Monday, May 15, 2017


Cognition is PURELY human and NATURAL

Europe and the World is waking up to the crucial question of the origin of language: without a clear and scientific answer to this question there will be no Artificial Intelligence device able to speak like us.

We have to understand the phylogenic origin of language, how emerging Homo Sapiens some 250,000 years ago or more, on the basis of what he inherited from previous Hominins from which he was descending invented and developed articulated language around three successive phylogenic articulations that no one before him had mastered. Neanderthals and Denisovans had maybe or even probably been able to use the first articulation but all the rest in their communication was tonal and body language, including of course intonation.

In the same way we have to understand how our own children learn from the communicational situation in which they are plunged from even before birth how to capture the syntax of this communicational situation and invest it into the three articulations they learn mimetically.

The most important element in this perspective is the cognitive dimension of such a linguistic approach, and I insist it has to be seen as linguistic and not anthropological, archaeological or even socio-psychological. We will be able to produce a real translating machine when that machine is able to learn human languages the way humans invented them and the way humans learn them and develop them. Any big data approach, à la Google, will only be good enough for stereotyped languages (Language for Special Purposes) that does not vary from one person to another. But any creative use of language will evade such machines.

They are actually pathetic when they try to translate Shakespeare’s sonnets.

To advance in this direction we have to be cognitive and to stick to linguistics, cognitive linguistics actually, and the best one in that line, the most developed one in this perspective is Gustave Guillaume’s psychomechanics provided we learn – learn again: there is no scientific progress without some simple and basic learning – how to step up to our time, integrate the enormous progress of archaeology, anthropology and socio-psychology, if not socio-psychiatry. The worst fate for any scientific theory is to stop evolving and absorbing and digesting new data from its very field and from all surrounding fields.

I personally regret This psychomechanics has not had the power to become a movement, a real inspirational force and it remained locked up in a few university departments in even fewer countries. I guess we are still looking for our Emperor Constantine and his founding council. The danger then will be to elect a Pope.

Jacques Coulardeau, Gustave Guillaume & Jacques Teyssier at (63)


Jacques Teyssier
Cours de maîtrise de linguistique germanique
Université de Bordeaux III Michel de Montaigne
Dr Jacques Coulardeau, ed., 1992-1996
Rule Syntactica, Issues 1-11

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