Resources for Communication Problems

Thursday, March 13, 2008




(3) Miscellaneous Evidence 多樣的証明

There are some further tantalizing indications for a direct and profound dependence of language capacity on genetic constitution. Unfortunately, the evidence is still too scanty to base any elaborate theory upon it. Let us merely refer to these matters for the sake of completion and in the hope that further research will clarify these points. First, there is a report from Moorhead, Mellman, and Wenar (1961) on a chromosome study in a family in which a mother and four of her five children had low intelligence and disproportionately poor speech. The father and a fifth child have normal behavior. The behaviorally aberrant individuals also had a chromosome abnormality which was absent from the karyotype of the normal members of the family. The interpretation of these findings will have to wait further discoveries of speech defects associated with the same chromosomal defect.

有一些進一步逗惹的徵兆為語言容量直接和深刻依賴性對基因組成。不幸地, 證據仍然太不足以至於不能根據任一種精心製作的理論它。僅僅讓我們提到這些事態為完成和希望進一步研究將澄清這些事。首先, 有一個報告從Moorhead Mellman, Wenar (1961) 在染色體研究在母親和四她的五個孩子有低智力和不成比例地(相對於他們的年紀)粗劣的講話的家庭。父親和第五個孩子有正常行為。關於行為異常個體並且有是缺少的從家庭的正常成員染色體組型的染色體反常性。這些研究結果的解釋將必須等待在講話瑕疵的進一步發現上與相關同樣染色體瑕疵。

Second, there is an inherited error of metabolism producing a disease called histidinemia which particularly affects the development of speech. The few cases that have been described in the medical literature (Auerbach et al., 1962; La Du et al ., 1963) do not yet allow any safe inferences about the significance of this association between behavior and metabolic discovers. If the association should eventually be shown to be statistically interesting, it will lay the foundation for some further and perhaps very revealing research into the development history of the capacity for language. For the time being it may be wiser to reserve judgment.

其次, 有新陳代謝一個被繼承的錯誤導致疾病叫做特別影響講話的發展的組胺酸血症。被描述了在醫學文獻的少數個案件(Auerbach 1962 ; La Du , 1963) 不允許任何安全推斷關於這個協會的意義在行為之間並且新陳代謝發現。如果協會最終被顯示統計地感興趣, 它將打基礎為一些進一步和或許非常顯露的研究入容量的發展歷史為語言。暫時它也許是更加明智預留評斷。

(4) The Darlington-Brosnahan Hypothesis

Darlington(1947) proposed that the sound complement of a natural language is an expression of its speakers’ vocal preference which, in turn, is control by genes. He suggested that there might be slight structural differences in the vocal tract of a living language is ultimately due to the speakers’ desire to minimize their vocal efforts. Brosnahan (1961) enlarged on the original suggestion and collected a great deal of material which, he believed, supported Darlington’s hypothesis. Perhaps the most impressive support is derived from the geographic distribution of certain sounds, especially, the intradental spirant /th/ in Europe languages. Today this sound is confined to peripheral countries of Europe (Scandinavian countries, British Isles, Iberic peninsula and the Balkan). Thus, it is found among three unrelated language families: Finno-Ugric, Indo-European, and Basque; but historically it covered most of central Europe. The authors of the hypothesis believe that the /th/ is disappearing in Europe through gradual anatomical changes in the vocal tract of speakers in the central European area and that this change is due to genes which are slowly diffusing through the mating groups in an East-to-West direction. Brosnahan has made an admirable effort to defend this hypothesis against a number objections but I believe it is fair to say that the hypothesis still lacks cogency. The anatomical evidence for European spears is not sufficient (Roberts, 1962) and is totally lacking for speakers of other continents where speech sound also diffuse geographically and regardless of language-family boundaries. Nor is it possible to demonstrate that minimization of effort is indeed responsible for sound shift (Lenneberg, 1962). Arguments based upon principles of least effort are always dangerous.

Darlington(1947) 提議, 一種自然語言的酣然的補全是它的, 反過來, 是控制由基因的報告人的聲音特選表示。他建議那裡也許是在一種生存語言的聲道上的輕微的結構區別最後歸結於報告人的慾望使他們的聲音努力減到最小。Brosnahan (1961) 被擴大在, 他相信的原始的建議和被收集的很多材料, 支持的Darlington 的假說。或許最印象深刻的支持從某些聲音的地理分佈被獲得, 特別是, intradental spirant /th/ 在歐洲語言。今天這聲音被限制對歐洲(斯堪的納維亞國家周邊國家、不列顛島, Iberic 半島和巴爾干) 。因而, 它被發現在三個無關的語系之中: Finno-Ugric, 印歐語, 和巴斯克□; 但它歷史上蓋了大多數中歐。假說的作者相信, /th/ 消失在歐洲通過逐漸解剖變化在報告人上聲道在中歐區域並且這變動歸結於慢慢地散開通過聯接的小組在東部對西部方向的基因。Brosnahan 做了令人敬佩的努力保衛這個假說反對數字反對但我相信它是公正的認為假說仍然缺乏使人相信的力量。解剖證據為歐洲矛不是充足的(羅伯特1962) 並且完全缺乏為其它大陸報告人講話聲音還散開地理上和不管語言家庭界限。亦不是它可能顯示出, 努力的低估的確負責對酣然的轉移(Lenneberg 1962) 。論據根據最少努力的原則總是危險的。


There were days when learned treatises on the origin of language were based on nothing more than imagination. The absence of ascertainable facts rendered these essays disreputable early during the rise of empirical sciences. For sometime the topic become taboo in respectable scientific circles. But recently it seems to have acquired new probity by adumbration of the speculations with empirical data. Let us test the soundness of the various type of arguments by examining the corroborative evidence in terms of relevance to problem of the phylogenetic history of language.


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