2013年4月16日,星期二

什么是语言?

丹尼尔·埃弗里特(Daniel Everett)最近在我们的加州大学欧文分校语言科学中心发表了关于将语言作为一种文化工具的想法的演讲。 (这里对他最近的书进行了不错的评论。) 这是一次有趣的演讲,但我认为关于真正的语言的观点是错的。

今天我在读 Agnes Roby-Brami及其同事撰写的非常好的评论论文 关于语言和实践之间的关系(由我的已提交论文的贤哲审核者建议)。 It's worth a look.  内容丰富且博学多才,但这不是我想在这里谈论的内容。 相反,我想专注于他们对语言的定义:
语言是指一种用于对信息进行编码和解码的符号系统(索引,图标,符号),以便通过社会惯例建立特定符号与预期含义的配对。
这种定义正是关于语言的一种概念,适合于关于语言作为文化的埃弗内特斯克独白。 是的,是的,文化是通过语言反映出来的,但这并不意味着语言就是文化。

但是回到符号:作为符号系统的语言概念如何使运动场朝着作为文化观点的语言倾斜? 这样做的重点是语言的任意方面,即与“文化习俗”最密切相关的方面;诸如文字之类的东西。

不是定义语言的标志。 To 看到 this, think about Roby-Brami and colleague's definition in visual terms:
视觉是指包含信息的对象系统(形式,运动等),以便通过社会惯例建立特定对象及其关联含义的配对。
什么?!愿景不是't a social convention, you say.  It's a neural system 那 analyzes visual form, motion, and location to 转变 physical information into 概念表示 or into motor patterns for interacting with those objects.  视觉不是物体本身!

你当然是对的。 But we can easily think of 视力 as social if we misconstrue it.  拿走任何数量的现代物品,然后将它们展示给狩猎采集者协会的成员。 Take your 苹果手机, you coffee maker, your bicycle, your eyeglasses, your credit card, your zipper, your whatever.  他们将不知道这些对象是什么。 这些“对象符号”对它们没有意义。我们之所以知道它们只是因为我们通过文化经验中学到了物体标志。 就像我们在“说”不同的视觉语言一样! Therefore,  we should conclude, 视力 is a 文化 system.

We can 看到 the flaw in *that* argument, of course.  What 视力 takes as input and what previous associates we have with particular objects and their uses doesn't define the perceptual/perceptual-motor system.  What defines 视力 are the computations 那 are used to extract form, motion, and location and associates these with higher-order conceptual systems, motor systems, and so on.

Why can't we 看到 那 the same flaw holds in the 语言 argument?  在文化上就含义达成一致的“文字符号”并没有定义语言。 What defines 语言 are the computations 那 are used to extract 声音模式s from acoustic babble, to segment them, to combine them, and ultimately link them to complex 概念表示 or to motor speech gestures.


16条评论:

Bastien Boutonnet-照片日记说过...

好。明确的定义是一件好事。但是,以这种方式定义语言可能会促使人们认为'是的。语言对其他认知过程会产生影响,以这种方式看待语言可以为研究提供智力上的有趣途径,如果执行得当,它们将比清晰的理论定义更好。

这里有些例子...
http://www.pnas.org/content/106/11/4567

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008559

http://sapir.psych.wisc.edu/papers/lupyan_spivey_2008.pdf

丹·米尔曼说过...

It 看到ms like a big part of your argument rests on whether semantics is considered part of the system. Some people consider object semantics part of the visual system, but many think of 视力 as all the pre-semantic stuff. On the other hand, I think most people consider lexical semantics part of 语言, so arguing 那 语言 IS speech perception is just as limited as arguing 那 语言 IS semantics. In any case, the cognitive and neural boundaries between perception (visual or speech) and semantics are probably 不 as sharp as the boundaries between academic sub-domains.

格雷格希科克说过...

