12
   

Does an ‘individual’ word have meaning…?

 
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2017 02:50 pm
@jerlands,
jerlands wrote:

layman wrote:
So then, I guess you're saying that some "expressions" are in fact complete, eh?

How do you gather that? I don't see myself as autonomous or anything else for that matter as autonomous nor any constructs as autonomous.


Well, which is it? Now you're back to saying it is "complete" to claim that "nothing is complete" again, eh?
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2017 03:30 pm
@carpenters,
Quote:
Noam Chomsky: I suspect there is little parents can do to change the course of language development. Again let me say I am not speaking about this from any expertise. I do not have any more expertise than personal experience. There is nothing in linguistic theory which gives answers to these questions.
(End of excerpt)
________________

The quote that you took from the interview, was Chomsky replying to a specific question of the interviewer. In a nutshell, he was merely saying that he is not an expert in counselling parents on how to raise their kids, and linguistic theory as well has no advice to give parents on how to raise their kids! That’s all he was saying by that statement.


No, that's NOT all he was saying. He was addressing "the course of language development" adding: "Again let me say I am not speaking about this from any expertise...There is nothing in linguistic theory which gives answers to these questions."

layman
 
  0  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2017 04:15 pm
@layman,
To elaborate, as treated by Chomsky, "these questions" came down to "Can the course of language development be changed?" (by parents, or anyone else for that matter).

He "suspects" (not knows) not, but reminds us that, essentially, no one "knows" and that "linguistic theory" says nothing about whether this course can be changed.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2017 06:33 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

It is a permanent fact that you wrote this post I am quoting from you...

The continuum of change 'igm' that wrote the post was changing continuously whilst writing that post and doesn't exist now. The continuum of change that posted this 'Fil Alburquerque' reply was constantly changing during this reply and doesn't exist now. Neither remained the same for any length of time whatsoever and therefore their existence was an illusion.

The 'fact' spoken of above, is a constantly changing perception. The past which a fact necessarily occupies, doesn't exist because the past is over.

If something remained the same for the briefest moment, then at that time it would be permanent. If it was permanent then change would be impossible because something permanent is be definition unchanging and something unchanging cannot change. Therefore day could not become night. The young could not age. Spring could not become summer, and so on and so forth.

All is impermanent and permanence is an illusion created by recollection of the continuum of change, turned into a concept and that concept is continually recalled, which gives the illusion of permanence when there isn't any.

All is completely impermanent and words cannot describe that which lasts for no time whatsoever, words are just the play of an impermanent illusion. The true nature is beyond words and concepts and that is why all words and concepts can be shown to be illusion describing illusion.

Happiness, which is actually the conventional truth definition for the experience of this true nature, appears, when clinging to the notion of permanence is let go of.

Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2017 11:48 pm
@igm,
Change cannot arise out of lack of identity./mic drop...
0 Replies
 
carpenters
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 02:10 am
@layman,
layman wrote:
1. Congratulations on your devotion and your extensive efforts in transcribing all of that.

Thank you. But I had no better choice than to inform you, as you were making the mistake of quoting out of context from the interview.

layman wrote:
2. I heard all of that, but if you think his expression of lack of scientific knowledge was LIMITED to the sentence he stated them in, I think you are completely mistaken. Note that he explicitly limits his claims to deductive logic, not empirical observation.


Now, he did not say that he lacked scientific knowledge concerning the quote you reproduced in the previous post. In fact, he was saying just the contrary. He was saying that all he has is "experience", and what he says that he lacked is expertise to advise parents on how to raise their kids. Concerning the "experience" that he referred to here, it is the experience of himself being a parent! I quote again the relevant part:

________________
Excerpt of interview of Noam Chomsky interviewed by Al Page.

Al Page (interviewer): How should parents react with respect to exposing their children to language? Should they expose them to all aspects of language? Or should they just simply let them develop any way they develop?

Noam Chomsky: I suspect there is little parents can do to change the course of language development. Again let me say I am not speaking about this from any expertise. I do not have any more expertise than personal experience. There is nothing in linguistic theory which gives answers to these questions.
(End of excerpt)
________________

Note that I have underlined and bolded "these questions" in Chomsky's reply. The phrase "these questions" unambiguously refers to the questions put to him by the interviewer, and "these questions" concerns how parents ought to raise their kids properly! And for that he denied having expertise.



layman wrote:
Note that he explicitly limits his claims to deductive logic, not empirical observation.


