[LMB] When World-Views Collide, books

Jelbelser jelbelser at comcast.net
Fri Jan 7 01:30:47 GMT 2022

> On Jan 6, 2022, at 5:35 AM, Raymond Collins <rcrcoll6 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I can't help wondering how the human invention of words effected our
> intellectual evolution.  Every thought I have, every decision I make is
> through the symbology of words.
> Imagine you are a member of Homoerectus one of of the first hominids
> spreading out of Africa.
> How do you think without words. I bet you can't. I believe Homoerectus had
> a language of sorts.
> Then there is Koko who was trained to sign. The fact that she and other
> primates could communicate complex thoughts.
> What makes us sapient is our ability to communicate concepts and
> information to each other. We further improved our communication through
> symbolic imagery that through hits and missis evolved to a understandable
> alphabet.
> I think that is a major cornerstone of human intelligence is the ability to
> communicate complex thoughts through huge distances.
> Of course Whales might have us beat ages ago.

Several years ago I read a book about a sign language teacher who came across a family, I think of Mexican ancestry, who were deaf and without language. She was able, with difficulty at some significant points, to teach one man signing. Wish I could remember the title of the book; it was quite interesting. The man had some cognitive skills, but language really did expand his abilities. He ended up guiding his whole extended family into connecting and availing themselves of the wider society.

My understanding of non-human language abilities (Koko et al.) is that words can be taught but grammar doesn’t quite happen.

Janet in TN

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