Navigation Links
New paper amplifies hypothesis on human language's deep origins
Date:6/11/2014

e linked to our ancestral past. Consider a linguistic phenomenon known as "discontiguous word formation," which involve sequences formed using the prefix "anti," such as "antimissile missile," or "anti-antimissile missile missile," and so on. Some linguists have argued that this kind of construction reveals the infinite nature of human language, since the term "antimissile" can continually be embedded in the middle of the phrase.

However, as the researchers state in the new paper, "This is not the correct analysis." The word "antimissile" is actually a modifier, meaning that as the phrase grows larger, "each successive expansion forms via strict adjacency." That means the construction consists of discrete units of language. In this case and others, Miyagawa says, humans use "finite-state" components to build out their communications.

The complexity of such language formations, Berwick observes, "doesn't occur in birdsong, and doesn't occur anywhere else, as far as we can tell, in the rest of the animal kingdom." Indeed, he adds, "As we find more evidence that other animals don't seem to posses this kind of system, it bolsters our case for saying these two elements were brought together in humans."

An inherent capacity

To be sure, the researchers acknowledge, their hypothesis is a work in progress. After all, Charles Darwin and others have explored the connection between birdsong and human language. Now, Miyagawa says, the researchers think that "the relationship is between birdsong and the expression system," with the lexical component of language having come from primates. Indeed, as the paper notes, the most recent common ancestor between birds and humans appears to have existed about 300 million years ago, so there would almost have to be an indirect connection via older primates even possibly the silvery gibbon.

As Berwick notes, researchers are still exploring how these two modes could have merged i
'/>"/>

Contact: Abby Abazorius
abbya@mit.edu
617-253-2709
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. New paper examines poison resistance in snakes around the world
2. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
3. SEBM Best Paper Awards for articles published in 2011
4. Some factors that impact islet transplantation explored in Cell Transplantation papers
5. Some factors that impact islet transplantation explored in Cell Transplantation papers
6. A new type of data papers designed to publish online interactive keys identifying biodiversity
7. Zoologists are no longer restricted to publish new species on paper
8. TECNALIA leads research to develop new biocomposites based on wheat straw and recycled paper
9. Plan to turn farm waste into paper earns students $15,000
10. GW Research chosen as paper of the week for blood coagulation discovery
11. Nicole George wins 2012 Journal of Experimental Biology Outstanding Paper Prize
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/24/2014)... YORK , Dec. 23, 2014  Since its launch ... helped thousands of people to eliminate the pain of ... the antiquated system with their own biometrics fused to ... remember usernames and passwords, Hoyos Labs , the ... announced today that it is offering the app for ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... Conn. , Dec. 22, 2014  NXT-ID, Inc. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on the ... pickpocket, entertainer and security consultant, Apollo Robbins ... biometric smart wallet.  Apollo Robbins ... and 7 th , 2015, demonstrating some of his ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... DUBLIN , Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... ) has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... This insight provides an overview of the ... Watermarking aims to control and monitor piracy ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):1U Offers Best Solution to the Username / Password Dilemma: For FREE! 21U Offers Best Solution to the Username / Password Dilemma: For FREE! 3NXT-ID Hires Master Pickpocket and Security Consultant Apollo Robbins for Wocket Smart Wallet CES 2015 Debut 2NXT-ID Hires Master Pickpocket and Security Consultant Apollo Robbins for Wocket Smart Wallet CES 2015 Debut 3NXT-ID Hires Master Pickpocket and Security Consultant Apollo Robbins for Wocket Smart Wallet CES 2015 Debut 4The Global Watermarking and Fingerprinting Markets 2
... Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, UK Met Office and ... are working together on an early-warning system to help ... a study published today in Weather . The ... anticipate when disease carrying midges are likely to be ...
... PHILADELPHIA People with the heritable disorder of the ... develop basal cell carcinoma of the skin may have ... According to results of a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, Phase ... inhibiting the development of basal cell carcinomas in a ...
... at University College London say they have gleaned a key ... No. 1 cause of vision loss in the elderly, by ... onset of the condition. In a paper to be ... Biological Chemistry , the team reports for the first time ...
Cached Biology News:Scientists create early-warning system to defend rare Jersey cows from continental disease 2Celebrex inhibited the burden of skin cancer in high-risk patients 2New research findings may help stop age-related macular degeneration at the molecular level 2
(Date:12/24/2014)... Texas , Dec. 23, 2014 ... company focused on gynecologic disease, announced today that ... Schuler , Birchview Fund LLC and several Vermillion ... of unregistered shares of Vermillion,s common stock and ... stock in a private placement.  ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... Fla. , Dec. 23, 2014  Rock Creek ... that it has filed a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) ... Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seeking regulatory approval to ... lead molecule, Anatabine Citrate. Contingent on the ... conduct a Phase I trial to assess the safety, ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... 22, 2014   Synthetic Biologics, Inc. ... pathogen-specific therapies for serious infections and diseases, ... today announced positive topline safety and tolerability ... of SYN-004, the Company,s investigational oral beta-lactamase ... difficile (C. difficile) infection, antibiotic-associated diarrhea ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... , Dec. 22, 2014 GenomeDx Biosciences today ... Prostate Cancer Classifier, a genomic test for prostate cancer, ... high-risk men managed by radical prostatectomy without adjuvant therapy. ... is relatively uncommon, using tumor genomics to identify these ... disease is an important advance. The study has been ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 2Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 3Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 4Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 5Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Files Clinical Trial Application in the UK for Clinical Trials of Anatabine Citrate Formulations 2Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Files Clinical Trial Application in the UK for Clinical Trials of Anatabine Citrate Formulations 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 2Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 4Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 5Study Published in European Urology Shows that the Decipher Prostate Cancer Classifier is Predictive of Rapid Metastasis in High-Risk Men who have had Prostate Surgery 2Study Published in European Urology Shows that the Decipher Prostate Cancer Classifier is Predictive of Rapid Metastasis in High-Risk Men who have had Prostate Surgery 3
... boxes tend to get sulky and intractable when they encounter ... in the data stream. They're a little like us that ... our own intractability, assuming we recognize it and choose to ... people who begin to look like their pets. Do we ...
... and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced yesterday that ... will be formed to make recommendations for a nationwide ... , ,This news makes the Digital Healthcare Conference ... 9 at the Fluno Center in Madison, even more ...
... experiences were passed down to new businesses at the ... 8 in Milwaukee at the Hyatt Regency. , ,New ... providers converged at the conference to learn techniques and ... for their ability to meet challenges and come away ...
Cached Biology Technology:Machine like me 2Machine like me 3Preview: Electronic health records, tech choices explored at Digital Healthcare Conference 2Preview: Electronic health records, tech choices explored at Digital Healthcare Conference 3Conference focuses on experience, challenges of being an entrepreneur 2Conference focuses on experience, challenges of being an entrepreneur 3Conference focuses on experience, challenges of being an entrepreneur 4
... CyScribe GFX Purification Kit, 50 ... labeled cDNA probesProvides efficient removal of ... labeling reactions with superior yields of ... the purification of cDNA labeled by ...
Detects activated caspases in living cells. Simple/sensitive/straight-forward procedure takes only 30 minutes. Results can be analyzed by flow cytometry/fluorescence microscopy/fluorescence plate rea...
Apoptosis Detection Systems and Reagents...
Bovine Serum Available Anticoagulants: N-02: Citrate N-04: Heparin (Na) N-06: K2EDTA N-08: Potassium Oxalate N-10: EDTA (Na) N-03: Alsevers N-05: ACD N-07: CPD N-09: K3EDTA N-11:...
Biology Products: