The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct

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Citing Literature. Volume 18 , Issue 1 March Pages From this point of view, addressees in conversations serve as facilitators of language development by means of exposing students to cultural elements required to express the universal structure appropriate to the cultural and social requirements of the individual. This biological theory is not accepted by behaviourists who suggest that language acquisition is a verbal behaviour which is an example of operant conditioning, as advocated by Skinner Behaviourists argue that individuals are reinforced by their own speech which matches the reinforcement of providers of affection during childhood.

Further, grammatically correct constructions get desired results so the individual tends to repeat them. A point to note here is that the theories rely on exposure to appropriate samples of the language. The same is true when acquiring a second language. As may be derived from discussion above, language development takes place through samples of language which are appropriate and code switching may be signalling the need for provision of appropriate samples.

The listener, in this case, is able to provide translation into the second language thus providing a learning and developing activity. This, in turn, will allow for a reduced amount of switching and less subsequent interference as time progresses.

The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct | Bruce Bain | Springer

These principles may also be applied in the second language classroom. Cook asserts that code switching may be integrated into the activities used for the teaching of a second language. Cook describes the Institute of Linguistics' examinations in Languages for International Communication test as one which utilises code switching. At beginners level, students may use the second language for obtaining information from material such as a travel brochure or a phone message to answer comprehension questions in the first language.

At advanced stages, the student may be required to research a topic and provide a report in the first language. This approach is one which uses code switching as a foundation for the development of a second language learner who can stand between the two languages and use whichever is most appropriate to the situation rather than becoming an imitation native speaker Cook, Cook provides another method of using code switching as a second language teaching tool through reciprocal language teaching.

This method requires students to switch languages at predetermined points pairing students who want to learn each other's languages. Thus the students alternate between the two languages and exchange the roles of student and teacher. A similar system may also be used whereby the teacher uses code switching by starting the lesson in the first language and then moving into the second and back Cook, This makes the lesson as communicative as possible and is similar to the 'New Concurrent Approach' presented by Rodolpho Jacobson, outlined in Cook The approach gets teachers to balance the use of languages within each lesson with the teacher allowed to switch languages at certain key points, such as during important concepts, when students are getting distracted, during revisions or when students are praised and told off.

On this basis, switching may be used as an effective teaching strategy for second language learning. There is however a means for viewing code switching as language interference, particularly from a teaching perspective. Prucha examines how language usage is determined by consideration of extraindividual and extralinguistic purposes, or social needs, taking a 'sociofunctional' approach to the study of language. Prucha is of the opinion that all of linguistic reality is determined by certain purposes, programs or aims reflective of societal needs.

As a result, social needs have caused an evolution of language and language communication. Acquisition of these skills is addressed by Cherryholmes and others Percy and Ramsden, ; Moore, , with a consideration of reciprocal teaching. Cherryholmes adapts a definition by Vygotsky suggesting that cognitive development takes place as students undertake activities in the presence of experts, or teachers, coming to eventually perform the functions by themselves.

This allows the student to become autonomous over a period of time whereby the teaching is reciprocated from the teacher to the student. In terms of societal consequence, the teaching-learning activity would then produce individuals who are able to participate in society independently. Students then would feel comfortable switching languages within normal conversations providing for a bilingual society.

In turn, those who were not bilingual may be disadvantaged as they would not be able to communicate as effectively as those who were not. Perhaps a societal expectation of currency is bilingualism and this may be a foundation for the high degree of languages other than English programs existing in all levels of schooling. In this situation the environment is set whereby interference may occur as the societal norm moves to the inclusion of code switching and the degree of bilingualism increases. Interference may occur in this instance by monolingual speakers who attempt to use a second language for a social reason such as solidarity or bilingual speakers attempting to integrate the second language into the first to be understood by monolingual speakers.

However, from another perspective, code switching means that the two languages are kept separate and distinct which creates a barrier to interference. Language would also not be subject to using them out of grammatical context and would not be subject to interference at a lexical level or with orthography. Code switching may be viewed as an extension to language for bilingual speakers rather than an interference and from other perspectives it may be viewed as interference, depending on the situation and context in which it occurs.

This conclusion is drawn from the notions that switching occurs when a speaker: needs to compensate for some difficulty, express solidarity, convey an attitude or show social respect Crystal, ; Berthold, Mangubhai and Bartorowicz, The switching also occurs within postulated universal constraints such that it may be integrated into conversations in a particular manner Poplack, ; Cook, On this basis, given that it occurs within a particular pattern, potential for code switching to interfere into a language exists.

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It has also been outlined above that code switching may facilitate language development as a mechanism for providing language samples and may also be utilised as a teaching method for teaching second languages Cook, ; Again, scope for code switching to cause interference in a language exists if it is not utilised carefully as a teaching method. It may be concluded then, that when code switching is to compensate for a language difficulty it may be viewed as interference and when it is used a a socio-linguistic tool it should not. References Bell, A. The phenomena studied through the lens of artifactually mediated relativity, or variation, may be prototypically instantiated by symbolic cognitive artifacts, but they do not stop there, and may also profitably be the subject of future investigation at a more macro-social scale.

This approach can be taken a further step forward, by extending the linguistic analysis of recurrent, culturally motivated pattern to the constructional and metaphoric levels, and seeking motivations that unify different levels of meaning within diverse multi-level, material-symbolic socio-cognitive niches. The sociocultural structuring of space and time is achieved by practices involving the construction and use of artifacts and artifact systems that blend the material and the symbolic at different scales.

