Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 22:14:43 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: one as a pronoun? >DL writes: >>... words ... in the final analysis >> are merely oscillations of molecules >>in a sound medium or marks on >>flattish surfaces RB writes> >Another way of looking at it (which I prefer) is that "in the final >analysis" words are mental representations in the minds of speakers of a >language--representations that link sound, grammar, and meaning. Why >emphasize phonologgy/orthography and ignore morphology, syntax, and meaning? If there is no mind available to process the sound waves, what exists is what I referred to. You're quite right, of course. I was intentionally taking an extreme view. What if a lip-reading hearing-impaired or non-hearing person processes the words that someone has said? And what if a non-hearing person constructs words to be able to write down the content of information received through signing? And there are many other what-if (im)ponderables. In an oral interchange (or even written interchange) what is the locus of 'the' or 'mountain' or 'say' as a word? It is likely that somewhat or slightly different neural complexes "light up" in the brains of producers and receivers as words are "interchanged," so where does that leave us? Communing with angels on the head of a pin?