2008年10月1日 星期三

[生物] checking-typing LB449~450惠珍 Typing and checking

《Biological Foundations of Language》Preface: The history of the biological language
Assigned reading: Page 449-450
1. Typing

A very serious shortcoming of most Roman writers on language was the limitation of their discussions to Latin and Greek, which Steinthal regarded as the chief factor for their failure to formulate a more general language theory. In the writings of Gaius Plinius Secundus (23-79 A.D.) and of Strabo (63 B.C.-24 A.D.) only Greek and Latin are given serious consideration. One of the few to include other languages as well was the Epicurean Diogenes of Oinoanda (2nd century A.D.) who wrote that men created language everywhere quite naturally; it was not a conscious invention or the result of convention. No single man or god could have created it [24].

The church fathers and Christian thinkers of the first centuries of our era, intent on defining man’s relationship to God, were content to establish God’s rule over language, and language differences were not of primary concern to them.[25] These differences were to become a problem, once church had begun to spread among people with different languages. The study of languages and language theory would receive new impetus whenever a country was to be Christianized.

In the succeeding 1500 years the interpretation of language in terms of revelation and biblical exegesis stood in the foreground of language theory. The natural basis of language was never completely lost to view, and some of the most important theologians included it in their discussion.

The greater thinker of the fourth century, St. Augustine (394-430), placed the origin of language in man’s reason, as had the stoics, and compared the evolution of language with language development in children.[26]. Boethius (480-525), a Roman statesman and philosopher, who translated Aristotle into Latin, emphasized the difference between language and thought. Articulated language is different everywhere, but tears, mourning, and emotional expression are universally understood. The North African, Fabius Caludius Gordianus Fulgentius (480-550)wrote a world history, in which he expressed the belief that language did not come from God, but had grown from “wild root”. For the Bishop Isidor of Sevilla (565-636) language was an inseparable characteristics of a people; he believed everyone learned the language of his race without any apparent effort.[27]

After an interval of four centuries in which men were absorbed by the problems of the political intergration of Europe, the interest in the problem in language was revived with the rise of Schola. Its founder, Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), wrote on language in the years after 1060. Language only approximates reality and is not identical with God’s creation. IT may, therefore, be subjected to analytic study and psychological interpretation. This attitude toward language is also seen in the writings of his student Peter Abelard (1079-1142) who was the most influential language photosphere of his time. He wrote in his “Logia” (ca 1113-1123) that different designation of the same thing- by different languages- did not imply different meanings; men had only assigned a variety of sounds to the same thing. What people meant was everywhere the same, because meaning was a part of nature. Language was not God’s creation; the man of reason is master of his language and never ruled by it, Latin does not provide the basis or limit of human reason; like all knowledge it can be subject to improvement.[28]

A few Medieval writers placed even greater emphasis on the emphasis on the natural aspect pf language. Petrus Heliae, who taught grammar in Paris after 1140, suggested that there are ,ore systems of grammar as yet unknown and that all languages including the dialects can be systematically described and rationally understood [29]. A contemporary anonymous opusculum of he Bernardine Monastery of Ceteaux expressed the thought that language is the product of a natural law and attempted to substantiate this claim by the law of primacy for the letter a in all languages known [30]. But the most theories did not go that far. Abelard’s student John of Salisbury (ca 1115-1180), wrote in his “Metalogicon’ of 1160 that man received his reason and his ability to speak from the “natura clementissima parens ominum,’ but that names must have been invented by man. ( Language was given again being considered primarily in terms of names) [31]. This separation between a recognized natural language capacity and ,an-made language was maintained by most medieval authors including Petrus Hispanus (ca 1220-1227) who later became Pope John ⅩⅩⅠ, John de Dacia professor at Paris in 1280 and Thomas Aquians (1225-1274). Roger Bacon (ca 1214-1294) was to write in 1292 that differences between languages were based on physiological and climatic factors but proposed that language was the result of willful human invention [32].

According to Ricobald of Ferrara, the separation of language capacity and languages was supported by a miracle he observed in 1293. A deaf-mute acquired hearing and speech after praying at the grave of St. Anthony Padua; he could repeat what was said to him but did not understand the meaning of the words. This proved that the miracle could only establish the God-given physiological language ability but not the knowledge of a particular language which had to be learned [33].

Observes believed that there must a natural language, the direct expression of untutored language ability. Emperor Frederic Ⅱ (1192/3-1250) was seeking this natural language when he repeated Psametichos’ experiment which failed because the children died. William of Shyreswood (died 1267), an Englishman professor at the University of Paris, included the “signs of the sick” and “ natural sounds” in his definition of man’s language. The Dominican and later Archbishop of Caneterbury, Robert Kilwardby )died 1279) proclaimed that grammar should establish rules for language in general. The characteristics of any one language were as irrelevant to a science of grammar as the, material of the measuring rod or the physical characteristics of objects were to geometry [34]. The natural origin and basic similarity of all languages was also emphasized by a contemporary anonymous tractate, “ De modis significandi” and by Thomas of Erfurth at the end of the thirteenth centenary [35].

[24] Borst, A., Pp. 164, 178.
[25] ___. Pp. 237,356.
[26] ___. Pp. 392.
[27] ___. Pp. 424,426,450.
[28] ___. Pp..450,605,606,632,635
[29] ___. Pp.636-7
[30] ___. Pp.638
[31] ___. Pp..640
[32] ___. Pp..797-800,810 et seq., 901-902
[33] ___. P.864
[34] ___. Pp..756,796,799
[35] ___. Pp..798,895

2. Definition

exegesis: 釋;註釋
statesman: 政治家
designation: 指定;任命
opusculum: 小品;音樂小品;文學小品
Monastery: 男子的)修道院;僧院[C]
Stoic: 禁慾主義者; S-)斯多葛學派哲學家
Articulate: 1. 使成為系統的整體;使相互連貫 ; 2. 發音清晰的,可聽懂的
Interval: 戲劇,音樂會等的)幕間,休息時間
Schola: 1) An intermission of work, leisure for learning, learned conversation, debate, disputation, lecture, dissertation. 2) A meeting place for teachers and pupils, place for instruction, place of learning, school. 3)The disciples of a teacher, body of followers, school, sect. (--Elementary Latin Dictionary, OUP
Approximated reality: This painting approximates reality. ->这幅画逼真
Designation: 命名;稱號
Substantiate: 使實體化