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Appendix: Grice/Tomasello (optional)

Is there an alternative picture of communication by language, one without mapping or training?

communication by language without mapping or training

In thinking about the alternative picture, I'm guided by two thoughts.
The first concerns social interaction.

social interaction

So far we've considered two pictures of how children learn to communicate with words: training and reasoning to word-concept mappings.
Both pictures miss social interaction.
On one picture the infant is an outsider who might as well be observing those around her through a telescope.
On the other picture the child is a blank to be shaped by those around her.
There is no meaningful interaction between the infant and adults around her; or, if there is, it makes no difference to her development.
But could there be a role for social interaction in learning the meanings of words?
If you think about the examples of creativity --- homesigns and puttaputta --- this seems plausible.
Communication with words happens in the context of joint action, and it is a tool for joint action.
The alternative picture is based on the ideas of Michael Tomasello and his colleagues.

‘children acquire linguistic symbols as a kind of by-product of social interaction with adults’

Tomasello 2003, p. 90

\citep[p.\ 90]{Tomasello:2003fk}

Infants ‘begin to comprehend and use … linguistic symbols on the basis of their skills of social cognition and cultural learning’

Tomasello, Striano & Rochat 1999, p. 582

\citep[p.\ 582]{Tomasello:1999en}

‘language is itself one type-albeit a very special type-of joint attentional skill’

\citep[p.\ 1120]{Tomasello:2001ic}

‘the kind of rational activity which the use of language involves is a form of rational cooperation’

Grice 1989, p. 341

\citep[p.\ 341]{Grice:1989ha}
The second guiding thought in creating the alternative picture concens creativity.

language creation

It's standard to suppose that creativity is a side-issue and that learning from those around us is the norm.
This view is encouraged by the idea that language is fundamentally a system of conventions, and that coming to communicate with words is a matter of getting into those conventions.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Acquiring the ability to communicate with words is an essentially creative process.
Conventions in the surrounding culture can be useful, but they are no more than useful accessories.

‘it is an error to suppose we have seen deeply into the heart of linguistic communication when we have noticed how society bends linguistic habits to a public norm.

… But in indicating this element of the conventional, or of the conditioning process that makes speakers rough linguistic facsimiles of their friends and parents, we explain no more than the convergence; we throw no light on the essential nature of the skills that are thus made to converge.’

Davidson 1984 [1982]: 278

\citep[p.\ 278]{Davidson:1982uu}

‘convention does not help explain what is basic to linguistic communication, though it may describe a usual, though contingent feature.’

Davidson 1984 [1982]: 280

\citep[p.\ 280]{Davidson:1982uu}

‘An utterance has certain truth conditions only if the speaker intends it to be interpreted as having those truth conditions.

Moral, social or legal considerations may sometimes invite us to deny this, but I do not think the reasons for such exceptions reveal anything of importance about what is basic to communication’

Davidson 1990: 310

\citep[p.\ 310]{Davidson:1990du}
So these are my two themes.
I'm going to create a view out of them.

social interaction

language creation

Grice on meaning

'A speaker S non-naturally means something by an utterance x if and only if, for some hearer (or audience) H, S utters x intending:

(1) H to produce a particular response r, and

(2) H to recognise that S intends (1).

Grice 1957

***todo update diagram (no meanings, past intentions)
*Utterances of words are gestures ... (link to non-verbal communication)