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Re: [ontolog-forum] Paraconsistent Logic

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 11:06:08 -0400
Message-id: <53D51560.50908@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Christopher and Phil,    (01)

>> ... instead of Chomsky's naval gazing.    (02)

> Congratulations on your pun with its allusion to Nelson at Trafalgar!    (03)

Sorry about the typo.  I can blame it on my cerebellum, which has
a direct mapping from the acoustic form to finger patterns.    (04)

> The question was addressed to JFS, but I'll offer a reply.    (05)

Your example, copied below, shows the importance of context and
pragmatics.  In my review of Masterman's book, I quoted her comments
about the work of the phoneticist Peter Guberina:    (06)

Quoted in http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/mmb_rev.htm
> A large part of Guberina's daily life is spent in developing
> electronic techniques for helping the deaf to speak. This means that,
> for him, what is being talked about  that is, the actual subject
> of any piece of discourse, and the linguistic elements that carry it
>  is vastly more important than what is said about it. If the deaf
> man can once pick up the subject of conversation, three-quarters
> of this problem is solved, even if he cannot hear all that is said
> about it. If, on the other hand, he clearly hears some one thing
> that is clearly said about some basic subject of discourse, while
> the actual subject of discourse remains unknown to him, very little
> of the deaf man's problem is solved; he has only heard one thing.    (07)

John    (08)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [ontolog-forum] Child language acquisition - RE:
Paraconsistent Logic
Date:   Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:29:00 -0400
From:   Philip Jackson    (09)

The question was addressed to JFS, but I'll offer a reply.    (010)

In a talk about child language acquisition, Paul Vogt of Tilburg
University first plays a soundtrack of a woman saying something in a
foreign language, and asks the audience to guess what she's saying. No
one can guess, since the language is from Africa, and the audience
speaks only European languages. He then plays a video, which shows the
woman standing in a small village near a bucket of water and a cup, with
a small child, perhaps only 3 years old. She points to a cup on the
ground and points to the bucket of water, and says the words no one in
the audience could understand. It's now clear from the visual
information that what she is saying means "Give me some water". The
young child picks up the cup, fills it with water from the bucket, and
gives it to her mother.    (011)

This simple example illustrates the relative importance of pragmatics,
semantics, and syntax, for child language acquisition. The pragmatics
(context information including visual information about the scene and
gestures) enables understanding the semantics of speech, when a child is
learning a language and doesn't yet understand syntax. It must be this
way because there is arguably no "universal grammar" that specifies the
syntax of all natural languages, yet any infant with normal intelligence
can learn any natural language, if it is raised by a parent who speaks
that language. So very young children have to use pragmatic information
to learn the semantics of speech in a language, and to also gradually
learn the syntax. Anyone fortunate enough to watch a child learn to talk
can observe that understanding pragmatics and semantics precedes and
enables acquisition of syntax, for very young children.    (012)

Phil    (013)

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