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Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is an Ontology, Anyway?

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 00:16:33 -0000 (GMT)
Message-id: <2253.>

> This article shows that newborns have already learned how to express
> emotions like crying and anger in the same sonic patterns as the adults
> they are exposed to while still in the womb.    (01)

... when they interact with the same adult after birth for at least a day
or two.    (02)

> That shows just how personal and
> subjective the newborn's ontology actually is.    (03)

I'm not sure what this has to do with ontologies.    (04)

In a purely acoustic analysis, a newborn mimics sound patterns it hears
after a few days.  If a sound pattern one is used to feels better than a
different pattern and taking different actions (types of cry) results in
positive or negative feedback, after a few days a newborn tends towards
actions that provide the positive feedback or away from actions that
provide negative feedback.    (05)

The report of the study needs a more detailed description.  A
psycholinguist commenting on the study suggests that the feedback the
babies received from the crys was unknown and may have been different.
If the mothers provided better feedback to cries in the pattern of their
own languages, such feedback would be likely to promote the type of cry
with the more positive feedback.  This seems like far more positive
feedback than just the baby's experience of its own sound making.    (06)

It evidently was too intrusive or difficult to monitor speed of response
to crys of different types before the baby settled on a pattern.  But this
makes interpreting the reported results highly problematic.    (07)

Using babies as test subjects can lead to ethical issues.  But it would
be interesting to see if babies being cared for by someone of the opposite
language from that heard before birth (e.g., if the mother couldn't care
for the baby right away due to health issues) would tend to cry in the
pattern the care giver was used to.    (08)

As for ontologies, i.e. systematizations of meaning, all that is apparent
to me is that the day-old infant is able to associate different modes of
crying with different levels of positive and/or negative feedback, and
to tend to engage in the activity that provides the more positive feedback.
This suggests awareness of at least two categories of feedback, at least
two categories of activity and at least partial relation between action
and feedback.    (09)

>http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2009/11/05/newborn-babies-may-cry-in-their-mother-tongues.html    (010)

-- doug    (011)

> -Rich
> Sincerely,
> Rich Cooper
> EnglishLogicKernel.com
> Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
> _________________________________________________________________
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/    (012)

doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx   http://ProgressiveAustin.org    (013)

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
    - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
=============================================================    (014)

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