equipped with structures such as the larynx and specialized tongue muscles making it possible to emit a very large range of noises known as articulate sounds used for communication necessary for defense. The earliest skulls of our human ancestors bear marks of a swelling of the brain in the speech regions.   Importance of the subconscious in perception of 'reality'. Reality as truth.

 ..the meanings of words are not as important as the sentences...The essence of communication and speech is in the sentences and not the words. The 'patternment' aspect of language - deriving from the unconscious - aways overrides and controls the 'lexation' or name giving aspect - deriving from the conscious... because of the systematic, configurative nature of higher mind. The processes of abstracting on the conscious level (consciousness of abstraction) constitute an awareness that in the process of evaluating, we have left out some characteristics in accordance with the non-identity and non-isolation premises. It is the process of abstracting which is 'intelligence' and has its origin in the 'physico-chemical structure of protoplasm'.

 "Thinking is most mysterious and by far the greatest light upon it that we have is thrown by the study of language. This study shows that the forms of a person's thoughts are controlled by inexorable laws of pattern of which he is unconscious. These patterns are the unperceived intricate systematizations of his own language - shown readily enough by a candid comparison and contrast with other languages, especialy those of a different linguistic family. His thinking itself is in a language - English, Sanskrit, Chinese. (Much thinking never brings in words at all, but manipulates whole paradigms, word-classes, and such grammatical orders 'behind' or 'above' the focus of personal consciousness).... (look at Sanskrit)...  And every language is a vast pattern system, different from others, in which are culturally ordained forms and categories by which the personality not only communicates, but also analyzes nature, channels his reasonng, and builds the house of his consciousness. This doctrine is new to Western science. Moreover, it is known, or something like it is known to the philosophies of India and to modern Theosophy... Each language performs the artificial chopping up of the continuous spread and flow of existence in a different way. ...The patterns of sentence structure that guide words are more important than the words. Our personal conscious 'minds' can understand the patterns in a limited way by using mathematical and grammatical formulas into which words, values, quantities can be substituted"  (Whorf Language, Thought and Reality p. 251)

 Language involves classification...  Words on their own do not have exact meanings. For example, though all 'bananas' have the same edible qualities, same shape, same odor, same biology, each banana is different with respect to the number of spots on the skin, the position on the tree etc. Banana number one is different from banana number two. Thus language involves classification. The word 'banana' stands for a class of objects having in common certain traits - edible, banana shaped, etc. In the use of the word 'banana' by itself, details are ignored as irrelevant. The socially accepted meaning ... the 'conventional meaning' of a symbol such as a word is almost necessarily abstract.

Semantic functions are tacit operations (without symbols)...Making sense of experiences... attachment of meaning to words... is based on the use of tacit powers of knowing... knowing what is intended or meant. The knowledge so acquired is 'personal knowledge' because it based on personal interpretation.  Semantics frees one from the impact of language...

Implications for education Whole Language is a "philosophy that addresses the whole nature of the teaching/learning within the classroom and beyond. It is a theory of language, teaching, learning, curriculum, community embedded within a socio-political context.

A 'theory in practice' (praxis) 'sociopsycholinguistic theory' - language, whether oral or written, involves cognitive and linguistic processes in a social context.

  "...build a scientific study of 'man-as-a-whole' based on the recognition that language is a fundamental psychophysiological function which involves those 'semantic reactions' of functional language... reflecting the structure of the world - the structure of 'reality'... as they reflect the individual's perception of the world". (Korzybski).

Whole language philosophy "Language is a complex system for creating meaning through social conventions." (Halliday, M . 1978. Language as a social semiotic.... the social interpretation of language and meaning. Baltimore, University Park Press)" Language can only mean what its community of users know- the meanings users have attached to the experiences they have had" (Edelsky, Altwerger, Flores 1991 Whole Language:What's the Difference? Portsmouth: NH Heinemann)" Language is constantly evolving as it stretches and expands to accomodate and represent a community's new experiences".(130)

Children learn language, oral and written, by moving from wholes to parts. Focus is on meaning before mastering the fine points of form. Language that is broken down into isolated sounds, letters, syllables, and words loses its communicative function and no longer operates like real language. (Psycholinguist Ken Goodman K.S. & Goodman Y.M. 1990 Vygotsky in a whole-language perspective. In Luis Moll (Ed) Vygotsky and Educastion, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press)

"Meaning does not reside in the text; meaning is created as the reader and author interact through the text." (132) Like reading, writing is a process of constructing meaning through multiple drafts. Knowledge of the conventions - spelling etc.- develop within the context of writing. Sociolinguist Michael Halliday students learn about language as they use language to learn.

