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Humans as Non-Animal: Can any inferences be drawn?

rousseau

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There are some common misconceptions about foraging ("hunter-gatherer") lifestyles floating around here; foragers don't just randomly wander around the landscape, they also have to plan extensively and pass down quite a lot of information to the next generation about what Westerners would call botany, biology, ecology, geology, fire science, and so forth. You'll starve to death just stumbling around hoping to run across food sources, if you don't know how to predict what will be available at what times, in what places, what is available raw and what must be processed, what plants have medicinal properties, etc. If anything, agriculture lowers the bar on how much information you need to carry in your head in order to survive, though this may be one of the things that made it attractive to our Mesopotamian forebears.

A couple years back I spent some time reading about different hunter-gatherer communities across the globe throughout history. One of the counter-intuitive things I realized is that Indigenous culture isn't really that far removed from European culture leading up to it's Apex. The only thing separating more complex civilizations from less complex ones is conducive agriculture. But the basic human experience was the same: need for food, housing, fun, family, escapism. Indigenous cultures were very similar to European cultures, but hunter-gatherers were more directly tied to the land and seasonal patterns.

With regards to disconnect, I think what we're looking at is degree of specialization. Looking at my own life, for example, I spend most of my days indoors, water and food are essentially delivered to my doorstep, I never have to worry about staying warm. Actual concerns about the natural world are so far from my view as to basically be invisible. The framework I live in is a specialized culture that orients my thought patterns in a completely different way than would be the case if I were a hunter-gatherer.

Probably hunter-gatherers still felt they were special, but likely also felt a deeper connection to the natural world.
 

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There are some common misconceptions about foraging ("hunter-gatherer") lifestyles floating around here; foragers don't just randomly wander around the landscape, they also have to plan extensively and pass down quite a lot of information to the next generation about what Westerners would call botany, biology, ecology, geology, fire science, and so forth. You'll starve to death just stumbling around hoping to run across food sources, if you don't know how to predict what will be available at what times, in what places, what is available raw and what must be processed, what plants have medicinal properties, etc. If anything, agriculture lowers the bar on how much information you need to carry in your head in order to survive, though this may be one of the things that made it attractive to our Mesopotamian forebears.

A couple years back I spent some time reading about different hunter-gatherer communities across the globe throughout history. One of the counter-intuitive things I realized is that Indigenous culture isn't really that far removed from European culture leading up to it's Apex. The only thing separating more complex civilizations from less complex ones is conducive agriculture. But the basic human experience was the same: need for food, housing, fun, family, escapism. Indigenous cultures were very similar to European cultures, but hunter-gatherers were more directly tied to the land and seasonal patterns.

With regards to disconnect, I think what we're looking at is degree of specialization. Looking at my own life, for example, I spend most of my days indoors, water and food are essentially delivered to my doorstep, I never have to worry about staying warm. Actual concerns about the natural world are so far from my view as to basically be invisible. The framework I live in is a specialized culture that orients my thought patterns in a completely different way than would be the case if I were a hunter-gatherer.

Probably hunter-gatherers still felt they were special, but likely also felt a deeper connection to the natural world.

I suspect that specialisation long pre-dates agriculture.

A palaeolithic tribe likely had the guy who was good at knapping flint, who rarely (or even never) participated in the hunt; And the guy who was good at hunting, who rarely (or even never) knapped a flint. If for no other reason than that the first guy would want to prevent the second from wasting good flint nodules with his lack of dexterity; and the second would want to prevent the first from scaring away the game with his lack of stealth.

As soon as there are people acting as a group, specialisation becomes a massive advantage over other groups.
 

rousseau

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There are some common misconceptions about foraging ("hunter-gatherer") lifestyles floating around here; foragers don't just randomly wander around the landscape, they also have to plan extensively and pass down quite a lot of information to the next generation about what Westerners would call botany, biology, ecology, geology, fire science, and so forth. You'll starve to death just stumbling around hoping to run across food sources, if you don't know how to predict what will be available at what times, in what places, what is available raw and what must be processed, what plants have medicinal properties, etc. If anything, agriculture lowers the bar on how much information you need to carry in your head in order to survive, though this may be one of the things that made it attractive to our Mesopotamian forebears.

