CB: On your comments below, notice
I said language and culture. Material culture
might be thought of as the products
of "gestures". In my hypothesis , the
nature of symbols as the use of 
something to represent something it is
not is critical. The critical communication
is not between living humans, except that
between adults and children, but the communication
between living and dead generations.
More specifically I am thinking symbols
allow the dead generation to teach the
living generation ( or the living generation
to teach the unborn generations) in a way that
teaching through imitation cannot occur.
Birds and monkeys and humans can learn by imitation -
monkey see, monkey do. But only humans can
through symbols, whether speech, gestures
or material cultural items. Symbols can cross
the boundary between the living and the dead
( in a non-mystical sense), in a way that
 imitations cannot. Why ? Because the dead are
no longer present themselves to be imitated. But
if the dead are represented, if the experineces
of the dead are represented by something that
is not the dead, by a symbol, then the something
that is not the dead , that is not "dead", can
get across the death barrier.

Language actually is the most efficient of
these "death barrier crossers". However,
language need not be _spoken_, it can
be gestures, i.e. sign language. Or it
could be a form of "written", but non-
alphabetical language, as in abstract use
 of material objects as the symbolic 
elements, tokens. Anyway, my hypothesis
suggest spoken or sign language had to
be very early at the origin of our
species, because, story tellikng would
be the most effective death barrier 

This is why I think Rosa's opposition
between representation and communication
can be "happily" resolved at the origin
of language and human thinking, because
originally language was representational
or symbolic in order to be communicative
across generations, between dead and 

CeJ jannuzi 
>>Interesting that Rosa should mention
Lamarckianism in this context, as
I have argued that culture and
language give humans a Lamarckian-like
adaptive mechanism. Culture and language
, symboling, allow inheritance of
acquired, extra-somatic , characteristics.<<

I think that would be a genetic mutation, except a genetic mutation
really only seems to transcend soma, and doesn't actually (Lamarck and
Lysenko weren't completely wrong).

The ability to gesture complexly emerged from our biology and brain
capacity, and this ability to systematize, embed meaning and
communicate symbolically then colonized our well-developed phonetic
abilities (we could chatter like the birds and then we learned to
communicate). Instead of asking what separates us from the apes, we
ought to ask what separates us from a mockingbird or parrot?
Corballis's fascinating book could have been made better had he
collaborated with an articulatory phonologist, like someone at Haskins

Michael Corballis is a psychologist with a strong interest in
lateralization, handedness, and the origins of language. In this book,
he puts these interests together with a solid and comprehensive survey
of other background material relevant to the origins of language. The
book also pushes Corballis' own specific hypothesis, that human
languages were implemented mainly in manual gestures until about
50,000 years ago, at which point largely vocal language took over as
an invented cultural innovation. This is an argument about the medium
in which linguistic messages were expressed.

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