What came first...

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

What came first...

Postby Ichthus » Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:01 am

What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

I’m studying cognitive processes so they say we’re hard wired to do language ... written/read included ... as evidenced by double dissociation revealed in damaged brain studies.

Got me thankin ;) (I am, therefore I think?)

Apologies if other threads go unanswered.
An irony I just recently realized is they woo you away by whetting and feeding your Why? appetite, and then they insult you when you expect an answer that actually satisfies it. The basta’ds.
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Re: What came first...

Postby felix dakat » Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:31 am

Ichthus wrote:What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

I’m studying cognitive processes so they say we’re hard wired to do language ... written/read included ... as evidenced by double dissociation revealed in damaged brain studies.

Got me thankin ;) (I am, therefore I think?)

Apologies if other threads go unanswered.


The first level of language are exclamation of pleasure or cries of pain, like "yay"or "ouch". They are close to pure spontaneous verbal expressions of feeling which are pre-linguistic. Those come first. But, they're not really words. And, even those can be understood by someone who's experienced similar feelings through the capacity of empathy which means "feeling along with". I would say that capacity precedes the formation of actual words. You can see it, for example in cats, like a mother cat who responds to the hunger cries of its kittens.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: What came first...

Postby Meno_ » Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:38 am

Ichthus wrote:What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

I’m studying cognitive processes so they say we’re hard wired to do language ... written/read included ... as evidenced by double dissociation revealed in damaged brain studies.

Got me thankin ;) (I am, therefore I think?)

Apologies if other threads go unanswered.




I think the argument is reductive, seeking a generalized certainty, which cannot work deductively because it is full of the opposing specific gaps, which hinder such certainty.

However, the arrival to a probable premisses,: such as is consistent with cognative functions based on various possible mistakenly held( judged) sub-premises, is possible.

The most likely scenario is quasi-absurd conclusions, such as those which place an either/ or logic, the type that Shakespeare experiments within and without it.

To be, or not to be is a pivotal paradigmn example, where both states of consciously manifested being can be weighed against existential parameters fail the test of identifiable correlation.

'I am' is such an existential condition which seeks reduction to the conscious regressive process of the underlying conditions, (of awareness of sensing It's self.)

The 'It' is not conditional to the other, as Heidegger tries to point out, but a cyclical reintegration of slightly different but unobservable minimal changes can create the simulated effect reversely.


So the only. conclusion which can both make sense and satisfy the criteria is, that both are logically and sensually connected by differently leveled links.
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Re: What came first...

Postby obsrvr524 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:26 am

Ichthus wrote:What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

How could a word exist at all if there is no means to produce or comprehend it? What would it be?
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Re: What came first...

Postby encode_decode » Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:04 am

obsrvr524 >> believe it or not it is possible to start answering a question before you have all of the information you need(but like I said: start answering). This is based on the idea that we get better at doing any given thing by applying what we already know - this is also applicable to things we have not learned yet.

obsrvr524 wrote:How could a word exist at all if there is no means to produce or comprehend it? What would it be?

Whether the answer is fitting of the question is a sign of the relationship between the question and the context. With limited context, it is useful to dig for clues in what else has been written in this case instead of focusing on the question itself.

Ichthus wrote:What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

. . . the question . . .

Ichthus wrote:I’m studying cognitive processes so they say we’re hard wired to do language ... written/read included ... as evidenced by double dissociation revealed in damaged brain studies.

. . . and what else has been written . . .

With this being said there are a couple of things to note: given that I have witnessed you post different information on this forum and what that information contains tells me that you know how to read and write, I would also have to assume based on that observation that you also know how to think. This takes me back to this: believe it or not it is possible to start answering a question before you have all of the information you need.

I will be honest and say that upon my initial inspection of the OP I became fixated on the question because of a deeper philosophical motivation(I hope that makes sense) and started wondering about it for a little while. Many things popped into my head such as:

  • Is this thought fitting? in other words, does the question fit my thoughts?
  • Should I keep thinking about this given that my thoughts about it may be artificial?
. . . this is to only name but two thoughts . . . at some point, after the many things that popped into my head I had reached the conclusion that I needed more information, so I proceeded to perform a couple of searches in google to see what would happen. To the best of my knowledge, I think what the OP is referring to is this: Wernicke's area and Broca's area(these are two areas in the brain ) and the following definition: Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. I got this information by inputting the OP's question "What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?"