嗨,巴斯蒂安,
您是在暗示我对语言定义的构架以某种方式妨碍了对您所指类型的研究吗?我不't 看到 why 那 should be the case. The same sorts of studies could be carried out (and probably have been) in the visual domain.

格雷格希科克说过...

您提出了一个有趣的问题,Dan和我完全同意,计算边界不如学术边界那么尖锐。您提到了语义,但是我认为在语音学上可以提出同样的观点。的研究"sound pattern" of 语言 (phonology) is typically conceptualized as an amodal domain quite outside of the auditory system. In 视力, however, abstract object representations (the "visual patterns" of objects) is never discussed as being outside of 视力. Why the difference? Because phonology crosses the boundary between perception and production, one might argue. But this can'这是因为物体的形状也越过了感知-生产的边界。

回复:你的第一句话。我不'无法理解为什么我的论据取决于语义是否被视为系统的一部分。我不'认为这无关紧要,无论您称其为什么或在何处划界't care much); 语言 is 那 system 那 performs the 转变ations from acoustics to meaning or acoustics to motor gestures, etc.

丹·米尔曼说过...

我只是说,由于语义是文化构建的一部分,所以系统中有多少语义决定了应考虑该系统中的多少"cultural".

Another piece here, I think, is 那 everyone tends to overestimate the centrality of their research area. I (mostly) study semantics, so to me it 看到ms like 语言 is (mostly) about semantics. Phonology people think it is about phonology, syntax people (Chomsky?) think it is about syntax, etc. A while ago I was chatting with some socio-linguists and it was hard to convince them 那 语言 was anything other than a way of communicating race, class, age, gender, etc.

格雷格希科克说过...

那's an interesting point and probably close to true for many 语言 folks. Do you think the same is true in 视力? Do people studying high-level 视力 (say face perception) think 视力 is mostly about face perception? Or would they acknowledge 那 their focus is just one part of a bigger picture 那 includes lower level feature extraction and so on? I think the latter is closer to the truth. We could ask the same of a 视力 scientist work on rods and cones in the retina. Do they believe 视力 is mostly about rods and cones, or would they acknowledge higher-level processes. Again, I would guess they are happy to view their work in the context of a larger computational system.

语言人为何不同?语言的什么使我们如此奇怪地思考它?

匿名 said...

“What?! Vision isn'您说,这是一种社交惯例。它's a neural system 那 analyzes visual form, motion, and location to 转变 physical information into 概念表示 or into motor patterns for interacting with those objects. 视觉不是物体本身!”

“What defines 视力 are the computations 那 are used to extract form, motion, and location and associates these with higher-order conceptual systems, motor systems, and so on.”


To start with 视力, the key words, for me, are “transform” and “associates.” Transform or associate here, especially 转变 into “概念表示”而且还转化为更基本的运动行为,与一种生物有关。我经常想到一个可见的,拟人化的电子或光子。对象-内部-内部表示的界限不可能分开,或者很难分开,也许只有在更全面的科学分析中才能做到。但是,我们切割世界的方式,以及总体而言,我们是谁和我们想要什么(中型物体)意味着我们通常“see” the “world” a certain way. And, thus 视力 or “our 视力” is mediated and determined by our organism and our culture and the 世界 we happen to find.

当然,我们能否仅谈一下眼睛和大脑的过程,但是只有在更复杂的概念结构(将这种光组织成概念方案或我们客观化)(由进化和然后是文化和个人经验。要了解“vision”我认为需要后一种分析,这将需要环境,文化,个人历史以及概念/科学方案的环境,使我们能够看到“iPhone,” as you say. So, to a certain (and important) extent 视力 is a social convention and is personalized and species-directed. The important factors of the “vision” of any single creature will require us to explain, and will be inseparable from, the contingency of 那 specific creature. 那 may just mean we cannot fully understand 视力 without understanding more complex "representational" brain processes 那 视力 is parcel to and partially constituted by.

