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50. Language is an "emergent property"; it is a tool of equilibrium with world in which we navigate.

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50. Language is an "emergent property"; it is a tool of equilibrium with world in which we navigate.

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2 Equilibrium? on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:34 am

If this maxim considers "equilibrium" to be a (calm) balance, I think that the author was an optimist. Language can just as readily be provocative and disruptive. Like any tool, literal or figurative, language can build or destroy.

Sincerely,
The Devil's Advocate

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3 Equilibrium vs. calm balance on Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:28 pm

[quote="Jsensei"]  If this maxim considers "equilibrium" to be a (calm) balance, I think that the author was an optimist.  Language can just as readily be  provocative and disruptive.  Like any tool, literal or figurative, language can build or destroy.  
*******

I don't think "equilibrium" is meant as "calm balance" when talking about emergent properties. Emergent properties refer to phenomena that are a product of interaction. To talk about language as an emergent property simply means that the networks of cognitive patterns (linguistic competencies in your brain) are in equilibrium with the external environment (the linguistic patterns of other speakers). Language learners don't have that equilibrium, of course, because they haven't internalized the linguistic patterns of the community of language speakers. THis is another way of saying that language is a shared system of meaning that exists as patterns in the environment and within the individual. To get a sense for this, consider what happens when a language "dies" (Latin). There is no community of speakers to keep the system going, such that even if you teach yourself to speak Latin using a grammar book, you can not be in equilibrium with a body of Latin speakers.

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Hi Jeff (and Joseph)!

Jeff, superspeed to number 50. Whoa  Cool 

These final few maxims are fresh out of the oven and need more sandpaper than the original 42 maxims. That said, all of them are here to be put under the microscope and edited into their best form. By working together, we get to understand each other better and we create a product that we can be proud of.

BUT... considering this is the very first day of the course, we should probably focus on the neuroanatomy section of the course http://fab-efl.com/onlinelearning/page5/index.html (reading and videos), which is the natural place to begin our work together.

Robert

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Sure.  Just feeling my way around a bit.  It won't be my last mistake, either!

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