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Common to Language

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi All, Even without being taught, children automatically seek out rules that are common to every language in order to communicate, Senghas said. This
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 17, 2004
      Hi All,
      "Even without being taught, children automatically seek out rules that are common to every language in order to communicate, Senghas said. This learning process is thus powerful enough to create a whole new language from raw materials such as gestures."
      Buried in the arcane studies associated with new Gnostic discoveries are the reasons and full explanation for why this happens. My linguistics training is old but still basically sound, in that the science of linguistics is based upon the four elements of phonetics, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics.  The entire science of linguistics is based upon these elements in one form or another. 
      Ancient Gnostics knew Plato, Pythagoris, Theophrastus, Philo, and Aristotle, who was credited with a device known as the "square of opposition."  The square is a paradigm for logic, but others have used the same square almost the same way and discovered quadrangular graphing which is exhibited in Jung's work on types. Whether for logic, or quadragraphing let us call the 'square of opposition' the 'primary square.'
      Mentally the primary square would do for evaluating logic.  Physically the primary square is the quadrangle formed on the human torso, between the joints of the shoulders, and the hips. The arms and lower body work within the primary square the same or similar manner as the way of logic in the "logic square" This is in terms of what movement will work and what will not.  The other application of this quadrangle is to create a framework or field where movement can be matched, sequenced, and analogies can be drawn from the actions.

      The Square of Opposition

      When two categorical propositions are of different forms but share exactly the same subject and predicate terms, their truth is logically interdependent in a variety of interesting ways, all of which are conveniently represented in the traditional "square of opposition."

          "All S are P."  (A)- - - - - - -(E)  "No S are P."
                           | *           * |
                               *       *
                           |     *   *     |
                           |     *   *     |
                               *       *
                           | *           * |
         "Some S are P."  (I)---  ---  ---(O)  "Some S are not P."

      Propositions that appear diagonally across from each other in this diagram (A and O on the one hand and E and I on the other) are contradictories. No matter what their subject and predicate terms happen to be (so long as they are the same in both) and no matter how the classes they designate happen to be related to each other in fact, one of the propositions in each contradictory pair must be true and the other false. Thus, for example, "No squirrels are predators" and "Some squirrels are predators" are contradictories because either the classes designated by the terms "squirrel" and "predator" have at least one common member (in which case the I proposition is true and the E proposition is false) or they do not (in which case the E is true and the I is false). In exactly the same sense, the A and O propositions, "All senators are politicians" and "Some senators are not politicians" are also contradictories.

      The universal propositions that appear across from each other at the top of the square (A and E) are contraries. Assuming that there is at least one member of the class designated by their shared subject term, it is impossible for both of these propositions to be true, although both could be false. Thus, for example, "All flowers are colorful objects" and "No flowers are colorful objects" are contraries: if there are any flowers, then either all of them are colorful (making the A true and the E false) or none of them are (making the E true and the A false) or some of them are colorful and some are not (making both the A and the E false).

      Particular propositions across from each other at the bottom of the square (I and O), on the other hand, are the subcontraries. Again assuming that the class designated by their subject term has at least one member, it is impossible for both of these propositions to be false, but possible for both to be true. "Some logicians are professors" and "Some logicians are not professors" are subcontraries, for example, since if there any logicians, then either at least one of them is a professor (making the I proposition true) or at least one is not a professor (making the O true) or some are and some are not professors (making both the I and the O true).

      Finally, the universal and particular propositions on either side of the square of opposition (A and I on the one left and E and O on the right) exhibit a relationship known as subalternation. Provided that there is at least one member of the class designated by the subject term they have in common, it is impossible for the universal proposition of either quality to be true while the particular proposition of the same quality is false. Thus, for example, if it is universally true that "All sheep are ruminants", then it must also hold for each particular case, so that "Some sheep are ruminants" is true, and if "Some sheep are ruminants" is false, then "All sheep are ruminants" must also be false, always on the assumption that there is at least one sheep. The same relationships hold for corresponding E and O propositions.

      At each point of the physical square or quadrangle you have motion of arms and legs that gravitate toward the center of the square.  This would be a point around the diaphragm, outstretched to the point where the hands can be held in front.  The human form is not two dimensional, but the point in the center of the square can be seen as the same point.  The point where the 'X' crosses inside the box.

      You will note that I am using the primary square in two different ways, one mental and one physical. Certainly they are not mutually exclusive.

      The physical primary square, serves in development as a primary framework for physical balance. 

      Think of the primary square of balance, as the fundamental structure of the body's balance system, and think of it as you would the nervous system, circulatory system, meridian system, a system.....  One where  balance signals go through the neural pathways as a separate neural function.  And, every pathway has a juncture at any bone joint in the skeletal system. Only certain actions can take place naturally at these junctures. 

      Toddlers just learning to walk, do not carry the primary square very well.  They get older and the primary square walks, runs, and flies. This may be partly due to physical development out of the early form, to a more developed form.  Physically at this point the physical primary square is very functional.  The human brain has sorted out this balance in the same way as language development. The balance and harmony of both movement and language can be seen to exist in the same kind of 'natural' balance grid.

      Virtually arms, and legs send the same kind of 'balance signals' in physical balance, and logical or linguistic balance.  You can try and visualize a quadrangle with four corners of syntax, phonetics, semantics, and the pragmatic of the movement or sound, emanating out of the primary square, the elements meeting at the point where balance is attained.

      I know other uses for this grid that I won't get into in this group.  The primary square of balance can be utilized with the balance system for a number of things. You cannot effect any part of the balance system without an effect, usually the same effect, on the primary square. If I pull your wrist a certain way or move in a certain gesture, the action- reaction is the same.  Patterns follow repetition, and differences are noted at least on the subconscious level. This would be consistent with Skinnerian theory.

      Certain actions and reactions become expected, but not just your own, from others, because you move the same way, and maintain balance, the same.  The human balance system is generally the same for everyone. It is like a mirror reflection if you are considering somebody else's.  

      Sociolinguitic studies of language code switching reveal the 'now' code or the code we use in our 'in crowd to be one where the group understands the particular word used because it is common to that group. Slang words, as such.  This is common with children. Children are 'now' coded, until later in their development.

      Because this understanding of the primary square comes from arcane knowledge, it has yet to be applied or studied to be applied in language.  This is in spite of non verbal communication studies, which I don't think know about making balance a viable physical system you can put on both a physical and mental grid.

      Tom Saunders








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