LINGUIST List 14.2675

Fri Oct 3 2003

Disc: Re: Genetic clicks

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <>


  1. philip.carr, Re: 14.2654, Disc: Re: Genetic clicks

Message 1: Re: 14.2654, Disc: Re: Genetic clicks

Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 20:26:56 +0200
From: philip.carr <>
Subject: Re: 14.2654, Disc: Re: Genetic clicks

Dan's point about the role of cultural conventions is important. What
we have yet to sort out properly in phonology, as well as in other
branches of linguistics, is the complex interaction between capacities
given by nature and the conventions adopted by different cultures. I
can't see that the Chomskyan 'language is nature' position is any more
sustainable than the Roy Harris 'language belongs to culture, not
nature' position.

I think that the study of phonology has a major role to play in
adressing the nature vs culture issue, and that it can usefully add to
work by people such as Tomasello in syntax and Levinson in semantics.

Does Dan know anything about the acquisition of those rare sounds in
those Southern American languages? I think acquisition is important
for these issues.


Philip Carr
D�partement d'anglais
Universit� Paul Val�ry (UPV)
Route de Mende
34199 Montpellier

Equipe de Recherche en Syntaxe
et S�mantique (ERSS)
UMR 5610, CNRS,
Maison de la Recherche,
Universit� Toulouse-le-Mirail
31058 Toulouse
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