再举一个例子,我们可以解释“vision system”乌鸦,眼睛和大脑处理的许多机制,但是当我们去解释“vision”IT看到并处理了已经学会啄食的食品上的塑料盖时,乌鸦的轮廓,现在需要解释一下“vision” in a way 那 surpasses some non-cultural, non-environmental rendering of 视力. We have to explain the relation between basic sight mechanisms and how 那 fits into learning, conceptualizing, and higher representations 那 play back onto how sight will “order”这个世界,特别是这只乌鸦现在看到一个塑料盖,如果掉下来怎么啄,或者我们的人类看到“exit key”他的iPhone如果忽略后者的分类和行为能力,则意味着我们没有解释视觉过程。

只是我的想法在那里。 。 。然后’s 不 to bemoan any specific scientific work on 视力 structures of the brain . . . I am only pondering broader definition and conceptual issues.

至于语言。 。 。

林登

格雷格希科克说过...

哇,林登。您的思想丰富,涵盖了从质子到文化的理论范围。让'稍微控制住他们。

So it 看到ms you're a Gibsonian. 那'很好。以我的拙见,吉布森是正确的,强调感知发生在环境和生物的生物学环境中。我不'认为没有人会怀疑今天。我当然不't. If you'您已经阅读本博客任何时间,'ve heard me harp on 'ecological validity'-吉布森主义的观念。而且,我不会以环境以重要方式影响感知的观点(系统自我调整为相关特征或在某种程度上进行重组)的观点提出异议。

但!这不 '这意味着您可以将所有感知推向环境,甚至更多地推向文化习俗。文化是否确定视网膜上视杆和视锥的分布? LGN中的分层模式?从LGN细胞到钙car沟的轴突靶标?视网膜检影?是的,我们必须参考文化和技术来解释为什么我们中的某些人将黑色的矩形物体放在脸侧,然后不与任何人交谈,而其他人却不能'不能想象这样做,但是我们必须向内看去,以了解这两个人如何将人物与地面,过程形式和动作分开,并首先表示矩形的黑色物体,以便可以从中抓取或调用该物体。稍后再存储。

I'm 不 questioning 那 understanding a system from the widest possible perspective requires making sense of the biology and computational networks 那 provided by evolution and also how 那 system is shaped by personal experience and culture. What I find curious is 那 in the case of 语言 many people find the latter the only relevant topic of scientific investigation and ignore the biology. We are far less likely to make this mistake for 视力. So again I ask, why is this the case?

VilemKodytek说过...

原因可能是与语言学不同,没有语言学。

马克·埃特林格说过...

这让我想起了我当时是在与一位修辞学博士一起学习语言的小组讨论中, 语言和I thought it'd be great, we'd有太多要讨论的东西。不用说,我们没有't。我关心人类大脑和大脑中语言的认知和神经实例化。他对我没做过的事情感兴趣'不太明白。但这使我想了解更多。

快进了几年,布迪厄(Bourdieu)和索绪尔(Saussure)的页面很多,我得到了要点。语言本身就是要研究的东西。确实,在乔姆斯基之前,这是思考语言的主要方式-作为一种研究和分析的事物。和乔姆斯基'至少在最初的几十年里,我的观点是研究语言系统本身, 将提供有关所涉及的神经机制的见识,以及 反之亦然。
就我个人而言'我们已经相信,每个学习语言的人至少都应该阅读一些索绪尔语,即使他们仅对失语症感兴趣。

在这种观点下,我们非常感兴趣的认知计算是塑造和影响语言的事物。但是还有很多其他事情,例如人口动态,社会学,整个社会,经济学等等。因此,它不是神经语言学成为语言研究的必要条件,而是'只是理解语言为何以其方式的多种方式之一。

我现在不't 看到 either approach as superior to the other. I have my personal preference, but studying 语言 qua 语言 is definitely a worthy endeavor 那 has provided tremendous amounts of insight.

匿名 said...

