II. A CONCISE STATEMENT OF THE THEORY
(1) Language is the manifestation of species-specific cognitive propensities. It is the consequence of the biological peculiarities that make a human type of cognition possible.* The dependence of language upon human cognition is merely one instance of he general phenomenon characterized by premise (i) above. There is evidence (Chapter Seven and Eight) that cognitive function is a more basic and primary process than language, and that the dependence-relationship of language upon cognition is incomparably stronger than vice versa.
(2) The cognitive function underlying language consists of an adaptation of a ubiquitous process (among vertebrates) of categorization and extraction of similarities. The perception and production of language may be reduced on all levels to categorization processes, including the subsuming of narrow categories under more comprehensive ones and the subdivision of comprehensive categories into more specific ones. The extraction of similarities does not only operate upon physical stimuli but also upon categories of underlying structural schemata. Words label categorization processes (Chapter Seven and Eight).
(3) Certain specializations in peripheral anatomy and physiology account for some of the universal features of natural languages, but the descriptions of these human peculiarities does not constitute an explanation for the phylogenetic development of language. During the evolutionary history of the species form, function and behavior have interacted adaptively, but none of these aspects may be regarded as the “cause” of the other. Today, mastery of language by an individual may be accomplished despite severe peripheral anomalies, indicating that cerebral function is now the determining factor for language behavior as we know it in contemporary man. This, however, does not necessarily reflect the evolutionary sequence of developmental events.
* It is true that …. (Footnote should not be omitted)
(vocabulary searching) p.374
vertebrate(s) 脊椎動物 / a.有脊椎的;脊椎動物的
subsume 把...歸入,納入 / 把...包括在內,包含
subdivision 再分,細分[U] / (細分的)一部分,分支,分部[C] /【美】供出賣而分成的小塊土地[C]
phylogenetic系統發生的 / 動植物種類史的
anomaly 不規則;破格 /【天】近點角 / 反常(事物);異常(現象)
cerebral 大腦的 / 理智的;有智力的;用腦筋的