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Selected Books by Edmund Blair Bolles

  • Galileo's Commandment: 2500 Years of Great Science Writing
  • The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age
  • Einstein Defiant: Genius vs Genius in the Quantum Revolution

« From the Mouthes of Babes | Main | Speech Includes Gesture »


yair shimron

Writing is but 5 thousands years old, as far as Sumer and Egypt are concerned.


I"ve been a lurker here for awhile and thanks for all the thought provoking stuff.....

I really love your analogy between computer and human language and being involved as I am in this area, you hit the keyboard in the right places....

I'm gonna get me this book, just so I can be a better doubter.



I'm glad you mentioned written language. I think that much of linguistics is somewhat unfortunately biased towards theories of language that are steeped in the idea that writing is natural and fundamental to language. This bias, I think, is present from the lowest levels of phonetics and phonology (where vaguely defined and often ambiguous categories of sounds are represented both in writing and, supposedly, in the mind, using discrete graphemes or letters) to the highest levels of morphology and syntax (where understanding spoken language is equivalent to parsing discrete written tokens).

There's a lot of interesting research and theorizing waiting to be done concerning the nature of physical, biological, social and historical constraints on language. Or, perhaps it's already been done and I just haven't had a good enough linguistics education...

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