The present description of the Merge model addresses only auditory, not audiovisual, speech perception. However, recent findings in the audiovisual domain are relevant to the model. We outline a test that we are conducting of the adequacy of Merge, modified to accept visual information about articulation.
The orderly output constraint (OOC) is extraneous. Talkers “speak in lines” in its absence. Further, there is no perceptual motivation for an OOC; perceivers ignore the linearity between F2 at consonant-vowel onset and F2 in the vowel. In any case, the analogy with bat and barn owl localization systems underlying the theory is extreme, Sussman et al.'s comments to the contrary notwithstanding.
The claim that perception and action are commonly coded because they are indistinguishable at the distal level is crucial for theories of cognition. However, the consequences of this claim run deep, and the Theory of Event Coding (TEC) is not up to the challenge it poses. We illustrate why through a brief review of the evidence that led to the motor theory of speech perception.
The main purpose of this article is to consider the significance of different types of memory and non-genetic inheritance and different biosemiotic systems for the origin and evolution of language. It presents language and memory as distributed, heteronomous and system-determined processes implemented in biological and social domains. The article emphasises that language and other sign systems are both ecological and inductive systems that were caused by and always correlate with the environment and deductive systems that are inherited by and depend (...) on the internal development of organisms, individuals, and societies. The article also claims that the origin, re-occurrence and evolution of naturally-emerging sign systems presuppose their retention and accumulation in physical, biological, individual, and social types of memory and reinforcement and maintenance by conventional and deliberate social regulation and accumulation. All of this allows language and other sign systems to be situation-relevant and to be transmitted through generations without their constant reinvention. The novelty of the proposed theory of language origin and evolution is in interdisciplinary integration of biosemiotic studies, systems approaches to language and studies of inheritance systems presented by ‘Extended evolutionary synthesis’. (shrink)
Embedding theories of language production and comprehension in theories of action-perception is realistic and highlights that production and comprehension processes are interleaved. However, layers of internal models that repeatedly predict future linguistic actions and perceptions are implausible. I sketch an ecological alternative whereby perceiver/actors are modeled as dynamical systems coupled to one another and to the environment.