A couple years back I spent some time reading about different hunter-gatherer communities across the globe throughout history. One of the counter-intuitive things I realized is that Indigenous culture isn't really that far removed from European culture leading up to it's Apex. The only thing separating more complex civilizations from less complex ones is conducive agriculture. But the basic human experience was the same: need for food, housing, fun, family, escapism. Indigenous cultures were very similar to European cultures, but hunter-gatherers were more directly tied to the land and seasonal patterns.

With regards to disconnect, I think what we're looking at is degree of specialization. Looking at my own life, for example, I spend most of my days indoors, water and food are essentially delivered to my doorstep, I never have to worry about staying warm. Actual concerns about the natural world are so far from my view as to basically be invisible. The framework I live in is a specialized culture that orients my thought patterns in a completely different way than would be the case if I were a hunter-gatherer.

Probably hunter-gatherers still felt they were special, but likely also felt a deeper connection to the natural world.

I suspect that specialisation long pre-dates agriculture.

A palaeolithic tribe likely had the guy who was good at knapping flint, who rarely (or even never) participated in the hunt; And the guy who was good at hunting, who rarely (or even never) knapped a flint. If for no other reason than that the first guy would want to prevent the second from wasting good flint nodules with his lack of dexterity; and the second would want to prevent the first from scaring away the game with his lack of stealth.

As soon as there are people acting as a group, specialisation becomes a massive advantage over other groups.

The earliest specialization was likely the divergence of gender roles. Roughly, hunting vs cooking tasks.
 

bilby

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I suspect that specialisation long pre-dates agriculture.

A palaeolithic tribe likely had the guy who was good at knapping flint, who rarely (or even never) participated in the hunt; And the guy who was good at hunting, who rarely (or even never) knapped a flint. If for no other reason than that the first guy would want to prevent the second from wasting good flint nodules with his lack of dexterity; and the second would want to prevent the first from scaring away the game with his lack of stealth.

As soon as there are people acting as a group, specialisation becomes a massive advantage over other groups.

The earliest specialization was likely the divergence of gender roles.
Probably.
Roughly, hunting vs cooking tasks.
That's a very twenty first century comment. In reality it would have been childbearing vs everything else tasks.
 

rousseau

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Probably.
Roughly, hunting vs cooking tasks.
That's a very twenty first century comment. In reality it would have been childbearing vs everything else tasks.

I was mainly thinking of specialization after the discovery of fire, but I guess you could call childbearing/everything else specialization. That would really come down to what you were aiming with via the definition, but child-rearing/providing seems like the starting point after which we specialize to me. Unless you're considering impact on our evolution then the differentiation likely matters a great deal.

In reality a lot of stuff happened between those two reference points, so probably some level of specialization occurred before the discovery of fire.
 

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We really can only speculate about pre-agricultural societies; most peoples have been at least aware of agricultural societies for the past three centuries, even if they didn't themselves choose to specialize in farming until recently, so there have been limited opportunities to study such communities in detail. But ethnographic studies of modern foraging societies would suggest that the specialization question has something of a mixed-bag answer. On the one hand, there tends to be a lot more "general knowledge" expected among all members of what are usually much smaller groups than you find in populous nations. When there are only 50-60 in your immediate polity, as is common for foragers, most people need to at least know how to do economically central tasks, regardless of age, gender, etc. Early post-war studies therefore emphasized the more "egalitarian" aspects of hunter-gatherer life, possibly to the point of excess. On the the other hand, there is also usually preferential gender selection for certain tasks, and a loosely meritocratic system of task leadership (for instance, someone with a natural talent for hunting is more likely to be put in charge of a hunting party by common consent, etc) and outright specialized roles (such as religious sepcialization or traveling midwives or traders) are not an uncommon sight in any human community regardless of their dominant food procurement strategy. Archaeology provides some evidence of family-specific motifs and production strategies for material goods, suggesting some level of family-based task differentiation from a very early period of human history.
 