Where does he say that explicitly in the interview? Please quote a passage for me, I am interested to know.

As an aside, deductive logic is an essential part of any scientific investigation. First science starts by collecting the facts, and from these facts it infers general principles; like for example in physics we have the law of gravitation and the principle of inertia. And these general principles or laws are used as premises in deductive arguments to derive conclusions, which can be predictive statements and which can in turn be confirmed by further empirical investigations. When these are repeatedly confirmed, the correctness of the general principle inferred is reinforced until it acquires the status of a law. That is called applied science. So deductive logic cannot even be considered as a leverage against science, for without deductive logic, science would be useless as it would not be applied to deal with real problems.

However, what I gather from the words of Chomsky is that he is repeatedly providing the facts throughout the interview. Please, re-read the transcription and pay attention to the underlined and bolded elements of the transcription. If after this, you are still having difficulty with finding the expositions of the facts by Chomsky, then I will reproduce the interview in a subsequent post.



layman wrote:
3. Like I said, he said, he claims that: "it can only mean that the concept itself, in all of its richness and complexities, is somehow sitting there, waiting to have a sound associated with it. Now it cannot be quite true but something very much like that is probably true


With that statement he is reiterating the statement that we cannot investigate that which is beyond our nature. All we can do is acknowledge our nature as something innate. Notice that he says: "it can only mean that the concept itself, in all of its richness and complexities, is somehow sitting there, waiting to have a sound associated with it." This means that we cannot go beyond recognizing that the concepts are just sitting there,i.e. being innate. For example, as to the questions: "how the concepts just sits there?" or "how do we come to have those innate concepts?", science does not yet answer because it does not yet have the empirical evidence on which to rests its claims. Recall: no facts=no science. An example of the latter is the theory of macro-evolution, which falls into the category of having no facts/empirical evidence whatsoever to back its claims. But as to the claim of the innateness of language , that science has conclusively settled affirmatively. Chomsky's concluding comments is rather enlightening on that: "That’s why, you and I, will have essentially the same concept of table, and the same concept of person, and nation, and all sorts of things; and not complicated things, I mean really simple things like person for instance, or thing. We all have that, even though we all have very limited experience, because basically we started with those concepts."



layman wrote:
4. He never really claims that "language" is innate, just the capacity to understand it.


So here, it seems you have concluded that Chomsky is saying that our capacity to understand language is innate. Well, I have never encountered a language which has not been understood by at least some community at some point in time! Smile What this means is as follows. That which is understood by language is called semantics. Semantics is the meaning of words or sentences, and it is an essential property of language. Syntax is also a property of language. This further means that without language, there would be no semantics, i.e. the understanding of language. So if our capacity to understand language is innate, then that makes language itself innate; for without this innate capacity there would be no language but merely random sequences of characters or sounds or signs which would then not qualify as a language! So, if you took from Chomsky that the capacity to understand language is innate, then it's a good conclusion because this follows from the innateness of language itself. So we are agreeing on this point.



layman wrote:
5. Assuming his philosophical speculations are correct, then he is proving the only real point that I was making to begin with, to wit: You must be able to "think," i.e. understand concepts, BEFORE you can learn a language. According to Chomsky, anyone claiming that you are only capable of thinking AFTER you have learned a language would be wrong.


I would say that his scientific claims of the innateness of language are correct and backed by many years of empirical observations and study. Now, the ability to understand concepts and hence the concepts themselves are innate dispositions of the human mind, as has already been proved by thorough scientific research. And without the innateness of this disposition, there would be no language itself. And this means that Language cannot be learned/acquired. And this follows rather beautifully from construing of language as an organ. For example, either we have sight and we see, or one does not have sight and does not see. One does not learn to see, it is an innate disposition for those who were blessed with sight. Now, concerning language, what we learn is how to finely tune this innate disposition to interact with the environment in which one finds himself/herself. An analogy would be a radio or television set. The radio or TV device is already available; what we then do to receive broadcast, is just to turn the knob to seek the correct frequency so that we can receive the news or the tunes. And that would fall under the heading of the purposeful use of this innate capacity which is language, and not under the language acquisition heading.

