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For now I'm assuming that Davidson is right that anyone who can think communicate with language.
I've just been asking, What account of language acquisition is consistent with this assumption?
The answer was: some kind of training.
One problem for this view is that training does not seem sufficient.
To see why, let's ask paraphrase a famous question of Michael Dummett's (What do I know when I know a language?) and ask:

What do I know or understand when I can communicate with language?

What training gets you is just an ability to use words in certain circumstances.
But communicating with language seems to involve more than this.
It seems to involve understanding.
This, anyway, seems to be Davidson's view:

‘You can deceive yourself into thinking that the child is talking if it makes sounds which, if made by a genuine language-user, would have a definite meaning.

… If a mouse had vocal cords of the right sort, you could train it to say “Cheese”. But that word would not have a meaning when uttered by the mouse, nor would the mouse understand what it “said”.’

Davidson 1999: 11

\citep[p.\ 11]{Davidson:1999ju}
This is just a hint, but I take it that Davidson is suggesting that communicating with language involves being able to understand what you've said.
And merely being trained in the ways Russel, Wittgenstein, Quine and Davidson envisage clearly doesn't provide any understanding at all.
I think this point is nicely made but Dummett.
I want to outline Dummett's view in three quotes.
There's no argument here. I just think Dummett has hit on a datum about communication with language.

'to attribute to a speaker no more than knowledge of how to play … interlocking language games is to make him a participant in an activity he cannot survey (‘cannot see what is going on’).'

Dummett (1979: 224)

\citep[p.\ 224]{Dummett:1979fb}

Understanding a word can’t be purely a practical ability because this would ‘render mysterious our capacity to know whether we are understanding.’

Dummett (1991: 93)

\citep[p.\ 93]{Dummett:1991yj}

Language is ‘a rational activity on the part of creatures to whom can be ascribed intention and purpose’. So we need to distinguish ‘those regularities of which a language speaker, acting as a rational agent engaged in conscious, voluntary action, makes use from those that may be hidden from him.’

Dummett (1978: 104)

\citep[p.\ 104]{Dummett:1978zv}
I'll probably skip this, but it's a good example of the magic moment view.
It's also an interesting case where a serious philosopher says something which is empirically testable and where there no evidence for it but quite good evidence against it.

‘A child at this stage has no linguistic knowledge but merely a training in certain linguistic practices. When he has reached a stage at which it is possible for him to lie, his utterances will have ceased to be merely responses to features of his environment or to experienced needs. They will have become purposive actions based upon a knowledge of their significance to others.’

Dummett (1991:95)

\citep[p.\ 95]{Dummett:1991ug}
So what am I saying?
  1. Communicating with language involves being able to understand what you've said.
  2. Being trained in how words are used does not enable one to understand what would be said in uttering those words.


We cannot fully explain how humans become able to communicate with language by appeal to training.

Note that this is a point about suffiency. It's not an objection, but it is a lacuna.
And it's a lacuna that's hard to fill
It seems like, on this view, there has to be a magic moment when all that training somehow turns into the expression of thought.
Let me put this another way.
On this view, there is a gap between rat-like abilities to use words and thoughtful expression.
And no good account of how the gap could be crossed.
But this isn't the worst problem for the view. Creativing is a far worse problem ...

‘Whenever I think I understand what he [Davidson] is trying to say, I am told by the Davidson scholars that it is all much more subtle and interesting than that, though very difficult to articulate except by quoting more Davidson.’

Gopnik, “How to understand beliefs” (1995: 399)