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It's also worth noting the divide between hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists isn't as sharp as some would believe. Few hunter gatherers just collected their subsistence from pristine nature, unaffected by the work of previous generations. Many a national park administration in the 20th century had to learn the hard way that banning/heavily restricting indigenous land use and incurring hefty fines for arson was detrimental to preserving the ecosystem, as many savannah and semi open forest habitats would have fallen prey to forest encroachment millennia ago if it weren't for hunter-gatherers rejuvenating the undergrowth and thinning the canopies with fire.

The same is true for pre-agricultural Europe: https://uis.brage.unit.no/uis-xmlui/handle/11250/2433170
 

untermensche

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The use of fire predates humans.

So you are talking about an environment shaped by an animal like a human for a long time.

Humans do not awaken to a pristine environment ready to be written upon.

They did not discover all their food sources.
 

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The use of fire predates humans.

That would seem to depend on how you define "humans".

So you are talking about an environment shaped by an animal like a human for a long time.

Humans (or "an animal like a human") aren't unique in shaping their environment. Other than fires (many of which set by humans), grazing itself is a major formative factor of savanna habitats - thus ungulates shape the very environment that provides for their niche. Gall wasps live the vast majority of their live (several months to a year as larvae, compared to days or weeks as adult insects) in an entirely artificial environment, a land of milk and honey their mothers created for them by injecting a chemical cocktail into plants that would trick those plants into an abnormal growth pattern that provides shelter and nutrition for the larvae. In a sense, that's a level of removal from the "pristine" nature few humans have reached.

Humans do not awaken to a pristine environment ready to be written upon.

There hasn't been a pristine environment on this planet's surface for the better part of two billion years. We couldn't even breathe the atmosphere on a pristine earth: It's only because of the waste produced by cyanobacteria that elementary oxygen makes up more than a negligible fraction.

They did not discover all their food sources.

That would seem to defend on how you define "discover".
 

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There is only one species called "humans".

 Human (disambiguation) offers "any member of the genus Homo" as one possible meaning of the "human" (while  Human is about homo sapiens).

The controlled use of fire almost certainly predates homo sapiens, but it equally certainly doesn't predate homo. Altering landscapes' fire regimes (by setting fire to the grass regularly in the dry season to prevent fuel buildup and bush encroachment) probably doesn't predate homo sapiens.
 

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untermensche

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I am saying the opposite.

I am saying the lad looks very human.

He did not have the language capacity though.
 

Jokodo

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I am saying the opposite.

I am saying the lad looks very human.

He did not have the language capacity though.

You said "There is only one species called "humans"." Hes not commonly accepted as a member of our species.

You previously said that control of fire predates human. Good evidence that it predates him is scarce at best.
 

untermensche

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I am saying the opposite.

I am saying the lad looks very human.

He did not have the language capacity though.

You said "There is only one species called "humans"." Hes not commonly accepted as a member of our species.

You previously said that control of fire predates human. Good evidence that it predates him is scarce at best.

Homo is a genus, not a species.

Members of the same species can produce offspring that can reproduce.
 

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I am saying the opposite.

I am saying the lad looks very human.

He did not have the language capacity though.

You said "There is only one species called "humans"." Hes not commonly accepted as a member of our species.

You previously said that control of fire predates human. Good evidence that it predates him is scarce at best.

Homo is a genus, not a species.

Members of the same species can produce offspring that can reproduce.

We absolutely reproduced with H. erectus. Indeed, most people believe that H. sapiens evolved directly from an H. erectus population in the first place.
 

Jokodo

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I am saying the opposite.

I am saying the lad looks very human.

He did not have the language capacity though.

You said "There is only one species called "humans"." Hes not commonly accepted as a member of our species.

You previously said that control of fire predates human. Good evidence that it predates him is scarce at best.

Homo is a genus, not a species.

So you say you're contradicting what you wrote earlier?

Ok.
 

untermensche

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It all depends on what you think is important.

I personally don't think you have a human until you have the language capacity.

A lot of people would agree with that.
 

Jokodo

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Homo is a genus, not a species.

So you say you're contradicting what you wrote earlier?

Ok.

Only if I accept a loose definition of human.

