Altaistik: Turkologie by J. Benzing, A. Von Gabain, O. Pritsak, N. Poppe, K. H.

By J. Benzing, A. Von Gabain, O. Pritsak, N. Poppe, K. H. Menges, A. Temir, Z. V. Togan, F. Taeschner

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We know from discussion in Part II that we have many such resources, including common-sense ‘folk’ principles, common biologies, environments, interests, etc. – generally, shared biologies and discourse-context information plus anything one gets from familiarity with the speaker. It is hardly surprising that no program has passed the unrestricted Turing/Descartes test. Machines aren’t people. They simulate human behaviors in carrying out specific tasks – often besting them where dealing with restricted contexts and specific problems.

Descartes might have been unwilling to appear to be offering a naturalistic account of the mind, or what the church authorities might have thought the soul. That motivation, if it was one, is of little interest to us. The other is relevant, and important. It is found in his effort to take the creative aspect of language use observations into account by using the tools that his sciences gave him, especially those found in his contact mechanics. We have seen already that linguistic creativity observations are important for the science of mind – at least, for those who adopt an RR strategy.

Here in outline is the device Chomsky used in the mid-1960s to make sense of how the child’s mind automatically ‘selects’ grammar X as opposed to Y – that is, learns X as opposed to Y, given data D. Think of X and Y as sets of rules, both candidates as descriptions of language L or, more carefully, of the data available to the child’s mind. Which should the child’s mind choose? 23 If one can measure whether one grammar is better than another in this way, it does not stretch credulity very much to imagine that some internal and innate device in the child’s mind ‘chooses’ X over Y by applying such a measure.

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