The idea that the phrase is the essence of human language is a conceptual hypothesis that was strongly supported in the 20th century by the fathers of standard cognitive science. According to Chomsky (e.g. 1980, 1986), the devices at the foundation of the language faculty are those that elaborate the constituent structure of sentences, and according to Fodor (1975, 2008), the predicative structure of the sentence reflects the propositional structure of Language of Thought. Underpinning the primacy of the phrase in these authors’ work is a way to propose a specific conception of language and cognition. In fact, the idea that language competence is a device that analyses the shape (syntax) of symbols regardless of their content and the relationship between the uttered expression and its context is part of a broader conception of how to analyse the study of the mind in classical cognitive science. Against this standard view, we maintain in this paper that the nature of language (i.e. its functioning and origin) needs to be analysed in reference to the human pragmatic capacity to build coherent discourses rather than to the ability to construct syntactical well-formed sentences, as Chomsky and Fodor suggested. Specifically, our main aim is to demonstrate that the flux of discourse is governed by global coherence and that the cognitive systems implicated in processing flux of discourse are the same systems that enable individuals to navigate space and time.

Ferretti, F., Adornetti, I. (2017). Mindreading, mindtravelling, and the proto-discursive origins of language. In S.G. Zlatev J. (a cura di), Meaning, Mind and Communication: Explorations in Cognitive Semiotics (pp. 175-188). Frankfurt am Main : Peter Lang [10.3726/978-3-653-04948-0].

Mindreading, mindtravelling, and the proto-discursive origins of language

FERRETTI, FRANCESCO
;
ADORNETTI, INES
2017

Abstract

The idea that the phrase is the essence of human language is a conceptual hypothesis that was strongly supported in the 20th century by the fathers of standard cognitive science. According to Chomsky (e.g. 1980, 1986), the devices at the foundation of the language faculty are those that elaborate the constituent structure of sentences, and according to Fodor (1975, 2008), the predicative structure of the sentence reflects the propositional structure of Language of Thought. Underpinning the primacy of the phrase in these authors’ work is a way to propose a specific conception of language and cognition. In fact, the idea that language competence is a device that analyses the shape (syntax) of symbols regardless of their content and the relationship between the uttered expression and its context is part of a broader conception of how to analyse the study of the mind in classical cognitive science. Against this standard view, we maintain in this paper that the nature of language (i.e. its functioning and origin) needs to be analysed in reference to the human pragmatic capacity to build coherent discourses rather than to the ability to construct syntactical well-formed sentences, as Chomsky and Fodor suggested. Specifically, our main aim is to demonstrate that the flux of discourse is governed by global coherence and that the cognitive systems implicated in processing flux of discourse are the same systems that enable individuals to navigate space and time.
9783631657041
Ferretti, F., Adornetti, I. (2017). Mindreading, mindtravelling, and the proto-discursive origins of language. In S.G. Zlatev J. (a cura di), Meaning, Mind and Communication: Explorations in Cognitive Semiotics (pp. 175-188). Frankfurt am Main : Peter Lang [10.3726/978-3-653-04948-0].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/299984
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