Re: Paleoling, animal communication, etc.

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Thu, 15 Feb 1996 11:12:48 -0500

I appreciate Ronald's thoughts on this matter and am happy to see some
resurrection of Hockett's ideas which were so important to me in
formulating my earlier papers in the'60's on the similarities between
tool-making and language. What I tried to do the "Culture: A Human
Domain " paper in the 169 CA article was to use those design features to
describe either process, my contention being that you could find even
duality of patterning in tool-making. I differ from Bickerton because I
think syntax comes much earlier than he. The question of
australopithecine tool-making is still up for grabs, as the earliest
stone tools are at roughly 2.5 million, and we haven't yet found a good Homo
(habilis, rudolphensis, or ergaster) from that time period. I first got
these ideas when I took Desmond's Clarks grad course on stone tool
making. In addition to leaving much blood in the lab, I discovered my own
evolutionary limitations were set somewhere in the Homo erectus range
(this will not come as a surprise to some on the list) because I could
not master the Levalloisian technique. Needless to say, I could only get
a "B" in the course...
Ralph Holloway