These include the kind of symbolic cognitive artifacts that have been in focus in this article, such as compasses, clocks, calendars, and other time interval systems based on language. Material symbolic mediators also include, however, the built environment such as architecture and village and city layout ; and the humanly shaped landscape such as geomorphic earthworks.

The meanings of these material-symbolic systems range from the expression of social differentiation gender, rank, clan, moiety etc. We need to recognize that the time that we inhabit is an artifact, a fiction in a way, which is itself the product of the artifacts that our ancestors have invented. Time, we might say, is a cognitive meta-niche, a necessary regulative order for the reproduction of the multiplicity of other cognitive-cultural-material niches that support our activities, practices, communications and reflections.

But it is simultaneously a cognitive construct, assembled through the spatialization and reification of temporal experience. The symbolic cognitive artifacts of clock and calendar have changed our minds along with the niches our minds inhabit, and there is no going back in time. These artifacts, and the language practices that they support and constrain, are fundamental to the regulation and reproduction of every social institution in which we participate. How can they organize their lives? Human beings have lived in small-scale, face-to-face, technologically simple societies for most of the history and prehistory of our species.

The linguistically constituted human semiosphere is a species-specific biocultural complex, grounded in the elaboration of the semiotic function Piaget, The evolution of the human semiosphere, in which language as a biocultural niche is developmentally and processually interdependent with the technosphere of material artifactual supports for human social interaction and social practice Sinha, , is what accounts for the discontinuity dividing human from non-human cognition and culture, and the evolutionary emergence of human social institutions.

This discontinuity has been amplified by the consolidation, through language, of human culture as a fundamentally symbolic biocultural complex. A critical role in this consolidation was played by the co-evolution of the biocultural niche of infancy and childhood with the biocultural niche of language. This question would be effectively precluded by some definitions of agency, such as that to be found in Barandiaran et al. One can only share in the action, distribute it with other actants. Many discussions of distributed and extended cognition focus on the effects of artifacts on cultural evolution in terms of the externalization of information storage, and the enhanced accuracy of transmission of knowledge and social memory Donald, I have argued that this, while important, is not the whole story.

We can acknowledge that the agency of artifacts is at least until now ultimately dependent on human agency, without which artifactual agency would neither exist nor have effect; but it would be wrong to think of artifactual agency as merely derivative, as being like a kind of glorified transmission-belt for human agentive intention. Human agency, in many cases, is co-agency, not only with other human beings but with at least some kinds of artifacts. Co-agentive artifacts play an ever-expanding role in the human biocultural complex, and assume increasingly autonomous modes of agency.

This poses a real challenge both to our understanding of the nature of knowledge and to our understanding of the nature of ethical and social responsibility in science. More than that, the challenge is potentially an existential one to the future of our species in its self-made ecology. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Maps, which are cognitive artifacts, are often regarded as iconic signs, but they depend not only on the iconic representation of the territory, but also upon the linguistic naming of places within it; and their use is always within the intersubjective field of a universe of discourse. Its effective operation may also depend upon the demographic factor of population size Dediu and Levinson, National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

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Published online Oct Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. This article was submitted to Cognitive Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Received Apr 30; Accepted Oct 5. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

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  5. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. Keywords: biocultural niche construction, language, symbolic cognitive artifact, time concepts, human life course, social institutions.

    The most important features of niche construction theory for the purposes of this article are: 1. In general, artifacts have the following characteristics: 1.

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    Open in a separate window. This expansion yields: 4 [X counts as S and S stands for M] in C Where X is a token of the class of signifiers in C 4 is sufficiently general to cover all cases of sign use, including highly idiosyncratic and context bound cases, such as non-conventional gestures. Now any grammatical and conventionally meaningful instance of language use X can be expressed as follows: 7 [X counts as S and S stands for M] in L Note that, consistently with the approach of Cognitive Grammar Langacker, , S the signifier is an expression at any level, sub-lexical, lexical or constructional; grammatical assemblies of signs are also signs.

    Grammar in the wide, cognitive grammar sense, including lexical form and phonology can be defined as: 8 X counts as S in L X is an instance of S, and S is a grammatical expression in L. Presupposing 8 , semantics can be defined as: 9 S stands for M in L This is the relation between, for example, word form and lexical entry or concept; or, more generally, between linguistic expression and linguist conceptualization. The semantic theory need not be truth-functional, but is necessarily conventional and normative as indeed are all the subsystems.

    Language, like all social institutions, is an objectification of intersubjectivity , with an emergent structure relatively autonomous from the intentional states such as mutual knowledge of the language which are possessed by its users. It is in this fact, and this fact alone, that the objectivity of language inheres. Epigenesis, Enchrony, And The Extended Human Life Course Epigenesis and epigenetics are terms referring to inheritance processes and mechanisms, at different levels ranging from the molecular to the organismic, that are controlled or modulated by factors other than those inscribed in the genome Jablonka and Lamb, A genetically specified initial behavioral repertoire is subsequently elaborated through experience of a relevant environment, yielding an envelope of potential trajectories and outcomes Sinha, , pp.

    Concluding Reflection: Agency Vs. Artificiality—A False Dichotomy? Conflict of Interest Statement The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. References Anderson B. Imagined Communities. London: Verso. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Defining agency: individuality, normativity, asymmetry, and spatio-temporality in action. On the cultural character of metaphor.

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    The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct
    The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct
    The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct
    The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct
    The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct
    The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct The Sociogenesis of Language and Human Conduct

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