discussionpaper1

discussionpaper1 - Lane 1 Alex Lane Aaron Shield LIN 312...

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Lane Alex Lane Aaron Shield LIN 312: Language in the Body 13 Sept. 2007 Discussion Notes #1 One of the thirteen defining characteristics of human language that Charles Hockett identified in 1960 was specialization – meaning that organs used for producing speech are specially adapted to that task. A human’s vocal apparatus is specially designed so that we can produce sounds that no other animals can make. But does this specialization make language more or less natural for someone? Our vocal apparatus maybe be specialized for speech, but is it more natural than signing? Our hands and arms are not specialized, unlike our vocal apparatus; we can use our hands and arms for grasping and holding objects, as well as signing. Oliver Sacks makes a reference to Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron, in his book Seeing Voices . The result of this case study intrigues me. He was not a deaf boy and could speak, yet he failed to learn language. The “deaf and dumb” at the National Institution for Deaf-Mutes, however, exceedingly developed language through means of signing; prior to the sixteenth century, the understanding of ideas was dependent upon the hearing of words. . What is it about speech that
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discussionpaper1 - Lane 1 Alex Lane Aaron Shield LIN 312...

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