 The best traditions of progressive education that begins with students' strengths, experiences, and interests, that enables students to learn by doing, that is as rich, meaningful, and functional as real life- are now supported by research in child language development, cognitive psychology, sociolinguistics, linguistics and anthropology. (133) Following the lead of John Dewey, Whole Language teachers believe that school is life and not for the preparation for living in the real world one day. (140) Drawing on the work of Paulo Freire, Whole Language educators, reject autocratic teaching methods, and build a sense of community and democracy into their classrooms. "For too long teachers have been naive about the political nature of education." With Paulo Freire, they believe that one must "read the world" as we read the word. (Freire, P. & Macedo, D. 1987. Literacy: Reading the Word and the World, South Hadley, MA.: Bergin and Garvey) (Freire, 1973) Education for Critical Consciousness New York" : Continuum)

 "At the core of Whole Language philosophy is the belief in learning as the birthright of every human being,: learning that is natural, life-affirming, and joyful" (146)

 ..depending on the society in which he grows up... the child learns....children are taught the conventional meanings of words...which are attached to the sounds

 Brain-based learning involves the natural learning and 'thinking' functions of the brain. The natural learning functions of the brain are based on its special ability to search for meaning in the environment. In the natural process of meaningful learning, the brain is driven by the instinctive need to search for meaning. In its search for meaning in a complex environment, the brain responds automatically to complexity. Human instincts are weaker than instincts of other species of animal...human instincts for language and learning include introjective instinct...

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HUMAN DEVELOPMENT... semantics and effect of language

 SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING OF LANGUAGE: WHORF (See Baskin)

 Patterment aspect of language (sentences) overrides the lexation aspect of language (words) sentences not words are the essence of speech That part of meaning which is in words and which we may call 'reference' is only relatively fixed. Reference of words is at the mercy of the sentences and grammatical patterns in which they occur. " (Whorf 259)...Referents of scientific words are often conveniently vague, markedly under the sway of the patterns in which they occur....attempts to widen the petty narrowness of the personaL self's outlook.. liftings towards that world of infinite harmony, sympathy, and order, of unchanging truths and eternal things. (Whorf 261) "...the lower personal mind, caught in a vaster world inscrutable to its methods, uses its strange gift of language to weave the web of... illusion, to make a provisional analysis of reality and then regard it as final. Western culture has gone farthest here, farthest in determined thoroughness of provisional analysis, and farthest in determination to regard it as final... The scientific understanding of languages - analysis of their structure - is a 'great phase of human brotherhood'."(Whorf 263)

... It is unnatural to consider the 'conscious' level of awareness as the only valid mental state. By labeling the mental functions as 'conscious' and 'unconscious' one is "chopping up reality" and influencing the thinking about them. "The higher mind would seem to be able to do any kind of purely intellectual feat, but not 'to be conscious' on the personal level. That is, it does not focus on practical affairs and on the personal ego in its personal, immediate environment. Because of the systematic, configurative nature of higher mind, the 'patternment' aspect of language aways overrides and controls the 'lexation' or name giving aspect. Hence the meanings of words are less important than we fondly fancy. Sentences, not words, are the essence of speech, just as equations and functions and not bare numbers are the real meat of mathematics. We are all mistaken in our common belief that any word has an 'exact meaning'. We have seen that the higher mind deals in symbols that have no fixed reference to anything, but are like blank checks, to be filled in as required, that stand for any value of a given variable in an algebraic formula. " (Whorf 258)

 Owing to the structure of the larynx, tongue muscles and other organs human beings in common with some other creatures are capable of emitting a very large range of noises that are technically called 'articulate sounds'. Living in societies and possessing expansive brains, men have been able to invest these sounds with 'conventional meanings'. By agreement, sounds become words, signals for action and symbols for objects and events familiar to other members of the group......It is just because the meanings of words are thus conventional that children have to be taught to talk." The child must learn the meanings which are attached to the sounds by the society in which he grows up.

