miércoles, 30 de mayo de 2012

The language in TED

I think most people are familiar with TED, the magnificent website about popular science lectures.
The website allows browsing through different ways to access and one of them is the tag, including naturally language.
In this section we find several conferences about metaphorical uses, comedy, “apartheid” language, and learning languages. One of the most representative of these is the treatment of the origin of language, on both a phylogenetic and an ontogenetic scale; that is to say, the origin in human species and the origin in children. In relation to the first, we highlight two conferences. On the one hand, a conference by Mark Pagel
, who believes that the greatest contribution of human language was the birth of social technology; and on the other hand, Susan Savage-Rumbaugh, who talks about the bonobos (great apes that found in Congo) wich illustrate the birth not only of speech but also of writing. In addition to these two conferences, the physicist Murray Gell-Mann's commentary explains the African origin of language through mathematical analysis.
In the other group, the ontogenetic scale, we find the Patricia Kuhl conference. Surprisingly, this label does not appear in a conference on this very important topic by Deb Roy, The Bird of a Word, which shows the imperfection of the labeling system. In both, we see the surprising ability that children have to learn one language or several languages​​.
In general, we may make the following conclusions:
- The origin of human language from a biological transformation is not enough to explain its appearance. Language is culture.
- Language development in children is so important that one of the fundamental aspects of child protection would be language.

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