So your emphasis of the "BEFORE" and "AFTER" in the above quote does not mean anything concrete, which is backed by empirical evidence, but it is just mere speculation and proceed from the ignorance of using the wrong premise that language is not innate.



layman wrote:
6. There is much more to "science" than empirical observations, eh?

The question that I had asked, you have not answered! But here you ask me another question! So, I ask another question in turn: can there be scientific investigation without any empirical observation whatsoever? This is what I am interested in finding out from your perspective at present.


layman wrote:
Chomsky himself says his "experience" gives him no expertise.


What he was saying actually, was that his thorough experience in the scientific study of linguistics gives him no expertise to advise parents on how to raise their kids. It is understandable that he should mention that, for otherwise he could be prosecuted! Imagine a layperson giving medical or legal advice to other people who are in need! If parents want advice on how to properly raise their kids, they should go to the experts in this field, for example pediatricians or child psychologists. The linguistic expert is not very qualified for this, in my humble opinion. Don't you agree?


layman wrote:
And he denies that there are any "scientific" answers to questions pertaining to the origin of language or the mechanisms which enable it.

Not only does he deny it but he even casts doubts as to science being a proper method for investigating such questions! For recall, that beyond the recognition of the innateness of language, we have no insight into origin of language from a scientific perspective! It is much like the Big Bang, science cannot go beyond the Big Bang in its inquiry. Similarly, we can only recognize the innateness of language with science, and that's it. Beyond that it is either pure speculation or a matter of faith in the Creator of all things, also known as God, the Almighty. So, I acknowledge positively this point of yours. Smile
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 04:13 am
@carpenters,
I congratulate you on your exposition of Chomsky's views. I would simply draw your attention that your statement...
Quote:

Not only does he deny it but he even casts doubts as to science being a proper method for investigating such questions! For recall, that beyond the recognition of the innateness of language, we have no insight into origin of language from a scientific perspective!

...is predicated on the common notion of 'the scientific method' being based on 'a standard observer' looking at 'objective data'.
There are however writers such as Maturana, who questioned the 'observer -observed' dichotomy and examined 'languaging' as an 'organizational behavior' with continuity across species. You might be interested in looking at that. e.g.
http://www.enolagaia.com/M78BoL.html
NB Such a point of view is taken by the 'Embodied Cognition' theorists, amongst whom the linguist Lakoff was prominent.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 05:54 am
@carpenters,
Quote:
He was saying that all he has is "experience", and what he says that he lacked is expertise to advise parents on how to raise their kids.


You can underline this, put in in bold, use ALL CAPS, put it in a larger size and repeat it 10,000 times if you want, but it won't make your misreading of what Chomsky said any more accurate.

If, after I have pointed it out, you still can't see how you have completely misconstrued Chomsky's "answer," his meaning, and the referents he is addressing when explicitly denying a lack of "scientific" knowledge about the topic, then any attempt to discuss this with you is doomed to be futile.

You are trying to make an invalid argument about what he said, and I now doubt that anything will deter you from trying to misread what he says in order to claim that he says what YOU want him to say, rather than what he actually said.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 06:23 am
@carpenters,
Quote:
Language cannot be learned/acquired.


This claim is self-refuting. If it were true, no child ever born would ever have go to school to "learn to read." Or speak. They would simply get plopped out of the womb talking fluently and bitching about the doctor being sloppy and painful in his delivery techniques.

And they would say it in the russian language, french, english, chinese or any one of thousands of other languages, according to the requirements of their current audience.
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 06:55 am
@layman,
Years back I ran across a homey who was hallucinating and thought there was a brick wall two feet in front of him.

He said: "Hey, layman, what color should I paint this wall in order to go well with the other walls in this room? Black? Green? Red?"

I said: "Don't ask me. I can't answer that question. I don't see no wall, cause there aint no damn wall. I can't see nuthin to paint, fool."