 "The earliest 'human' skulls bear marks of a swelling of the brain in the speech regions so that language seems as old and universal a human trait as tool-making."(Gordon Childe, Archeology and History, chapter one 11)

 "It is language, originating as a medium of communication in order to bring about deliberate cooperation and competition in conjoint activities, that has conferred upon existential things their signifying or evidential power."(56)  Language transformed animal activities into intelligent behavior having the properties which, when formulated are logical in nature." In producing inteligent behavior, language provided experience with a new dimension. The new dimension was 'culture' and all that culture involves. Culture is a product of language. Language is the only means of retaining and transmitting to subsequent generations acquired skills, acquired information and acquired habits. Human survival depended on intelligence and the ability to learn. For other animals the skils required for survival are instinctive and genetically transmitted. In human evolution, survival depends on the genetic transmission of the ability to use language for communication, the ability to learn, the ability to think logically, and the ability to behave intelligently.

 

references:

Korzybski  Science and Sanity

Whorf  Language, Thought and Reality

Edelsky, Carole 1991 With Literacy and Justice for All: Rethinking the Social in Language and Education. New York: Falmer

 Ken Goodman, Michael Halliday Lois Bridges Bird The Whole of Whole Language

Paulo Freire and Lev Vygotsky

 

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT... semantics and effect of language

 SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING OF LANGUAGE: WHORF (See Baskin)

FUNCTIONAL LANGUAGE REVEALS THE INDIVIDUAL'S PERCEPTION OF REALITY ...OR 'TRUTH'...

As a product of natural evolutionary processes, survival of the human organism depends for its survival on the ability of to learn the 'truths' which are necessary for its own survival. One disadvantage to the learning mechanism of the young human organism is that it does not differentiate between what is 'true' and what is not true. The instinctive capacity for learning is of survival to the young human organism only because it 'introjects' - incorporates completely into its own organismic valuing process what it learns from significant adults during development. Older members of the society have a responsibility to the younger members of the society. In their instinctive struggle for spiritual growth... the search for the guiding values of the spiritual life from an external source.

An orientation by extension is based on facts... general semantics is an extensional discipline which explains how we use our nervous system...

For all animals the skills required for survival are instinctive and genetically transmitted. Unlike other animals, man has a capacity for symbolic representation and language, which enables him to learn from previous generations and to pass on what he has learnt to the generations which succeed him.

 terminology of the non-aristotelian system is non-elementalistic...wholistic The new language would enable us to construct a science of man in relation to the many environmental influences, and a perception of the human organism as a whole, excluding the artificial splitting of 'emotions' and 'intellect', body' and 'mind' etc. We in fact live our lives entirely on the objective level which includes our 'feelings' and 'emotions'. The verbal levels are auxiliary. "Say whatever you choose about the object, and whatever you might say is not it." This attitude would eliminate the current efficacy of insults and innuendoes used to control and manipulate peoples's semantic reactions in the interest of power and greed. Most terms in the dictionary are of this type...called multiordinal. The multiordinality of a term is a natural fact since meaning depends on context. The recognition of the multiordinality of terms is the fundamental mechanism of the full conditionality of human semantic reactions... and is fundamental for sanity" and consequently for our ability to solve our human problems. The elementalistic, splitting structural characteristics of the language constitute an inaccurate representation of the human organism perceived wholistically within a multi-dimensional framework of the myriad relations to its physical, genetic, political, cultural, familial, historical, social, psychological and semantic environment. ..