嗨,格雷格,

I was trying to work within your definition of 视力, and I think it is telling 那 your definition did 不 point to only the narrow aspects and processes of rods and cones or the LGN, for example. If we fully understand the exact process of light hitting the eye and the immediate processes 那 happen, 那 is of course important, but it will 不 constitute “vision”正如大多数人所理解的,甚至是您定义的那样。对于许多人从语言理论中想要的东西,情况也是如此。

从您的简短博客文章中,我不能完全确定您代表他人的是什么’语言的位置以及您对它们的确切问题是什么,但是对我而言,认知或概念化以及将这些认知和概念化用于语言使用的能力是无限的,并且能够被最激进和最奇怪的环境极大地改变可以想到的。假定源自大脑的基本结构,当然那里有值得分析的重要结构,仍然总是由这些人所发现的环境来调节。生存能力,概念化以及人类的语言表示都受到限制,但是语言能力和结构不能仅通过大脑系统的结构(也许以更复杂的方式除外)或仅通过分析语言来简化和解释。我们在世界上找到。

We can imagine, say artificially creating, a bizarre environment and linguistic system, raising individuals in such, and I would claim these beings would still conceptualize and behave in robust ways. Will some of the cognitive processing and abilities be limited and controlled by important structures inherent to all homo sapiens brains? Yes, but we can imagine enough radical differences to understand 那 语言 and the conceptualization of phenomena can come apart from the limited brain/mind structures of any specific brain we find today and 那 some claim as universally grounding certain aspects of human 语言. Which again, some universal structures of brain limitations are present, but what we are trying to explain and do with 语言, just as what we want from a theory of 视力, is going to surpass those narrow claims.

To go further still, there is an infinite many conceptualizations and possible 世界s out there, and there will be significant relational differences between different conceived or experienced 世界s. There is good reason to believe 那 we have an infinite capacity to cognize and represent, and thus to signify and to create different relational aspects of those 语言 processes.

林登

匿名 said...

Unless you think there are basic anatomical differences in the brains of human beings from culture to culture, I suggest 那 before you dismiss the idea 那 语言/culture shape cognition it would be good for you to consider the work of Lera Boraditsky http://psych.stanford.edu/~lera/papers/

问候,

拉里·艾恩斯(Larry Irons)

格雷格希科克说过...

嗨马克,
It'这不是优势的问题。它's a question of what research question you want to answer. If you are interested in the neural computations 那 转变 thought into speech and back again, then 文化 variation isn'有助于回答问题。如果您对社会学感兴趣,那么可以肯定地在语言中找到它的反映,因此语言将是一种很好的(但远非唯一的)数据源。但是您必须清楚自己正在学习什么。一世'询问那些自称对神经计算问题感兴趣,然后用社交术语定义语言的人们。它没有't make sense.

格雷格希科克说过...

拉里
这类语言/思维关系正处于神经语言学家通常感兴趣的解决问题的边缘。那么,如果一种文化使用基本方向(北,南,东,西),而另一种使用相对术语(左,右)来描述空间关系呢?这不'解释如何对这些术语所对应的声音模式进行声学分析,如何激活某种形式的词汇表述,如何将其与句子中的其他词组合以及最终如何首先激活概念表述;或反之亦然,从思想到口语输出。说文化塑造语言(在这个空间示例中它并不清楚)确实是错误的。

马克·埃特林格 said...

"但是您必须清楚自己正在学习什么。一世'询问那些自称对神经计算问题感兴趣,然后用社交术语定义语言的人们。"

我当然会同意,但是我'm 不 看到ing where sociolinguists or 文化 linguists are claiming to be interested in neural computation.

我能想到的唯一文化+语言+神经元研究的例子是Rich Ivry的色彩术语成像研究'的实验室,这是一篇非常出色的论文。

http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~regier/papers/lateral-whorf.pdf

格雷格希科克说过...

我普遍同意,但请看Daniel Everett's work. He is using 文化 arguments to make computational claims.