Skip to main content

Holophrastic protolanguage

Planning, processing, storage, and retrieval

Buy Article:

$25.56 plus tax (Refund Policy)

This paper challenges recent assumptions that holophrastic utterances could be planned, processed, stored and retrieved from storage, focussing on three specific issues: (i) Problems in conceptual planning of multi-proposition utterances of the type proposed by Arbib (2005), Mithen (2005); (ii) The question of whether holophrastic protolanguage could have been processed by a special 'holistic' mode, the precursor to a projected 'idiom mode' in modern language; (iii) The implications for learning a holophrastic proto-lexicon in light of lexical constraints on word learning. Modern speakers only plan utterances in clause-sized units, and it is improbable that protolanguage speakers had more complex abilities. Moreover, the production and comprehension of idioms sheds no light on a putative 'holistic' mode of language processing, since idioms are not processed in this way. Finally, innate constraints on learning lexical items preclude the types of word meanings proposed by proponents of holophrastic protolanguage.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-04-01

More about this publication?
  • Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more