.infantile period of human development is characterized by the identification of facts with preconceived creeds, dogmas and judgements. Facts are made to 'fit' beliefs ... In a philosophical discussion words with emotional connotations should be avoided, or at least defined in order to discourage emotional 'semantic' reactions which do not involve thinking because the thalamus is overstimulated and the cortex not enough... ...new era, the scientific era, in which all desirable human characteristics would be released from the present animalistic, psychophysiological semantic blockages... pathological semantic reactions ...would assure proper evaluation of meanings of words and environmental conditions on personal, social and political levels, in the hope of establishing foundations for a sane civilization in a sane world, possible with the maturation and adulthood of man...sanity would prevail. The elimination of identification is a necessray prerequistie to a formulation of a theory of general semantics and sanity, and constitutes the premise for the nonaristotelian scientific era, otherwise known as the 'adult' stage of civilization. the terminology of the aristotelian system is elementalistic, that of the nonaristotelian system is non-elemetalistic, implying the revision of the verbal splitting of semantic reactions which are in fact composite, such as mind-body, emotion-intellect, space-time. Language of the scientific method is functional because it closely reflects the structure of the world - the structure of 'reality'. ...fundamental premise of 'non-identity'; an object is not the words used to define or describe it and should be perceived in the context of relevant empirical facts to which it is related at a given point in time.

Language transformed animal activities into intelligent behavior. The product of language is culture. Language is the means of transmitting to subsequent generations the skills, the information and the habits which were learned. Human survival depends on intelligence and the ability to learn. For other animals the skills required for survival are instinctive and genetically transmitted. Survival of the human species as well as the human individual has depended on the conjoint evolution of natural creative intelligence and the ability to learn and communicate. In the evolution of the human species ...and in the natural development of the human organism...and its language the 'natural order' of evaluation consists of facts first and labels and words next. This is the same order for a growing child as he learns to observe and explore the world around him.

Functional use of language and the 'survival order'... required for effective adaptation to complexities of changing environment i.e. 'adaptability'... Due to the fact that nerve impulses travel at the rate of 120 meters per second and not instantaneously as was once thought there is a specific order in which they are transmitted. They enter the brain by way of the brain stem, traverse the thalamus and then the subcortical layers and into the cerebral cortex where they are altered somehow and return. This order correlates with the natural order involved in the functional use of language, that is sensations first and ideas and verbalisms next, the so-called 'survival order' ...depends on periods of silence and observation ...silence on the objective level' delayed cortical reactions which stimulate the cortical regions and prevent overstimulation of the thalamus

overstimulaiton of the thalamus results in non-adaptive semantic reactions...

Effective adaptation depends on adaptive semantic reactions... depend on orientation by extension or facts... involves the integration of cortico-thalamic functions..involve the integration of the functions of the cortex and the thalamus... This process is the structural basis for the proper integration of the 'emotional' and 'intellectual' levels of semantic reactions for the human organism as a whole. The result is a properly developed capacity for evaluation, adjustment and sanity... depends on the process of observation - 'silence on the objective level' - which stimulates the cortical regions and prevent overstimulation of the thalamus ...

An awareness of the neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic mechanisms which control our reactions makes the formulation of a non-aristotelian system not only possible but 'true-to-fact' as well...

 Build a scientific study of 'man-as-a-whole' based on the recognition that language is a fundamental psychophysiological function... involves those 'semantic reactions' of functional language... reflecting the structure of the world - the structure of 'reality'. ..

In order for the human organism to adjust effectively to the complexities of life, the structure of the language must represent as accurately as possible the empirical structure of the world he lives in... it must reflect the structure of the nervous system and follow the natural order of nervous impulses in the brain and thus of semantic reactions, from empirical facts to verbal definitions. Functional language reflects the individual's perception of 'reality'. The thought patterns and behavior of the individual mind reflect the 'reality' of the cultural and social environment."If we had no language by means of which to convey our thoughts and store our knowledge, we would be little different from the lower animals" "If we had no language, we would have no misunderstandings." As the only animal species depending on the ability to control its own environment, the human organism has had to make a continual effort to understand the 'realities' of the environment. In the efforts to understand the realities of the enviroment, language is used and words are invented to communicate the perceptions of the 'reality' of the environment. With the use of language, a continual effort is made to understand nature and human nature.