The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

From Sensorimotor Categories and Pantomime to Grounded Symbols and Propositions

Harnad, Stevan (2011) From Sensorimotor Categories and Pantomime to Grounded Symbols and Propositions In, Tallerman, Maggie and Gibson, Kathleen (eds.) Handbook of Language Evolution. Oxford University Press

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The adaptive success of organisms depends on being able to do the right thing with the right kind of thing. This is categorization. Most species can learn categories by direct experience (induction). Only human beings can acquire categories by word of mouth (instruction). Artificial-life simulations show the evolutionary advantage of instruction over induction; human electrophysiology experiments show that the two ways of acquiring categories still share some common features; and graph-theoretic analyses show that dictionaries consist of a core of more concrete words that are learned earlier, from direct experience, and the meanings of the rest of the dictionary can be learned from definition alone, by combining the core words into subject/predicate propositions with truth values. Language began when purposive miming became conventionalized into arbitrary sequences of shared category names describing and defining new categories via propositions.

PDF Harnad-Tallerman-Gibsonrev.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
Available under License Other.
Download (119kB)

More information

Published date: 2011
Keywords: language, evolution, categorization, propositions, symbol grounding, induction, instruction, definition
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 271439
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/271439
PURE UUID: 87d0a383-03de-4d2c-a8ed-9ee3556eb4ee

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jul 2010 21:16
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:42

Export record

Contributors

Author: Stevan Harnad
Editor: Maggie Tallerman
Editor: Kathleen Gibson

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×