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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Primer

To learn a Language one must acquire a Primer first. Yet, children exposed to multiple languages can pick them up relatively quickly compared to adults. Still, they need that Primer to learn the alphabet and become proficient and fluent in writing and reading the language. The Primer supplies them with the rules and principles of that language. Can children simply absorb the spoken languages and become proficient in using them functionally without learning from a Primer how to read and write? Yes, because in everyday use there are only a few words needed to become functional. The same is true of adults learning another language. They can learn enough to become functional in usage, maybe immersing themselves in the culture that actually speaks the language fluently to learn the rest. Additionally, there are many languages that never progressed beyond the spoken word and function without reading and writing. They still require an informal set of the rules of Grammar to speak well. It is the identification of this internal biological Universal Grammar that is common to all languages. And each individual possesses a "Mother Tongue" which most closely approximates internal speech. Only Humans acquired both language and the ability to read, write and speak it among all creatures. Animals communicate and some can even be taught to imitate speech sounds or use Sign Language, but there is no evidence of "Proto-Languages" where Language gradually developed over time. The evidence is two fold: Language had to be acquired as an infinite set fully formed with the ability to speak, and Language has been acquired relatively recently within the past few thousand years as it appears suddenly in "The Great Leap Forward" with all of Mankind's other major accomplishments.