He said: "Yeah, you're right. I should never have asked you, because, as you just stated, we both know that you have no expertise in interior decoration. Thanks for reminding me."
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 08:09 am
@carpenters,
Quote:
First science starts by collecting the facts, and from these facts it infers general principles; like for example in physics we have the law of gravitation... And these general principles or laws are used as premises in deductive arguments to derive conclusions, which can be predictive statements and which can in turn be confirmed by further empirical investigations. When these are repeatedly confirmed, the correctness of the general principle inferred is reinforced until it acquires the status of a law. That is called applied science.


This exposition reveals a number of misunderstandings about what science is, and what it does. For example:

Newton did, indeed, establish a "law" of gravitation, but, as he expressly acknowledged, he had no scientific theory of gravitation. A "law" is not a theory, and theories based on hypotheses do not acquire the "status of a law," when observations don't contradict them.

But there is no need for some extended discussion of the philosophy of science when discussing what Chomsky was doing. He made it very clear, from his own statements, that he was NOT attempting to propose a scientific hypothesis at all, let alone one that he had "confirmed" by repeatedly subjecting his (non-existent) "theory" to strictly controlled empirical experimentation.

Like, Newton, he is denying that he has a "scientific' theory. How you can possibly read him to be saying the exact opposite is rather baffling.

That's not to say he doesn't have what you might call a "theory." He does, but it is in the realm of of philosophical speculation, not scientific theory.
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 10:56 am
@carpenters,
This reminds me of the Lipstadt trial. Ya wonder about that though.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 11:41 am
@carpenters,
Quote:
But as to the claim of the innateness of language , that science has conclusively settled affirmatively. Chomsky's concluding comments is rather enlightening on that


You repeatedly assert that, but I have no clue why you do.

Years ago, Chomsky did a good job of destroying the "behaviorist" theory of language propounded by B.F. Skinner, but refuting that particular extreme philosophical proposition did not establish anything conclusively, either philosophically or scientifically.

Quote:
The innateness hypothesis is an expression coined by Hilary Putnam to refer to a linguistic theory of language acquisition which holds that at least some knowledge about language exists in humans at birth..

Putnam used the expression "the innateness hypothesis" to target linguistic nativism and specifically the views of Noam Chomsky. Facts about the complexity of human language systems, the universality of language acquisition, the facility that children demonstrate in acquiring these systems, and the comparative performance of adults in attempting the same task are all commonly invoked in support. However, the validity of Chomsky's approach is still debated. Empiricists advocate that language is entirely learned. Some have criticized Chomsky's work, pinpointing problems with his theories while others have proposed new theories to account for language acquisition (with specific differences in terms of language acquisition per se compared to second language acquisition


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innateness_hypothesis

Note it is a "hypothesis," not a "law of science."

You are certainly not the first or only person to brazenly assert that their preferred views about things are a matter of "proven scientific fact." It's a common ploy/misconception/unwarranted assertion.

Quote:
Linguistic nativism is the theory that humans are born with someknowledge of language. One acquires a language not entirely through learning.


This is a far cry from the conclusions you draw, eh? As you can see from the article cited, there are a variety of theories propounded. But, again, these are primarily in the philosophical sphere, not "scientific" theories.
0 Replies
 
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 01:09 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:
We have to use conventional truth to undermine conventional truth. Understanding the fact that nothing remains the same for any length of time whatsoever, undermines the mistaken notion of creation. It undermines the mistaken notion of self and other, subject and object, existence and non-existence.

Ok.. we have to use the tools at our disposal. Survival is the objective but that necessitates growth (at least in my mind.) Non-duality (lack of identity or self) I think part of growth, but like breath, we contract to perceive what we touch upon.
0 Replies
 
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2017 02:48 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:
Can concepts ever deliver anything more than conventional truth?


