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NH King's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by NH King

@ ANTIcarrot

Using phrases to get what one wants is not language. Now, you are right that we can use language to get what we want, so I see where you're coming from. But using phrases to get a response is just a behavioral action, only slightly more complicated than shoving or making threat/mating displays. Language is far more complicated, even if it may stem from the same cognitive functions.

Language conveys meanings, not just commands. I can share stories with you, or, with the help of writing, I can make a post that describes what is in my head and put that into your head. Language helped our ancestors not because we could say, "hunt, big deer, that way," but because we could say, "After the rain stops, big deer will be moving along the temporary river that runs under those hills. We should stay here, even with no food at present, because we can hunt them."

Comparing language to a basic "phrases to get what we want" concept is like saying a 3D IMAX movie is no different that a light bulb, since they both use photons to show us things.

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 12:52:59 UTC | #858612