One function of DNA is to provide the heritable basis
for biological entities. It would be difficult to
consider words doing the same thing. It is a common
observation in popular books on language that children
exposed only to a pigdin will construct (collectively?
) a full language from it. It would seem from this
that language is not learned from listening to the
words but is inherent in the human brain.
The heritable basis for language lies in the heritable
basis for brain strcuutre. The DNA of language is DNA.
--- Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Marcia,
> To be honest, I wouldn't use it. I don't mean that
> to be an unsociable
> answer, but I would have to cede that effort to
> Francis or to someone
> inclined to see more or better in the relationship
> than I do. From where
> I'm sitting, language debased may be like a
> biological entity; language
> given its head is no such thing. Forgive my
> brevity, just stopped by my
> office on the way out of town for a couple of nights
> and must exit.
> Peace to all on this remarkable Sunday night.
> At 04:13 PM 10/31/2004 -0500, you wrote:
> > If you were to consider using the biological
> analogy, wouldn't you
> >think that phonemes, morphemes and sememes have a
> much stronger
> >resemblance to the DNA of a language than words do?
> >Ken Armstrong wrote:
> >>I worry a bit about explaining language with
> biology as that seems to be
> >>the m.o. of the likes of Stephen Pinker and Daniel
> Dennet, you know,
> >>_Consciousness Explained_, a title (among many!)
> trumpeting its own
> >>unknowing defeat, and which in the end boils down
> to old fashioned
> >>materialism, be it simple or complex. So I ask.
> >>>At 01:28 AM 10/28/2004 -0700, Francis Gavin
> >>>Words are the DNA of language. It's also
> commutative. A virus is a
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