Think of the word "temple." Do you associate it in any way with stone?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Dec, 2017 02:25 am
@jerlands,
You don't seem to understand that igm is coming from a Buddhist perspective in which 'concepts' are vehicles for shifting ephemeral associations some of which are conventionally associated with the nebulous term 'truth'; whereas for him 'Truth' involves the transcendence of impermanence.
But whether you can understand that or not, you are not focused on the OP which is about the 'meaning of a single word'. Since Buddhism advocates 'ineffability', and recent linguistic philosophers argue 'meaning is contextual' there doesn't seem much else to add.
Talking for its own sake is normally confined to 'chat rooms'.
jerlands
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Dec, 2017 03:02 am
@fresco,
You seem to understand igm better than he does.
0 Replies
 
carpenters
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Dec, 2017 01:53 pm
@layman,
layman wrote:
You can underline this, put in in bold, use ALL CAPS, put it in a larger size and repeat it 10,000 times if you want, but it won't make your misreading of what Chomsky said any more accurate.


Hey, I had not thought of larger size! That is a great idea, thanks! Smile
Concerning the 10,000 times, I think that it is going to be too much for me. But I can easily try a couple of more times, I am not tired of being right each time.

layman wrote:
If, after I have pointed it out, you still can't see how you have completely misconstrued Chomsky's "answer," his meaning, and the referents he is addressing when explicitly denying a lack of "scientific" knowledge about the topic, then any attempt to discuss this with you is doomed to be futile.

You are trying to make an invalid argument about what he said, and I now doubt that anything will deter you from trying to misread what he says in order to claim that he says what YOU want him to say, rather than what he actually said.


Let me go through this again, but now I will go slower and use larger size!

So, the relevant part of the interview that is here at issue is as follows:
________________
Excerpt of interview of Noam Chomsky interviewed by Al Page.

Al Page (interviewer): How should parents react with respect to exposing their children to language? Should they expose them to all aspects of language? Or should they just simply let them develop any way they develop?

Noam Chomsky: I suspect there is little parents can do to change the course of language development. Again let me say I am not speaking about this from any expertise. I do not have any more expertise than personal experience. There is nothing in linguistic theory which gives answers to these questions.
(End of excerpt)
________________
Noam Chomsky says "these questions", so what are "these questions"? First and foremost, I take note that "these questions" are in plural form, so from that I deduce that there must be more than one question that Chomsky is referring to! So, I take a moment and think to myself, where can I find those questions that he says he is not an expert in? The thought then comes to me that it must the questions that was just put to him seconds before in the interview! A little further investigation shows that indeed there were many questions that the interviewer had asked him. These questions are, as per my investigations, as follows:

1. How should parents react with respect to exposing their children to language?
2. Should they expose them to all aspects of language?
3. Or should they just simply let them develop any way they develop?

Three questions were asked by the interviewer, and that's a plural no doubt! And upon further examination of these questions, I find terms such as "should" being used in the phrasing of these questions. In my book, "should" corresponds to an imperative or a command. Further investigation of these questions reveals that the command is to be directed to parents raising their children! After having combined all those little pieces of information, I logically came to the conclusion that Chomsky was saying that he does not have the expertise to advise parents how to raise their kids, but he can recommend them from his personal experience as a parent himself.

In normal circumstances, there would be no need to say who is Noam Chomsky, as every one knows who he is. He is the most quoted academic in the West, so nearly everybody knows him. But anyway let me briefly introduce him for those who do not have that information. Prof. Noam Chomsky is a now retired professor in linguistics. He is considered by his peers as the father of modern linguistics, and he is one of the co-founders of the field of cognitive science.

Noam Chomsky is also an activist who militates for more peace and justice in the world. For example, even though he is of Jewish origin, for decades he has been speaking against and condemning in very strong terms what he himself calls “the rogue-criminal-sadistic state of Israel” for their extreme oppression of the Palestinian people. And he also does not spare America in his criticisms for supporting “the rogue state of Israel” in its criminal actions against the Palestinian people. This is Prof. Noam Chomsky in a few words.
carpenters
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Dec, 2017 02:04 pm
@layman,
layman wrote:
Newton did, indeed, establish a "law" of gravitation, but, as he expressly acknowledged, he had no scientific theory of gravitation.


That is true, gravitation was then established as a law of physics, because experiments were confirming it over and over again. And when asked what causes gravity, Newton did acknowledge that he had no scientific answer. I accept that explanation of Newton.

