A star-clear mind
Yearn after truth
From August 11 2001
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"Words are the natural evolutionary product of the functioning of the
brain. The forms of individual words are not arbitrary but directly derived from
and related to the meaning of the words."
"Speech is the result of an evolutionary exaptation: the establishment in
humans of a direct connection between the cortical motor control system and the
articulatory apparatus(see Jürgens)"
"In the evolution of language, shapes or objects seen, sounds heard, and
actions perceived or performed, generated neural motor programs which, on
transfer to the vocal apparatus, produced words structurally correlated with the
perceived shapes, objects, sounds and actions."
"The motor program generating the word, an articulatory gesture, also
generates an equivalent bodily gesture. Gesture mediates between word-structure
and word-meaning. In the case of a different word in a different language for
the same meaning, a similar final gesture is generated by a different
intermediate trajectory associated with different speech-sound elements going to
form the different word."
"The gesture associated with the meaning of any word can be observed by
mentally transferring the sound-structure of the word (the articulatory
gesture) to the musculature of the arms."
"Children are able to acquire words effortlessly, that is to link a word to
an object or action, because, when the motor control system has sufficiently
matured, the neural motor program generated by the perception of the particular
object or action is matched instantaneously with the equivalent motor program
generated on hearing the word which, in the particular language community, is
structurally derived from the perceived object or action."
See Science 27 Feb 2004 The Origin of Speech The Motor Route
NEW ! How children acquire
language: The Motor Theory Account
A Commentary on "Early Language
Acquisition: Cracking the Speech Code". Patricia Kuhl Nature November 2004 5:
831-843 [download her Review pdf
Try this MOTOR THEORY EXPERIMENT !
LACUS: "Language as a Mirror
of the World"
From GRAZIANO: Motor
Primitives for arm movement and speech
NOT PINKER: A new view of
AISB: Imitation in
Language and Speech
POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS [transcriptions]:
LOS: Motor Theory
ESSCS: Motor Control and
"Language allows us to analyse (decompose, mirror) the
structure of our actions, to identify the neural sub-actions constituting the
CHAMELEON THEORY OF PERCEPTION
All bodily movements
are changes in posture - and posture is body-image. We visualise any movement
(of arm, leg, head, hand, mouth) as a change in body-image, a change in posture
- the movement brings our actual posture into coincidence with our visualised
new body-image, visualised posture. ... Perception appears to be a process
similar to that by which the chameleon changes its bodily state to match its
background. Perception (on the chameleon theory) is internal ordering guided by
external ordering. The perception of speech and the perception of gesture are
aspects of this chameleon-process. Ideomotor action is the reverse process. Both
stem from the integration of the motor system and perception. [Extract from R.
Allott 1994. Gestural
Equivalence of Language LOS UCAL Berkeley]
cf. Merleau-Ponty, M. 1962.
Phenomenology of Perception(Trans). "Every external perception is immediately
synonymous with a certain perception of my body... The theory of the body schema
is, implicitly, a theory of perception". Also cf. "embodied simulation" in
Gallese, V. 2003. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. (1431):517-28.
Order from Amazon
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY PAPERS
IDEAS AND THOUGHTS
WORD ANIMATIONS Click
IDEAS AND THOUGHTS
Steps in the mind
Hymn to Zeus
Helen Keller Language
Time and Consciousness: Presentation or Text
Enquiry into the Good 1921
Sir Thomas Browne
Herder Essay on the
Origin of Language 1772
Charles de Brosses
Traité de la Formation Méchanique des Langues
et des Principes Physiques de
Gravity as a Repulsive
Giants and Constellations
Birdsong and other
song If using Netscape Click on picture for sound
Macbeth: Extracts by
List of papers
(For texts select below. For abstracts)
- 1. The Physical Foundation of Language: Exploration of a
- 2. Extracts from The Natural Origin of Language:
Language, perception and
action: Philosophical issues
- 3. Some apparent uniformities
between languages in colour-naming. Language and Speech 17:
- 4. Structural inter-relation
of language and the processes underlying visual perception and action -
indications of isomorphism. UNESCO Symposium on Glossogenetics. Paris.
- 5. Lexicon and surface
syntactic structure of languages as societal but not arbitrary selections from
a range of potential physiologically-determined 'natural' word-forms and
syntactic processes. UNESCO Symposium on Glossogenetics. Paris. 1981.
- 6. Structure and Development
of the Lexicon in relation to the origin of language . International
Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Vancouver. 1983.
