16 thoughts on “Flax”

  1. Ich bin ein Berliner….or a donut made for dunkin. I see today that Tom Wolfe of ‘Bonfire of the vanities’ fame is rubbishing Noam Chomsky’s theories about the origin of language, that is what were the mecahnisms (if any) by which man found out how to communicate by voice. OK, but what’s that got to do with the price of fish?

  2. Animals communicate by sound.
    Also certain words sound as they mean. For example: smooth, rough, gurgle, screech and sleekit. I also like wersh and dreach which cannot sound like their meaning, but certainly convey it.

  3. What’s interesting is that those words that mimic soubds are different in different languages. Miaou, woof and neigh are only the Brit versions.

  4. Janus: you mean Chomsky’s innateness of language theory? I’m very familiar with it as I’ve co-taught a Linguistics course since 2009. So far there has been no credible challenge to it.

  5. No, maybe because it’s a statement of the blleeding obvious using fancy words. ‘Man has the innate ability to speak.’ It doesn’t take us much further, does it? The question is how did Man make rhe jump from animal noises to structured language.

  6. But only if people are exposed to language and start speaking by a certain age. After, say, 14 it becomes almost impossible to start speaking. One suspects it is a product of evolution. People have by far the most well-developed brains. Having the greatest ability to communicate is thus no great wonder.

  7. Chomsky claims to explain the process of babies learning to speak. He says we have the building blocks in our genes. Yes, what else? How did those genes make the jump from animal to human? That’s still a mystery, imho.

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