It should now also be said that Newton was a Unitarian Christian, i.e. he vehemently rejected the trinity as unscriptural. Isaac Newton believed in only One God, i.e. God, the Almighty who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and anything in between. In the Bible, God, the Almighty is referred sometimes metaphorically as The Father. And Newton was a strong believer in God, the Almighty; i.e. the God of Abraham, Moses, Jacob and Jesus. And it is reported that he would not allow to be compromised his strict monotheistic belief for anything and he was ready to abandon anything to remain a strict monotheist, such that the then King of England had to intervene to grant him special permission to allow him to remain at Trinity College! So even if science cannot answer what causes gravity, that does not mean that there is no answer to be provided! Smile

Now, for those here who are not much accustomed to scientific terms, I propose to give you a brief description of these terms.

In science one finds words such as facts, empirical observations, principle, law, hypothesis and theories being used. One might ask: what is their relationship?
A fact or an empirical observation is information that we gather through our senses. Now when I say our senses, it also includes our technologically enhanced senses, i.e. the use of instruments to gather information.

A hypothesis is a supposition or a guess. When scientists have gathered a lot of information, then they try to summarize that information by issuing a hypothesis which would fit all that observed data.
All these definitions can be found in the dictionary.

When a hypothesis has been issued, the scientist next undertakes to verify it with the observed data. If the hypothesis fits the observed data, i.e. the observe data is in agreement with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is subjected to further testing. If the hypothesis does not fit the observed data, then it is rejected. In science, experience is the master. If a thought is disproved by experience then it is rejected. It does not matter how intelligent one might be, or how much money or influence one might have; if one's thought goes against experience then it is rejected outright.

When a hypothesis is repeatedly confirmed, it reaches a stage where it acquires the status of law of nature. Here "law" means that it is just an observed repeated regularity in nature and not an imperative that nature must behave that way.

A theory is an ambiguous term in the scientific literature. Sometimes it can mean a hypothesis and at other times it can mean a general accepted principle. But in any case, on a case by case basis the meaning can be inferred from the context. The most important thing in science is empirical evidence, without that one is merely at best with a hypothesis, provided there are no falsifying experiment. For example, the theory of macro-evolution is a hypothesis, which is accepted by some few people but there is absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever to support the claims that such a theory make. Some scientist like for example the biochemist Dr Micheal Denton, have much criticized the theory of macro-evolution as being without any empirical basis whatsoever; and in that specific case, according to him, no empirical data can ever be obtained even in principle. So, evolution is not taken to be in any way, shape or form a law or principle is science. At best it can be taken as a hypothesis, but that too is very doubtful according to the experts.
0 Replies
 
carpenters
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Dec, 2017 02:15 pm
@layman,
layman wrote:

carpenters wrote:
Language cannot be learned/acquired.

This claim is self-refuting. If it were true, no child ever born would ever have go to school to "learn to read." Or speak. They would simply get plopped out of the womb talking fluently and bitching about the doctor being sloppy and painful in his delivery techniques.


Well, not every child needs to go to school to speak or read their mother-tongue language! So right here your argument is completely refuted. But, before considering this in detail, I have to point out that you have quoted me out of context. In context it looked like that:

carpenters wrote:
And without the innateness of this disposition, there would be no language itself. And this means that Language cannot be learned/acquired. And this follows rather beautifully from construing of language as an organ. For example, either we have sight and we see, or one does not have sight and does not see. One does not learn to see, it is an innate disposition for those who were blessed with sight. Now, concerning language, what we learn is how to finely tune this innate disposition to interact with the environment in which one finds himself/herself. An analogy would be a radio or television set. The radio or TV device is already available; what we then do to receive broadcast, is just to turn the knob to seek the correct frequency so that we can receive the news or the tunes. And that would fall under the heading of the purposeful use of this innate capacity which is language, and not under the language acquisition heading.


Notice that in that sentence, I had capitalized "Language" while it was used in the middle of a sentence. It was not the ordinary meaning of the word "language" that I had intended by this capitalization, but by this capitalization I intended to convey that side of language which is innate and which cannot be acquired through learning. This was a subtlety that was, I confess, too much for a layperson who is not accustomed to such kind of precision in the use of language. So my apologies for overestimating my audience.
And if you read the rest of the quote, I elaborate on this issue by providing an analogy with a radio or TV set. And one thing I have observed is that the experts as Chomsky prefer to use the phrase "Language growth" rather than "Language acquisition", in a way that would correspond to a child scaling up from his/her little size. That kind of precise use of language is one of the reasons I like to listen to the views of scholars such as Chomsky and others.

