[percy-l] here we go again

James Piat piat1 at bellsouth.net
Mon Feb 17 12:38:59 EST 2003

Thanks Karey,

Hmmm, syntax and melody  --- sequence and meaning.  I've never thought much about that although my violin teacher is doing his damnednest to get me to understand music as something more than just mere emoting  -- mostly frustration in my case.  

  I've long held the suspicion that syntax was mostly an efficient scaffold for encoding our more or less universally shared conceptions of time and space as the lattice in which events occured  -- so this universal spatial-temporal scaffold of what we say is mostly encoded syntactically and the rest (the events themselves) semantically.  We could do it all semantically but given the universality of our spatial-temporal conceptions encoding the subject-predicate template gramatically seems the most efficient way to go.  Of course I know next to nothing about what the scholars say.  

The notion that an ability to easily learn, store, retrive and (prehaps most importantly) express sequential information is I suppose critical to communication.  But I also wonder to what extent representation can occur independent of communication.  I think the two are more closely connected that generally supposed.  Perhaps inextricably so. 

Best wishes,
Jim Piat 
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