Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Where the language comes from

  1. May 14, 2004 #1
    Can you tell me about it ?
    Where does it come from ? Why do we understand each other though we speak different languages ?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2004 #2
    vance think now you are all free right ?
    So vance make this question, please help...

    Thanks
     
  4. May 15, 2004 #3
    Where does it come from ?
    Where does it come from ?
    Where does it come from ?
    Where does it come from ?
     
  5. May 15, 2004 #4

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Well notably Chomsky said that we have a grammar engine somewhere in our brains that at a sufficiently abstract level enables each of us to reconstruct internally in childhood the language spoken about us. Recently Chomsky has conjectured that instead of the complex generative grammar facilities which have long been associiated with his theory, only recursion is hardwired in the human brain. He feels that is sufficient for each individual to reconstruct his home language in order to understand and speak it.
     
  6. May 16, 2004 #5

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, from recently being in the presence of many babies in the newborn to 2 year old range (we have had a real baby-boom lately!), I've been fascinated by their language development. One thing I've really noticed is that some things are common among all of them, even if their parents speak different languages at home. One of those is the nonverbal language...pointing to things, associating different actions with one another (for example, my friend's daughter gets her hat when she wants to go outside because she has associated going outside with her mom putting a hat on her). The other thing I've noticed is that long before the baby babble becomes coherent words (at least to those of us not fluent in baby babble), the tones and inflections of speech develop. It is the most bizarre thing to listen to a kid babbling and it sounds like they really just said a sentence, just in a foreign language or something, and yet it was all just babble. Intonation conveys a lot of meaning (something seriously lost on the internet in written word). I've noticed this when around people speaking languages I'm not as fluent in. Even if I don't understand the words, I know when they are telling a joke, or asking a question, just by the way they speak, not by the words used. I have cousins who are twins and my mom and aunts all tell me that they had their own language when younger. The two of them would talk to each other in babble nobody else understood, but it seemed they understood each other quite well. I think language development is incredibly fascinating, but I don't know much about it other than what I've witnessed in babies.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Where the language comes from
  1. Where Theories come from (Replies: 15)

Loading...