But back to your contention of my claims. In my perspective of the innateness of language, schools do not teach children Language, but schools and schoolteachers merely accompany the child in his/her natural language development. So here I will be following the inspiration from Prof Chomsky in using the phrase "language growth", to take as analogy gardening. The gardener does not make his plants grow in size, but the plants grow naturally, so to speak, by themselves. The job of the gardener is merely to accompany the natural growth of the plants by taking care of its surrounding, i.e. ensuring that it has enough water, sunlight, and in some cases protecting it from predators and whatnot. The same happens with teachers or parents who takes care of little children. They are merely gardeners who are taking care of little plants, which grow naturally!

Now, not every child need to go to school to learn language. Moreover, nearly all children learn to speak by themselves before they reach kindergarten! That is a well-known fact! Children in the majority of countries world wide, start formal schooling at around the age of five or six. Children are fluently speaking their mother-tongue well before hitting that age and that with no formal schooling whatsoever, but just by listening and picking up the language of their environment by themselves! So children do not learn to speak at school, but well before that and by themselves. So your contention is completely refuted.

In the case of some prodigies, there are some children who even have taught themselves how to read before they hit two years old! And what is more surprising is that there are some of these prodigies who have not only mastered their mother-tongue but also at least five more foreign languages before hitting their second birthday! For example:

Kim Ung-yong from South-Korea

Wikipedia wrote:
Kim Ung-yong was born in Gangneung, Gangwon, South Korea. His father is Kim Soo-Sun, a professor. He started speaking at the age of 6 months and was able to read Korean, Japanese, English, German and many other languages by his second birthday. By the time he was four years old, his father claimed Ung-Yong had memorized about 2000 words in both English and German. He was writing poetry in Korean and Chinese, and wrote two short books of essays and poems (less than 20 pages) Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Ung-yong


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You mentioned about a newborn advising his pediatrician: "They would simply get plopped out of the womb talking fluently and bitching about the doctor being sloppy and painful in his delivery techniques", well for that too I have the references to a closely related real life case. The relevant case here is that of another child prodigy:

Michael Kearney from the USA.

From Wikipedia:
Wikipedia wrote:
Michael Kevin Kearney (born January 18, 1984) is a former child prodigy known for setting several world records related to graduating at a young age, as well as teaching college while still a teenager. Additionally, as a game-show contestant, he has won over one million dollars.
(...)
Kearney spoke his first words at four months. At the age of six months, he said to his pediatrician, "I have a left ear infection", and he learned to read at the age of ten months. When Michael was four, he was given multiple-choice diagnostic tests for the Johns Hopkins precocious math program; without having studied specifically for the exam, Michael achieved a perfect score. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Kearney

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layman wrote:
And they would say it in the russian language, french, english, chinese or any one of thousands of other languages, according to the requirements of their current audience.


Well, for a child just coming out of the womb, whose eyes and other organs themselves are not fully functional, it might be too much to ask him/her to be such a tremendous polyglot. But some years later, say 2 to 3 years, then it is possible for a child to speak, read and write: Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic! And all these seven languages being spoken and read fluently!

Here, I present of case of little Bella Devyatkina.

Bela is now a four year old Russian little girl who can speak and read fluently seven languages. Her mother is a linguist and got her to pick up these languages at a very early age. Children usually pick up reading at about five or six years old. But Bela is already fluent in 7 languages at the age of 4! These languages are: Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese (YES, CHINESE!) and Arabic. Here she is in a demonstration of her skills on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP_kt0tbCXc

Last but not the least, there is also the case of child prodigy Alexis Martin who can be mentioned for her precocity in her language growth. Alexis Martin is a three year old little girl who has an IQ estimated to be above 160. And she is one of the youngest members of the high IQ society MEMSA. Here is her story on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UNMdZLXj6Y
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