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Biolinguistics and the Implication for Teaching Language on Young Learners
Abbas Achmad Badib
TEFLIN Journal , 1998,
Abstract: : The majority of foreign language teachers tend to believe that there is a significant different approach in terms of a teaching strategy dealing with the first and second language instructions. Can those different approaches be substantiated by our sound justifica -tions based on our proper understanding and essential knowledge of language processes? Generally speaking, our understanding of the nature of language acquisition in terms of biolinguistics is only par -tial. Therefore, this paper attempts to explore the biological aspects of the process of language acquisition by a child and then compare it with the developments of the birth of language. In other words this paper will examine very briefly the micro and macro evolutions of language. Central to this discussion are the neurological develop -ments in the brain, which are responsible for language planning and the speech apparatus responsible for language productions. By ex -amining the two related activities, we can then study how language is actually carried out by human beings, both first and second language acquisitions. After developing a proper understanding of the bio -logical aspects of language, we can thus explore further the best way of language processes. This may constitute a new insight of lan -guage teaching because so far, relying on linguistic theories alone, it is often difficult to obtain the most acceptable information regarding the nature of first and second language teaching.
Estonian Language of Technology as a Factor Supporting the Evolution of Engineering Thinking  [cached]
M?gi, Vahur
Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum , 2013, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11590/abhps.2013.1.04
Abstract: Casual mention of teaching technology subjects in Estonian schools dates back several centuries. Navigation and construction were amongthe earliest professional skills that were taught. As both of them required mathematical thinking skills, teaching the subjects was usually accompanied by explaining the principles of mathematics. The first technology book in Estonian was published about two centuries ago and it dealed with geodesy. The earliest Estonian glossaries of technological terminology were published in the fields of physics and chemistry. The rise of Estonian as a language of higher education and science in the country came about in the 1920s and 1930s. Faculty members of the Tallinn School of Technology then published the first textbooks composed in the Estonian language for students of technology. The Estonian Society for Technology and the Estonian Association of Engineers became seriously involved in linguistic activities. Together with the Vocational Teachers’ Assembly of Tartu they published an illustrated technology glossary for machinery and tools terms. It was followed by a glossary of construction and building terms, compiled under the lead of the University of Technology. In addition, journals of technology introducedinnovations in the lexicon of technology to the general public. The postwar period in the development of the lexicon of technical terms was of little significance at first. A surge in language creativity could be detected in the 1960s, when terminology became a target of constantly growing attention to the development of technology lexicon. Series of technology glossaries were published. This tendency has continued to this day.
The Evolution of Syntax: An Exaptationist Perspective  [PDF]
W. Tecumseh Fitch
Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience , 2011, DOI: 10.3389/fnevo.2011.00009
Abstract: The evolution of language required elaboration of a number of independent mechanisms in the hominin lineage, including systems involved in signaling, semantics, and syntax. Two perspectives on the evolution of syntax can be contrasted. The “continuist” perspective seeks the evolutionary roots of complex human syntax in simpler combinatory systems used in animal communication systems, such as iteration and sequencing. The “exaptationist” perspective posits evolutionary change of function, so that systems today used for linguistic communication might previously have served quite different functions in earlier hominids. I argue that abundant biological evidence supports an exaptationist perspective, in general, and that it must be taken seriously when considering language evolution. When applied to syntax, this suggests that core computational components used today in language could have originally served non-linguistic functions such as motor control, non-verbal thought, or spatial reasoning. I outline three specific exaptationist hypotheses for spoken language. These three hypotheses each posit a change of functionality in a precursor circuit, and its transformation into a neural circuit or region specifically involved in language today. Hypothesis 1 suggests that the precursor mechanism for intentional vocal control, specifically direct cortical control over the larynx, was manual motor control subserved by the cortico-spinal tract. The second is that the arcuate fasciculus, which today connects syntactic and lexical regions, had its origin in intracortical connections subserving vocal imitation. The third is that the specialized components of Broca’s area, specifically BA 45, had their origins in non-linguistic motor control, and specifically hierarchical planning of action. I conclude by illustrating the importance of both homology (studied via primates) and convergence (typically analyzed in birds) for testing such evolutionary hypotheses.
Perspective alignment in spatial language  [PDF]
L. Steels,M. Loetzsch
Computer Science , 2006,
Abstract: It is well known that perspective alignment plays a major role in the planning and interpretation of spatial language. In order to understand the role of perspective alignment and the cognitive processes involved, we have made precise complete cognitive models of situated embodied agents that self-organise a communication system for dialoging about the position and movement of real world objects in their immediate surroundings. We show in a series of robotic experiments which cognitive mechanisms are necessary and sufficient to achieve successful spatial language and why and how perspective alignment can take place, either implicitly or based on explicit marking.
