non-commutativity in the brain

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Wed Apr 5 13:17:08 PDT 2000

>>> "Scott Martens" <smartens at> 04/05/00 01:36PM
Rather, I think the best case against Pinkerite modularity is the existence of sign languages and literacy. If human language had evolved exclusively for the purpose of speaking, as vision processing has clearly evolved for the purpose of seeing, we ought not to have sign languages at all, and children shouldn't be able to learn them in the same way that they learn spoken language (which they clearly do.) Furthermore, most adults can read faster than they can speak. It seems clear that in reading we do not use the auditory signal processing parts of the brain.


CB: Why would the faculty be confined to speaking ? Isn't spoken language a subcategory of the more general symbolling, or systems of signs ? See anthropologist Leslie A. White , for example.


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