I don't accept that the shape of the skeleton is what makes up a human.

A human has language.

Look around.

So when you wrote that "The use of fire predates humans. So you are talking about an environment shaped by an animal like a human for a long time." you were really trying to say that the use of fire as a tool to shape habitats long predates language in our ancestry?

What's your evidence for that claim? When did our ancestors start to control fire, in a meaningful sense, and when did they start to develop language, in a meaningful sense? And how do you know?

Please be specific. I'm but a mere linguist, but I've had good conversations with who I consider to be the top expert on the origins of language from a biological perspective, and he agrees with me that a lot of that is still an open research question.

Also, how do you pass down the knowledge about how to burn the bush without jeopardizing the camp without language?
 

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Only if I accept a loose definition of human.

I don't accept that the shape of the skeleton is what makes up a human.

A human has language.

Look around.

So when you wrote that "The use of fire predates humans. So you are talking about an environment shaped by an animal like a human for a long time." you were really trying to say that the use of fire as a tool to shape habitats long predates language in our ancestry?

What's your evidence for that claim? When did our ancestors start to control fire, in a meaningful sense, and when did they start to develop language, in a meaningful sense? And how do you know?

Please be specific. I'm but a mere linguist, but I've had good conversations with who I consider to be the top expert on the origins of language from a biological perspective, and he agrees with me that a lot of that is still an open research question.

Also, how do you pass down the knowledge about how to burn the bush without jeopardizing the camp without language?

Who is this top expert?

You can have communication with sound and gesture before you have language. You can scream "fire" before you have language. You can have labels before you have language.

I think there is some evidence that first you have humans and then later you quickly have the emergence of language, at least you see the rapid emergence of more varied and modern artifacts.

Starting about 65,000 to 50,000 years ago, more advanced technology started appearing: complex projectile weapons such as bows and spear-throwers, fishhooks, ceramics, sewing needles.

https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2020/11/04/evolutions-great-leap-forward-when-did-humans-cross-the-intelligence-rubicon/

Merge is a controversial belief by some that human language faculty arose in humans through a single gene mutation, rather the evolving gradually.

This human burst of genetic exceptionalism is embraced by some linguists, such as Noam Chomsky, but the science community has doubts.

https://www.science20.com/news_staff/merge_did_human_language_evolve_due_to_a_mutation-245513
 
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What separates humans from mere "animals" is the combined human language abilities; understanding, speaking, reading, writing, combined with the human cognitive abilities. This is what allows for the rapid cultural advancement of humans that is not seen in any other animal.

But language has to be distinguished from mere communication with sound or gesture.

A dog can learn to associate a sound with something else.

A gorilla can be taught to associate hand gestures with other things.

But neither are language.

The rate of change of gorilla or dog (wolf) culture in the wild is extremely slow as a result.

The animal that predated humans but did not have language was not lost. It had communication with sound and gesture. It could get ideas across, like how to make a weapon through demonstration and then mimicry.
 

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Chomsky talks about language-like expressions from some whales and some song birds.

Chomsky believes the human language capacity appeared recently, about 50 to 60,000 years ago, and was possibly the result of a single mutation.

He does not agree with the idea of a slow gradual development of the language capacity.

He makes a sharp distinction between communication with sound and language.

He says language has hierarchical structure although we must express it linearly.
 

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I don't see how it is a view.

Unless you are an Abrahamic based religious creationist, we evolved like everything else.


We are known to be genetically linked to other creatures.

From my 50s 60s era primary seduction back then we were different by virtue of opposing thumb and forefinger, tool making, and speech.

Other critters fashion tools and effectively communicate.

The way things are going the way our brains are wired may deselect us for survival.

Agressive, violent, territorial animals with weapons of mas killing.
 

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Chomsky proposes that a single gene mutation caused a "rewiring" of the brain. A gene that controlled a lot of other genes changed and caused cells to arrange themselves very differently.

He proposes that this rewiring did not initially create a language. It initially ordered thoughts and allowed the animal with the mutation to think better.

Because this gene caused the animal to think better the animals with it eventually dominated.