Computational modelling of evolution: ecosystems and language  [PDF]
Adam Lipowski,Dorota Lipowska
Computer Science , 2008,
Abstract: Recently, computational modelling became a very important research tool that enables us to study problems that for decades evaded scientific analysis. Evolutionary systems are certainly examples of such problems: they are composed of many units that might reproduce, diffuse, mutate, die, or in some cases for example communicate. These processes might be of some adaptive value, they influence each other and occur on various time scales. That is why such systems are so difficult to study. In this paper we briefly review some computational approaches, as well as our contributions, to the evolution of ecosystems and language. We start from Lotka-Volterra equations and the modelling of simple two-species prey-predator systems. Such systems are canonical example for studying oscillatory behaviour in competitive populations. Then we describe various approaches to study long-term evolution of multi-species ecosystems. We emphasize the need to use models that take into account both ecological and evolutionary processes. Finally, we address the problem of the emergence and development of language. It is becoming more and more evident that any theory of language origin and development must be consistent with darwinian principles of evolution. Consequently, a number of techniques developed for modelling evolution of complex ecosystems are being applied to the problem of language. We briefly review some of these approaches.
Major Transitions in Language Evolution  [PDF]
Joshua B. Plotkin,Martin A. Nowak
Entropy , 2001, DOI: 10.3390/e3040227
Abstract: Language is the most important evolutionary invention of the last few million years. How human language evolved from animal communication is a challenging question for evolutionary biology. In this paper we use mathematical models to analyze the major transitions in language evolution. We begin by discussing the evolution of coordinated associations between signals and objects in a population. We then analyze word-formation and its relationship to Shannon's noisy coding theorem. Finally, we model the population dynamics of words and the adaptive emergence of syntax.
Language conflicts in linguoconflictology perspective
Orysia Demska
NaUKMA Research Papers. Linguistics , DOI: 10.18523/2616-8502.2018.69-74
Abstract: Europe knows conflicts very well. One of these conflicts has a language character and is the result of the language contacts. The conflict is a phenomenon of the modern society and means “a struggle over values or claims to status, power, and scarce resources, in which the aims of the conflicting parties are not only to gain desired values but also to neutralize, injure or eliminate their rival” (Coser, 2002, p. 106). B. Moormann-Kimáková identifies two types of the linguistic conflicts: “conflicts involving language as their primary motive, as well as conflicts involving language, but not necessarily being motivated by ‘language issues’ ” (Moormann-Kimáková, 2014, p. 8). M. Wingender analyzes three different types of the conflicts with language: ‘Konflikt in Sprache / conflict in the language – Konflikt über Sprache / language conflict – Konflikt mittels Sprache / language-related conflict’. In the Ukrainian language, the strongest example of the conflict in the language comprises the lexical and grammatical transformations during the Soviet russification period, when the structure of Ukrainian was accommodated to Russian. The language conflict in Ukraine is the long duration conflict between the Ukrainian language and the Russian language. And the language-related conflict occurred around the Ukrainian Education Law in 2017. It was a situation of resource-political-value language-related conflict:for Hungary, this is a language-related resource conflict; for the EU – language-related political conflict; for the Ukrainian society – language-related value conflict. Knowing the nature of different types of linguistic conflicts helps better understand the situation and to protect the conflict. All of these shape the base of the linguoconflictology.
Language Iconicity from Sociolinguistic Perspective  [cached]
Xueqing Wang
Asian Social Science , 2010, DOI: 10.5539/ass.v6n7p176
Abstract: This paper offers a definition of language iconicity. And it studies it from a fresh perspective--sociolinguistics. The paper discusses it from the following five sections: social class corresponds to language diversity; traditional concept corresponds to word order iconicity and syntactic iconicity; intimity or estrangement corresponds to lexicalization; regional varieties correspond to difference of dialect; politeness corresponds to the length of the sentence.
The Study of Globalization from a Language Planning Perspective
Faiza Dekhir,Samira Abid
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences , 2011,
Abstract: This study is dedicated to describe Globalization from a language planning perspective. It also discusses how language planning can be used to provide a theoretical framework for Globalization. The nature of globalization will be examined in terms of, consequences, problems and solutions, among many other factors.In order for these objectives to be achieved, the researcher goes through the following definitions: Language planning definitions, globalization definitions, presentation of an accounting scheme for the study of language planning. This latter is meant to improve our ability to describe, predict and draw generalizations concerning Globalization.
Language and cognition influence on evolution of cultures
Leonid Perlovsky
QScience Connect , 2011, DOI: 10.5339/connect.2011.4
Abstract: Evolution of cultures is influenced by languages. To understand this influence the paper analyzes how language and cognition interact in thinking. Is language just used for communication of completed thoughts, or is it fundamental for thinking? We review a hypothesis that language and cognition are two separate but closely interacting mechanisms, and identify each of them. Language accumulates cultural wisdom; cognition develops mental representations modeling surrounding world and adapts cultural knowledge to concrete circumstances of life. Language is acquired from surrounding language ‘ready-made’ and therefore can be acquired early in life. Cognition can not be acquired directly from experience; language is a necessary intermediary, a “teacher.” This model is consistent with recent neuroimaging data about cognition, remaining unnoticed by other theories. The proposed theory explains a number of properties of language and cognition, which previously seemed mysterious. It suggests mechanisms by which language grammars influence emotionality of languages and directs cultural evolution. This theory may explain specifics of English and Arabic cultures. We review theoretical and experimental evidence and discuss future directions
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