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Adam's Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans by Bickerton Derek

Adam's Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans by Bickerton Derek

Author:Bickerton, Derek [Bickerton, Derek]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
ISBN: 9780809022816
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: 2009-03-16T23:00:00+00:00


• How can you compare communication systems that use chemical signals, or shapes sketched in space, with a system that uses either sounds or manual signs?

Very easily. What such a system works with is quite immaterial. We saw in chapter 1 that ACSs use an immense variety of media—sounds, smells, gestures, lights—but that all these systems are saying the same kind of thing. What matters is not the medium but the message. Language sends the same messages regardless of the medium. You can use flags (did you ever see Monty Python’s semaphore version of Wuthering Heights?) or the dots and dashes of Morse code: the same rules hold as in the spoken version. If bee or ant systems are sending messages that go beyond the usual ACS messages, that contain at least one feature that is otherwise found only in human language, then any difference in the means by which those messages are sent is quite irrelevant.



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