The rewiring, he calls it the language capacity, is what allows a person to learn a language at an age they can't learn much else.

Chomsky also claims that since there are only individual and not group differences in language acquisition abilities the language capacity has not evolved since it appeared.
 

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Chomsky proposes that a single gene mutation caused a "rewiring" of the brain. A gene that controlled a lot of other genes changed and caused cells to arrange themselves very differently.

He proposes that this rewiring did not initially create a language. It initially ordered thoughts and allowed the animal with the mutation to think better.

Because this gene caused the animal to think better the animals with it eventually dominated.

The rewiring, he calls it the language capacity, is what allows a person to learn a language at an age they can't learn much else.

Chomsky also claims that since there are only individual and not group differences in language acquisition abilities the language capacity has not evolved since it appeared.

With, of course, no actual evidence to support his hypothesis. Why does Evo Psych attract all the armchair speculators?
 

untermensche

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Chomsky proposes that a single gene mutation caused a "rewiring" of the brain. A gene that controlled a lot of other genes changed and caused cells to arrange themselves very differently.

He proposes that this rewiring did not initially create a language. It initially ordered thoughts and allowed the animal with the mutation to think better.

Because this gene caused the animal to think better the animals with it eventually dominated.

The rewiring, he calls it the language capacity, is what allows a person to learn a language at an age they can't learn much else.

Chomsky also claims that since there are only individual and not group differences in language acquisition abilities the language capacity has not evolved since it appeared.

With, of course, no actual evidence to support his hypothesis. Why does Evo Psych attract all the armchair speculators?

There is no evidence about how the language ability arose.

It is all speculation.

Chomsky is far from an armchair spectator.

He has his reasons. No living human understands language better than Chomsky.
 

Politesse

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Chomsky proposes that a single gene mutation caused a "rewiring" of the brain. A gene that controlled a lot of other genes changed and caused cells to arrange themselves very differently.

He proposes that this rewiring did not initially create a language. It initially ordered thoughts and allowed the animal with the mutation to think better.

Because this gene caused the animal to think better the animals with it eventually dominated.

The rewiring, he calls it the language capacity, is what allows a person to learn a language at an age they can't learn much else.

Chomsky also claims that since there are only individual and not group differences in language acquisition abilities the language capacity has not evolved since it appeared.

With, of course, no actual evidence to support his hypothesis. Why does Evo Psych attract all the armchair speculators?

There is no evidence about how the language ability arose.

It is all speculation.

Chomsky is far from an armchair spectator.

He has his reasons. No living human understands language better than Chomsky.

I'm certain Chomsky himself would make no such claim. Don't deify men, it leads to navel-gazing.
 

untermensche

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There is no evidence about how the language ability arose.

It is all speculation.

Chomsky is far from an armchair spectator.

He has his reasons. No living human understands language better than Chomsky.

I'm certain Chomsky himself would make no such claim. Don't deify men, it leads to navel-gazing.

Chomsky turned linguistics into a science.

As a science it has moved out in many directions.

There is a lot more to linguistics besides Chomsky now because people are free to explore what they want to explore.

But here is a video of Chomsky addressing a group of modern highly intelligent scientists and telling them they are not doing anything productive in terms of understanding language acquisition. He's about 84 years old in this video. I don't think he could do this today. He has slowed somewhat in his 90's.



If you don't know Chomsky well you don't understand language as well as you could. He is not everything but he is crucial.
 

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I have enormous respect for Noam Chomsky, and it is certainly true that his work on structural linguistics and that of his disciples has greatly influenced the past 60 years of research in that field. But he is a scientist, not a demigod, and though tenacious (even dogged) like any scientist he cheerfully invites critique and commentary on his hypotheses. Science when functional is a community of shared discovery, not an autocracy. I had the opportunity to attend a public address of his some years ago (a very enjoyable evening) and can testify that he most certainly did not make any attempt to supplant or replace his linguist forebears as you have done. Genetics, in particular, and paleobiology, are not fields in which Dr. Chomsky has any advanced training nor has contributed any work, so I am less inclined to take his opinions on those matters as authoritative.
 