I then proceeded to do another search based on the following term: double dissociation(as mentioned in the OP) - this yielded a nice little explanation at the top of google as follows: Double Dissociation is when two related mental processes are shown to function independently of each other. A classic example of Double Dissociation is speech and language comprehension. Although both processes pertain to the use of language, the brain structures that control them work independently.

. . . then I read something about a person suffering from a condition(perhaps aphasia) whereby they could speak fluently but could not understand what was being said to them and if I recall correctly they also could not understand what they read . . . so essentially, I too am not sure at this point what is going on because I ran out of time to build more context for myself . . . but it seems like an interesting topic, so I will keep checking back here.
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I only meant that the cat knows - or discovers - that we can toss it out a window at any time = "authority". Dogs accept that notion more quickly - not as willing to test it. O:) - obsrvr524
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Re: What came first...

Postby obsrvr524 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:11 pm

encode_decode wrote:obsrvr524 >> believe it or not it is possible to start answering a question before you have all of the information you need(but like I said: start answering). This is based on the idea that we get better at doing any given thing by applying what we already know - this is also applicable to things we have not learned yet.

obsrvr524 wrote:How could a word exist at all if there is no means to produce or comprehend it? What would it be?

Whether the answer is fitting of the question is a sign of the relationship between the question and the context. With limited context, it is useful to dig for clues in what else has been written in this case instead of focusing on the question itself.

Ichthus wrote:What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

. . . the question . . .

Ichthus wrote:I’m studying cognitive processes so they say we’re hard wired to do language ... written/read included ... as evidenced by double dissociation revealed in damaged brain studies.

. . . and what else has been written . . .

With this being said there are a couple of things to note: given that I have witnessed you post different information on this forum and what that information contains tells me that you know how to read and write, I would also have to assume based on that observation that you also know how to think. This takes me back to this: believe it or not it is possible to start answering a question before you have all of the information you need.

I will be honest and say that upon my initial inspection of the OP I became fixated on the question because of a deeper philosophical motivation(I hope that makes sense) and started wondering about it for a little while. Many things popped into my head such as:

  • Is this thought fitting? in other words, does the question fit my thoughts?
  • Should I keep thinking about this given that my thoughts about it may be artificial?
. . . this is to only name but two thoughts . . . at some point, after the many things that popped into my head I had reached the conclusion that I needed more information, so I proceeded to perform a couple of searches in google to see what would happen. To the best of my knowledge, I think what the OP is referring to is this: Wernicke's area and Broca's area(these are two areas in the brain ) and the following definition: Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. I got this information by inputting the OP's question "What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?"

I then proceeded to do another search based on the following term: double dissociation(as mentioned in the OP) - this yielded a nice little explanation at the top of google as follows: Double Dissociation is when two related mental processes are shown to function independently of each other. A classic example of Double Dissociation is speech and language comprehension. Although both processes pertain to the use of language, the brain structures that control them work independently.

. . . then I read something about a person suffering from a condition(perhaps aphasia) whereby they could speak fluently but could not understand what was being said to them and if I recall correctly they also could not understand what they read

Brilliant. I love it when people actual do a little research before blathering on with naive opinion. If people would do that with politics, the entire world would be a different place. :D


encode_decode wrote: . . . so essentially, I too am not sure at this point what is going on because I ran out of time to build more context for myself . . . but it seems like an interesting topic, so I will keep checking back here.

:lol:
That reminded me of my response to Felix Dakat's thread OP about "Disjunctive Communication" (oddly posted in the religion section). My response was - "I don't get it". I don't think that he has yet figured out the significance of that response although it looks like Iambiguous might lead him there.

I agree that the topic of how the brain deals with language is interesting (although not terribly useful to a layman - it either works or doesn't). Like many things I find on this board I had never heard of "double dissociation" (still wondering what makes it "double"). I appreciate your diligence. I think I had heard that different areas of the brain deal with different functional processes - makes sense.

So my question is (like Felix Dakat) - Did the OP ask the right question?

Is there an on going dissociation with the deeper investigation of topics of interest and the more philosophical (thus language) issue of how to address such investigations? - Are the right questions being asked that would lead to the intended result? - largely associated with the Disjunctive Communication discussion.