- 7. The Origin of Language: The
General Problem. In Studies in Language Origins I. Eds. Jan Wind,
Edwin G. Pulleyblank, Éric de Grolier, and Bernard H. Bichakjian. Amsterdam:
- 8. The Motor Theory of Language Origin. Lewes: Book Guild 1989.
- 9. The Power of Words.
Language Origins Society, Amsterdam. 1990.
Hypnosis and Oratory
- 10. The Motor Theory of
Language. In Studies in Language Origins II. Eds. Walburga von
Raffler-Engel, Jan Wind and Abraham Jonker. Amsterdam: Benjamins 1991.
- 11. Japanese and the Motor
Theory of Language Electronic publication on LOS Website of papers from De
Kalb. Illinois. 1991.
- 12. Autism and the Motor Theory
of Language. Paper for Language Origins Society meeting, Selwyn College,
Cambridge. September 1992.
- 13. The Motor Theory of
Language: Origin and Function. In Language Origin: A Multidisciplinary
Approach. Eds. Jan Wind, Bernard H. Bichakjian, Alberto Nocentini, and
Brunetto Chiarelli. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer, 1992 [Papers from the
joint 1988 LOS Meeting and the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Language
- 14. Review of Biological and Behavioral Determinants of Language
Development ed. by D.M. Rumbaugh, R.L. Schiefelbusch and M. Studdert-Kennedy.
LOS Forum Spring 1992.
- 15. Diversity of Languages
and the Motor Theory. In Studies in Language Origins III. Eds. Jan
Wind, Abraham Jonker, Robin Allott, and Leonard Rolfe. Amsterdam: Benjamins
- 16. Language and the Origin
of Semiosis.In Origins of Semiosis: Sign Evolution in Nature and
Culture ed. by Winfried Noth. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter 1994.
- 17. Motor Theory of Language
Origin in relation to Syntax. In Syntactic Iconicity: The Human
Dimension ed. by M.E.Landsberg. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter 1995.
- 18. Sound Symbolism. In
Language in the Ice Age ed. by U. Figge and W. Koch. Bochum: Brockmeyer
- 19. The Articulatory Basis of
the Alphabet. St Petersburg 1993. In Becoming Loquens: More Studies in
Language Origins. ed. by Bichakjan/Chernigovskaya/Kendon/Möller. Frankfurt
am Main: Peter Lang Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften 2000.
- 20. Gestural Equivalence
(Equivalents) of Language. UCAL Berkeley July 1994.
- 21. The Pinker Language
Instinct: Gradualistic Natural Selection is not a good enough explanation.
University of Pecs, Hungary. 1995.
- 22. Ideomotor action : Image
and Action. Papers for European Society for the Study of Cognitive
Systems. St. Maximin, Provence/Freiburg im Breisgau. April 1996/June 1997. [In
- 23. The Great Mosaic Eye: The
Role of Language. Forthcoming edited electronic publication on LOS website
of papers from conference UMBC, Baltimore. 1996.
- 24. Glossogenetic Isomorphism:
Gestural Iconicity. Paper for LOS conference, University of West Bohemia.
1997. [in preparation]
- 25. Glossary
prepared for the Language Origins Society
- 26. Linguaggio e Gesti: sistemi isomorfici. Interpretare 1/2:
162-200 1999. Udine: Campanotto Editore.
- 27. The Cat Sat on the Mat (and
other possibilities) Notes for presentation at the Siena meeting of the
European Society for the Study of Cognitive Systems, October 1999.
- 28. Neurology and the
Minimalist Program in Linguistics Abstract and Notes for conference
Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language Delmenhorst,
Germany July 2000.
- 29. Motor Theory
Presentation European Society for the Study of Cognitive Systems
Maastricht May 2001
- 30.Motor Primitives and
Motor Equivalence: Language Function Language Origin Society July 2003
- 31. Imitation in Language
and Speech: Roles and Functional Base Proceedings of AISB '03 Second
International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts, 105-112.
- 32. Language as a mirror of the
world: Reconciling picture theory and language games. 30TH
LACUS[Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States] July 29-August 2
2003 University of Victoria, Canada.
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GESTURAL EQUIVALENCE (EQUIVALENTS) OF LANGUAGE
2. Neural motor programs
3. Movements of the
hand and arm
4. Elementary speech
5. Redirection of
6. Equivalent gestures
7. Gesture structuring
8. Redirection to
10. Speech-sound/gesture homoeomorphism
13. Understanding speech
14. Understanding gesture
role of the cerebellum
The chameleon theory
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- Browman, Catherine P. and Louis Goldstein. 1992. Articulatory phonology:
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