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I have enormous respect for Noam Chomsky, and it is certainly true that his work on structural linguistics and that of his disciples has greatly influenced the past 60 years of research in that field. But he is a scientist, not a demigod, and though tenacious (even dogged) like any scientist he cheerfully invites critique and commentary on his hypotheses. Science when functional is a community of shared discovery, not an autocracy. I had the opportunity to attend a public address of his some years ago (a very enjoyable evening) and can testify that he most certainly did not make any attempt to supplant or replace his linguist forebears as you have done. Genetics, in particular, and paleobiology, are not fields in which Dr. Chomsky has any advanced training nor has contributed any work, so I am less inclined to take his opinions on those matters as authoritative.

I never said Chomsky doesn't welcome criticism.

I never came close to making any exaggeration in terms of his importance.

This is pure non sequitur.
 

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Why is Chomsky called the father of modern linguistics?
Better argument. Still not a good argument.

In the first place, Galileo is called the father of science. Are we supposed to infer that Copernicus wasn't a scientist? "The father of X" is an honorific handed out to people who make important advances in a field. Changing a field from non-science to science isn't the only advance important enough to rate the honor. See "List of people considered father or mother of a scientific field". As you'll note, it's a bloody long list.

In the second place, modern linguistics already had a father before Chomsky was even born. The notion that Saussure wasn't doing science is ludicrous.

And in the third place, linguistics is a broad field with many subspecializations. Chomsky did a lot for the study of syntax and child language acquisition, but not much for comparative linguistics. When people call him the father of linguistics, that's just them parochially regarding the specializations Chomsky paid attention to as worthier than the ones he didn't.
 

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Why is Chomsky called the father of modern linguistics?

You say you aren't deifying him, but you are appealing to a grandiose title awarded by his students rather than to the content of his argument as pertains to the topic of the thread, that is, the development of uniquely human language.

His students did not give him that name.

Biography of Noam Chomsky, Writer and Father of Modern Linguistics

https://www.thoughtco.com/noam-chomsky-4769113

Noam Chomsky – ‘The Father of Modern Linguistics’

https://www.immerse.education/articles/noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics/

Noam Chomsky: The Father of Modern Linguistics.

http://www.modlingua.com/blogs/1349-noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics.html

About Noam Chomsky

Considered the founder of modern linguistics

https://linguistics.arizona.edu/user/noam-chomsky

Right now there is only one thing we know for certain.

You have no clue why Chomsky is called the father of modern linguistics.
 

untermensche

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Why is Chomsky called the father of modern linguistics?
Better argument. Still not a good argument.

In the first place, Galileo is called the father of science. Are we supposed to infer that Copernicus wasn't a scientist? "The father of X" is an honorific handed out to people who make important advances in a field. Changing a field from non-science to science isn't the only advance important enough to rate the honor. See "List of people considered father or mother of a scientific field". As you'll note, it's a bloody long list.

In the second place, modern linguistics already had a father before Chomsky was even born. The notion that Saussure wasn't doing science is ludicrous.

And in the third place, linguistics is a broad field with many subspecializations. Chomsky did a lot for the study of syntax and child language acquisition, but not much for comparative linguistics. When people call him the father of linguistics, that's just them parochially regarding the specializations Chomsky paid attention to as worthier than the ones he didn't.

You are simply ignoring the facts.

Chomsky is considered the father of modern linguistics by many people.

And you have no idea why.
 

Politesse

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His students did not give him that name.

Biography of Noam Chomsky, Writer and Father of Modern Linguistics

https://www.thoughtco.com/noam-chomsky-4769113

Noam Chomsky – ‘The Father of Modern Linguistics’

https://www.immerse.education/articles/noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics/

Noam Chomsky: The Father of Modern Linguistics.

http://www.modlingua.com/blogs/1349-noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics.html

About Noam Chomsky

Considered the founder of modern linguistics

https://linguistics.arizona.edu/user/noam-chomsky

Right now there is only one thing we know for certain.

You have no clue why Chomsky is called the father of modern linguistics.