In both cases it appears that the OP is an example of the issue it raises.

The question asked here is - "which came first?" - a philosophical question that immediately leads to the inquiry of what it is that might have come first - a "word" or an ability to use it. Sp - what exactly is a word?

A word is object that people produce in order to relay an understanding. If it is proposed that no one can produce or understand the proposed object - then that object could not be a "word". It is just an issue of definition.

But perhaps I am being too pedantic. Perhaps the OP's intent was, as you suggest, to discuss the issue of double dissociation concerning language and merely proposed the discussion in an misleading manner. I figured by perhaps pointing out the obvious, the OP could redress his intent (again similar to Felix Dakat's thread).

The topic here is dissociation in language use. Doesn't that apply to the dissociation between an intended OP discussion topic and what was actually posted?

What was posted was a philosophical question concerning what came first. Was the real intent (perhaps "double dissociated") an inquiry concerning how the brain processes language (a seemingly more appropriate discussion - although one which I am not qualified to enter)? To me once the brain is damaged, all bets are off (not that it couldn't be repaired - but until then ---).
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Re: What came first...

Postby Ichthus » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:48 am


Ichthus wrote:What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

. . . the question . . .



Ah, close, friend. You’re so close.
An irony I just recently realized is they woo you away by whetting and feeding your Why? appetite, and then they insult you when you expect an answer that actually satisfies it. The basta’ds.
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Re: What came first...

Postby Kathrina » Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:29 pm

Ichthus wrote:What came first, the word or the ability to produce and/or comprehend it?

We can observe that small children understand certain words - more exactly: the meaning of certain words (in certain situations) - already when they are not capable of producing words themselves yet.

The prehistoric people probably already had certain meanings for words when they could not speak them yet. At that time these meanings were represented by other signs, e.g. by gestural or/and mimic signs, both more and more combined with phonetic signs (but these phonetic signs could not yet be combined into words at that time).

When they later realized that due to a physiological change (lowering of the larynx) they could produce many more phonetic signs than before, the meanings shifted from a system based on the combination of gestural, mimic and phonetic signs to a more complex system based on more phonetic signs that could be combined to words.

Evolutionarily said, the probability of words appearing and the probability of beings with the ability to use words appearing are about equally small. But if one of the two possibilities is there, then the other possibility is also there. Why should e.g. a being that can use words not be able to find corresponding words? Or the other way round: Why should e.g. words, if they have already appeared, not find beings which use words? Do you notice that the answer of your question presupposes the existence of beings which know what words are and at the same time presupposes just existence of words?

By the way: Words alone are not yet the only meaningful thing of a language. The meaningfulness of a language results from the combination of words to sentences and texts, i.e. to the syntax, to the grammar, to the linguistic language.

And again, exactly what I just wrote can be observed in small children too: The words they use are soon meant as sentences - one-word sentences -, and these one-word sentences are followed by two-word sentences, then three-word sentences up to multi-word sentences, with which syntax is then largely mastered.

So, (a) in one way the words are there earlier than the sentences (that is the way they interpret by the culture already educated elders), but (b) in the other way the sentences are there earlier than the words. With words, one usually does not want to say something word-like, but more: to express a meaning that goes beyond words, i.e.: sentences or texts.

As long as all this does not work linguistically, it already works semiotically. And this is also confirmed by the observations.
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Re: What came first...

Postby Kathrina » Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:43 pm

What throw-stuff is for language development, play-stuff is for language acquisition.
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Re: What came first...

Postby Meno_ » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:17 pm

Kathrina says:

"When they later realized that due to a physiological change (lowering of the larynx) they could produce many more phonetic signs than before, the meanings shifted from a system based on the combination of gestural, mimic and phonetic signs to a more complex system based on more phonetic signs that could be combined to words."



>>>>>>>>>>I agree, the question of what evolves from what first is a tie in here.

Is it the firm or the content which works determinately, from a supposed/conjured inception or reversely? If it reversely works as dies similarly hypothesized matter/antimatter, then the very problem of indeterminancy is raised ex post, facto, a relative infinitely recurrent sets of matrix levels become enlightened, and such differenciations make the argument irresolute. Both ways can equally justify each other, and more coherent albeit more generalized sets if criteria (categories) rise to the surface(syntax)
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