The Difference Between A Communicative System With Productivity And One With Fixed Reference?

1539 WordsJan 9, 20167 Pages
1) What is the difference between a communicative system with productivity and one with fixed reference? A communication system with productivity is described as infinite. “Even a single week’s issues of, say, Time, Newsweek, and The Economist are unlikely to repeat any sentences (other than quoted utterances)” This shows the extent to which humans use a variety of language. It is argued that we are constantly creating new utterances within this particular communicative system. It is often claimed that chimpanzees have a mental ability to communicate in this way however, cannot physically. One chimp “was raised for about seven years by psychologists [...] and could utter only four phrases” This suggests that chimpanzees perhaps have an inbuilt capacity to use language in the same way humans do but physically struggle. A communication system with fixed reference implies that the sounds within a language are set; the meaning of an utterance does not change. This is not something that is really seen in humans, it is mainly associated with animals. Bees are a good example of this as they “do not use their communicative system to convey anything beyond a limited range of meanings (such as ‘there’s a pretty good source of nectar in this direction’).” Thus, suggesting that this particular species uses only the communication it needs to complete daily tasks as opposed to creating unique utterances like humans. The main difference between these two communicative systems is that
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