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Reading response 8 - Assignment Example

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He elaborated upon the stage protolanguage described by Bickerton. The author outlines the stages of this evolution and brings out the…
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Reading response 8
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Download file to see previous pages The author builds his hypothesis that some characteristics of modern language might seem to be “fossils” of the previous stages of evolution.
Jackendoff’s explanation of the use of symbols is presented in a complex manner where the actual purpose of the author is lost, according to me. He gives examples of different words uttered by a child and cites literature as the background of his discussion. He mentions that at a very early stage a child can distinguish between proper and common nouns. He then switches suddenly to use of situational one word and also single word answers which he perceives as “fossils” of the “one-word stage” of evolution of language. However the main essence of expression without syntax and yet symbolic meaning is not clearly expressed especially when he compares with the systematic yes and no utterances.
In certain instances the author himself does not seem to be clear about the reality and it is more of an opinion based approach when he thinks that the learning process of apes is like children initiating habit of reading and is quite effortful in nature. However one keen and realistic observation he makes here is the distinction between grammar and vocabulary learning. A person with good vocabulary might have lesser sense of grammar. The ability to imitate plays the important role here and here the author’s inference shows clarity and logical deduction.
The author brings up an interesting topic of word order which might affect the essence of communication. He however does not explain this more simplistically with the help of grammar and syntax. It is difficult to understand what the author is trying to point out in this section. Is he trying to say that communication or expression should follow grammar in modern system of language? He even brings in the cases of special children to whom learning signs is the only option to express them. So is grammar necessary when symbolic expressions or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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