Re: Instincts and Bioprograms

Ania Lian (ania@LINGUA.CLTR.UQ.OZ.AU)
Wed, 21 Aug 1996 11:22:24 +1000

This is just a "working letter" and not aimed to produce answers . But let
me share my thoughts.

> Ron Kephart wrote:
> >A major piece of evidence for innateness is things which seem to be "known"
> >prior to experience.

or maybe things that seem to be unknown. I do not know why I say this,
but I thought I might.

> For example, children at about six months can
> perceive and
> >categorize features such as vowel height and voicing of stop consonants
> (refs
> >forthcoming if you want). This is before they can talk of
> course; indeed, at
> >six months they can't produce the acoustic equivalent of adult vowels.

Ok, nor can the dogs. The dogs do not ever seem to be able to produce the
sounds which we do, and yet, after a training they can easily understand
signals from us. But will a French dog respond to a, say, Polish command?
I doubt it. What would ths imply? The dogs have an inbuilt grammar for
understanding human sounds? Why not? Was this relationship always there
and just evolved with teh relationship itself?

Ok, these are no brilliances. Just thought that maybe someone else will
take them further.