If you did, you'd be explaining generative grammar to us instead of expecting platitudes to serve in place of empirical evidence. Seriously, this aside is only relevant to the OP if we take it back in the direction of the tangible evidence that exists for the development of complex language.
 

untermensche

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His students did not give him that name.



https://www.thoughtco.com/noam-chomsky-4769113



https://www.immerse.education/articles/noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics/

Noam Chomsky: The Father of Modern Linguistics.

http://www.modlingua.com/blogs/1349-noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics.html

About Noam Chomsky

Considered the founder of modern linguistics

https://linguistics.arizona.edu/user/noam-chomsky

Right now there is only one thing we know for certain.

You have no clue why Chomsky is called the father of modern linguistics.

If you did, you'd be explaining generative grammar to us instead of expecting platitudes to serve in place of empirical evidence. Seriously, this aside is only relevant to the OP if we take it back in the direction of the tangible evidence that exists for the development of complex language.

So now you understand it?

I don't think so.

He is not called the father of modern linguistics because of any specific theory he devised.

He changed the way language was looked at.

He made the field scientific.
 

Politesse

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His students did not give him that name.



https://www.thoughtco.com/noam-chomsky-4769113



https://www.immerse.education/articles/noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics/



http://www.modlingua.com/blogs/1349-noam-chomsky-the-father-of-modern-linguistics.html

About Noam Chomsky

Considered the founder of modern linguistics

https://linguistics.arizona.edu/user/noam-chomsky

Right now there is only one thing we know for certain.

You have no clue why Chomsky is called the father of modern linguistics.

If you did, you'd be explaining generative grammar to us instead of expecting platitudes to serve in place of empirical evidence. Seriously, this aside is only relevant to the OP if we take it back in the direction of the tangible evidence that exists for the development of complex language.

So now you understand it?

I don't think so.

He is not called the father of modern linguistics because of any specific theory he devised.

He changed the way language was looked at.

He made the field scientific.

Your post is internally contradictory; one's theories are not irrelevant to one's practice of science. And what do you even mean by "made the field scientific"? It was already scientific, and if it were not, making it such is not something a single person working alone could possibly do as independent reproducibility is key to any scientific endeavor and indeed the definition of science itself.

Chomsky is justifiably respected for a number of reasons, but the development of the generative grammar methodology, and to a lesser extent the connected explanatory hypothesis of universal grammar, are his principal achievements and those for which he is (quite rightly) commonly respected by other linguists, along with the more practical reality that his work revivified interest in a then-languishing field and recruited a lot of talent to the field. He is also important for discrediting behaviorist models of language acquisition, which had dominated conversations up until that point but were becoming something of a dead end. You should do some reading on Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Pearce, Franz Boaz, and Roman Jakobson, if you mistakenly believe that he was the first person to apply a scientific methodology to linguistics. This is not correct, and Dr Chomsky himself would be quick to point that out. In the sciences, we always stand on the shoulders of those who came before us; a lifetime is not enough time to pierce the true mysteries of the universe. Hero worship is an unavoidable reality of social life but irrelevant to the scientific craft.
 

untermensche

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What is linguistics?

While Skinner focused on the language people were observed using, Chomsky was interested in the underlying structure of language. This shift in focus affected not only how we view the structure of language, but how it might be learned as well; while Skinner believed that children learn language by imitating and repeating what they hear, Chomsky hypothesized that language learning went far deeper than that.

Chomsky made the study of language scientific. He demonstrated that despite the observable variety of the world’s languages, there is likely only one inventory of linguistic features. All languages — dead, still used, or even future ones — are combinations of these elements. After Chomsky, linguistics is defined as 'the scientific study of language'— 'language' in the singular.

https://blog.mangolanguages.com/noam-chomsky-his-contribution-to-linguistics/
 

steve_bank

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Humans and cats are very similar. Cats can be easiiy entertained by a laser pointer spot on the floor.

More complex for humans, humans are easily entertained by laser light shows.

Male cats are sexualy agrr essive, so are human males.

Conclusion cats and humans share many characteristics.

Humans and chimps are similar but with one njhor difference. Chimps have to be trained to do tricks for our entertainment, humans train themselves to do tricks.
 
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