Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A Giant Grammatical Vampire Squid is sucking generative power from the brain of humankind?

We speak our language in a very peculiar way: we invent the proposition we speak. This is the generativity skill Chomsky proposed to describe the algorithmic richness of natural languages. We are so inventful, that no two identical proposition have ever been uttered.Or at least this is a famous quote of the Chomsky's generative grammar. After the first astonished seconds, they clarify that very similar propositions are spoken constantly, but it's mathematically rare to utter the precise sentence more than twice and not just you: in the total history of the language you speak. You can feel uncomfortable with this thesis, but the chomskyan revolution did the same in linguistic as Einstein did in physics ( odd to say but I still think that Einstein is underestimated...).
Now in the ages of speed of light distribution of content, we are experiencing a bottleneck of production: we are overwhelmed by replication of content, but consuming is outnumbering creation. What are the consequences on our generative grammar? Some scenarios then:

1 Proposition changes with the context, so grammar is not a system of internal relations. This is good, in grammatical terms it means that even when you replicate a concept, you generate its semiotic surroundings, so the proper utterance is the compound, always different. Chomsky will hate it: you should admit something like extended grammatical minds.

2 Humankind is close to a grammatical apocalypse: in order to be meaningful again, grammar will bend our semiotic “spacetime”. We'd pretend to say the same, but the internal grammatical relations will “twist” the identity: if you say the same proposition twice, it will change autonomously the internal relations with the linguistic system. You say the same, but its meaning is different. This is the fall of main stream: no one will be able to follow a trend because even chasing the same, will be actually chasing something else.

3 We lost control of our mastering a language (idiolect): our brain has been sucked by a vampire grammatical squid ! If you can't say the same proposition twice in the same language, but you're saying twice the same proposition, then you're changing the language. This is by far very acceptable. At the end, you can say every one is speaking is own language, just very similar to the other mates with a similar dialect. The problem of this convergence is that you could start to speak different variation of your own same language: in different times you will speak different dialect of the main version. Technically speaking you'll destroy the concept of native speaker of at least our own language (idiolect). Everything stays the same, but no one is understanding.

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