NO ETERNAL SCIENTIFIC TRUTH
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
Linguistics is just like any other science at all. It does not know what eternal truth means. Like in any other science some linguists will leave behind them a name, a theory and a few concepts, but the future will step beyond this theory, will trample some of these concepts, will see a more advanced theory rise from the melting pot or the salad bowl of experience, experimentation and simple intelligence.
Gustave Guillaume constructed the very basic of the first cognitive approach of the mind and language but he never asked the fundamental question: What is the origin of language?
He could not because he could not go against the statutes of the Linguistics Society of Paris that was banning — and it hasn’t yet changed its statutes — the very question as unscientific.
But he could not ask the question because archaeology was in its infancy and biology did not even know what DNA meant. If we want to understand what cognition really means for any human individual at any age, we better ask the question because without knowing what dynamic logic is behind language we cannot control communication and the acquisition of any new knowledge.
The time of rote learning through repetition and drills that were as painful as they were boring is finished, gone forever, even if in the head of many we learn by simply repeating what we want to learn as if we could assimilate any knowledge at first sight.
I submit hereafter some recent moments and some future events that should be able to bring together a new generation of linguists, cognitivists, communicationists and didacticians who may bring us out of the neverending repetition of what this/that genius said in the past. In science there has never been and will never be any prophet of any sort.
Cro-Magnon’s language is an ambitious project in phylogenic linguistics. The objective is to go back to the shift from animal to human articulated language. Homo Sapiens some 300,000 years ago, found himself endowed with mutations selected by his being a long distance fast bipedal runner: a very low larynx; a complex articulating apparatus; a sophisticated coordinating system bringing together diaphragm, breathing, heartbeat, legs and general body posture. These three physiological improvements permitted new linguistic possibilities: more consonants; more vowels; a brain able to construct a mind both producing and produced by articulated language. This developed the ability to conceptualize and develop abstract thinking.
The phylogeny of language from a purely linguistic and cognitive point of view activates three articulations to generate human language: vowels and consonants; the morphology of the word from root to stem and then frond; the syntactic structures of utterances. This is based on the communicational syntax conveyed by the human communicational situation that requires the power to conceptualize, both daily procedural communication and inter/intra-generational cognitive and didactic communication.
Homo Sapiens evolved in Africa from previous hominins (Homo Faber or Homo Ergaster) that already migrated out of Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia where Neanderthals and Denisovans respectively evolved from them. The nest of this evolution is debated due to recent archaeological discoveries, but the first migration was in Africa from sub-Saharan Africa to Northern Africa. Then out of Africa.
I assume the migrations took place every time the phylogeny of language stabilized on the basis of each articulation. The first migration was on the basis of the simple consonant-vowel articulation producing root languages (all consonantal root languages). The second migration on the basis of the morphological articulation produced stems categorized as nouns or verbs, spatial or temporal. These languages are isolating invariable-character languages. The third migration corresponded to the production of fronds, words syntactically categorized as functional nominals and conjugated verbals ready to build syntactic utterances. The communicational syntax was essential to build discourse in root language and little by little was integrated in langue itself reducing the extension and role of discourse, and in the last forms many categories integrated in words are exteriorized outside the words as determiners, prepositions, auxiliaries, adverbs, thus realizing in langue abstract systems of categorizing operations and forms.
These migrations lead us to three phylogenic linguistic families: consonantal root languages; isolating invariable-character stem languages; and agglutinative or synthetic-analytical frond languages. These languages spread in the world along with the successive migrations of Homo Sapiens. The answer then to the question about Cro-Magnon’s language is simple and clear: an agglutinative Turkic set of languages and dialects we could call Old European languages to be replaced after the Ice Age by Indo-European languages coming from the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia.
Follow the detail of this exploration in this book, a life-time research and exploration and the first stage of a vaster research. The next stage is the linguistic psychogenesis of human children and language learners. That next stage will come soon. The final stage will be the exploration of how acculturation-deculturation-acculturation is the very human process of human civilization and corresponds to the Buddhist birth-death-rebirth vision invented in the other branch of Indo-Iranian languages, viz. the Indo-Aryan languages that migrated from the same nest as Indo-European languages but east instead of west.