[b-hebrew] BO and BO)

JAMES CHRISTIAN READ JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk
Tue Aug 21 04:14:52 EDT 2007


Hi Karl,

thanks for taking the time to read the article. The 
reason I present the article as an example of what 
languages may have been like is the following. This 
culture is the only one I know of which has remained 
completely hunter-gatherer in type. While there are 
other hunter-gatherer tribes in the Amazon they have 
not demonstrated the same resistance to farming 
training as the Piraha who just simply refuse to learn
anything which does not help their *immediate* future.
They are the only tribe I know of that have retained 
the format of the most ancient of tribes and whose 
language, as a result, could attest to the range of 
expression typical of those times.

There have been many linguistic stories such as the 
the Eskimos having many words for snow which we don't 
have which when closer examined turn out to be 
falacies as we too have as great a range of expression 
(snow, powder, hail, slush). Close linguistic study of 
any language or culture reveals that it contains the 
same basic core set of universal concepts as Brown's 
'Universal People' reveals. In fact, Cavalli-Sforza's 
research shows that there is more difference between 
two randomly picked persons of the same culture than 
between the average of two 'different' cultures.

The Piraha themselves, even though they have minor 
cultural differences which make them unique still 
embrace this core set of universal concepts and any 
claims that they don't, on closer analysis, turn out to 
be utter rubbish. e.g. the claim that they have no 
expression of colour is immediately contradicted in the 
article by the observation that they use objects whose 
colour is well known to describe colour. Hang on a 
minute! Don't we do that in English (gold, silver, 
copper, bronze, emerald, ruby etc.)?

Isaac's theory interests me, however, all my 
linguisitic research up till now shows me that in every 
language their is a phonetic training phase of language 
acquisition, the 'goo-goo, ga-ga' phase, where no 
meaning whatsoever is associated to the gibberish 
input given to the child. For me, for Isaac's theory to 
have any linguistic basis, he would have to find at 
least one living language which supports his model. 
However, I fear that not even the Piraha could help his 
cause here and my suspicions are that not even one of 
the now more than 6M known languages exhibits the 
behaviour he is proposing.


James Christian Read
BSc Computer Science (thesis: concept driven machine translation using the Aleppo codex)
http://www.lamie.org/hebrew 


































































































g language which supports his model. 
However, I fear that not even the Piraha could help his 
cause here and my suspicions are that not even one of 
the now more than 6M known languages exhibits the 
behaviour he is proposing.


James Christian Read
BSc Computer Science (thesis: concept driven machine translation using the Aleppo codex)
http://www.lamie.org/hebrew 




























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