We may associate philology with a study of poetry and other literary forms of language. However, philology embraces also linguistics, and linguistic studies have progressed into the neural reality of language. Naturally, dissecting brains in order to analyze language would be absurd. Facts of neurology yet may add valuable insight in language phenomena and help reduce bias as well as prejudice.
Human language skills depend on specific brain regions. These brain areas as well as the entire nervous system need natural, internal, physiological feedback processes for functioning. Individual requirement for these feedback phenomena approximates a drive in unimpeded humans, instances of altered feedback capacities potentially resulting in drive-like behaviors.
Psychologically, a drive may be defined as a basic and instinctive need, an inner urge to stimulate response, incite, or repress action (the Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1989), as well as a strong motivating tendency or instinct related to self-preservation (the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, 2006, 2000).
The feedback performance discussed in the thesis does not mean the evaluative or opinion-related responses that everyday language use connotes. The notion of a drive does not involve sex-related behaviors.
The thesis necessitating the field-specific vocabulary, I have added a few footnotes for a reading public wider than that of university premises. I formulated the term explications myself or – to encourage consistency in denotation – referred to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Fourth Edition, which is always marked in the text. The thesis body uses the Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, 1989. Obviously, I have not footnoted terms of high congruence such as the medical reference to be easy to find in dictionaries or over the Internet.
Having to address the contemporary issues as arisen especially by behaviorism does not mean conformation to extra-disciplinary standards. Psycholinguistics emerged in 1960s in the USA opposing behaviorism, particularly on operant conditioning and processing of meaning. Psycholinguistics is also known as language psychology.
My thesis postulates that language belongs with human information processing. I do not mean that humans always provide information when speaking or writing. As many authors in the fields of neurology as well as linguistics and psychology, I agree that human nervous systems process information to work. Naturally, the information is not digital; it is neural.
Behaviorism is unable to comprehend the specificity of human information processing. More, full insight in human inner processes might be impossible as well as not desirable. Psycholinguistics, without an ambition to explain everything or any intent to trespass, can offer a perspective better and more favorable to the human.
I defended “The role of feedback in language processing” in the year 2000. Within these years, there has not been any reason to change the premises as well as the conclusions. I am an M.A. in English philology, American English, specialized in psycholinguistics.
All rights reserved. The author reserves the right of translation.
The work is an intellective outcome based on legally available printed resources which are all acknowledged in the bibliography. The thesis did not involve, as well as does not require, any experiments.
The thesis does not support biofeedback and other artificial feedback techniques or technologies. In the light of the importance of the natural processes, such techniques or technologies might prove harmful.
The website is still under construction.
The problem of the role of feedback in human processing of language belongs within the domain of human information processing. With the core concepts of processing of options, a processing unit, a program, and a control hierarchy being necessary for any consideration of information processing phenomena, the use of terminology related to computer science should not be understood as an attempt to draw too close an analogy, as human language continues to be the very scope of skill unmatched by artificial intelligence. Therefore, human physiology shall remain the primary area of reference for the following discussion of the role of feedback in language behavior.
As stated, human language processing belongs with human processing of information. The main notions that might be claimed operational in the context would include processing of options, capacity for processing unit formation and modification, processing system hierarchic structuring, signal specificity, an information pool, and reliance on feedback. Validity confirmed in accord with the above terms, the principle of dependence on feedback may be posited for the functional backbone of a live information processing structure. Therefore, the human nervous system shall be explored for reliance on feedback, beginning with the single cell and ending with the intricate connectedness of the human brain.
Feedback processes have been identified to substantiate the human internal structure at the elementary as well as hierarchically advanced levels. However, a proper consideration of language acquisition and learning would require another definition of feedback to complement the one of returning of part the output. The definition would be that to apply in the field of psychology and to describe feedback as the knowledge of behavior results to influence or modify further performance by the organism (Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, 1989).
Arguably, the notion of the knowledge of results corresponds closely with that of returning of output, the psychological definition of feedback adding only a more general, cognitive dimension to the one operational also in the science of cybernetics. The purpose of the present chapter is to discuss language acquisition and learning with reference to elaboration and use of relevant behavioral patterns. The present thesis postulates for the process to require feedback mediated functions to found thinking pattern formation.
With the aim of the previous chapter being to validate the postulated principle of dependence on feedback as regards language development, the purpose of the present one is to recognize the role of feedback in a formed language “program” use. The human brain shall remain the reference for the discussion of language processing as “neither linguistic competence nor linguistic performance are mere abstract entities but are mediated by the physical structure of the human brain” (Puppel, 1992).
The brain may be viewed as a highly structured organ for systemic processing of neural information, preservation of internal equilibrium necessitating establishment of an individually agreeable balance. Language deserves to be identified here as a highly sophisticated tool for interaction related to survival. Arguably enough, the “tool” should correspond in a way to the basic functional properties of the system by which it is operated. The question to emerge is that of the behavioral priority for either skill programming or reliance on feedback within the nervous system as a self-preservation oriented structure.
Chapter four. Alterations to language processing and related feedback impediment
Feedback phenomena have been posited to constitute the backbone of human information processing. Arguably, the functional importance of a capacity shows in alterations produced by changes to the capacity. Therefore, further rationale to the postulations on the role of feedback in language processing should come from the domain of language impediment, psycholinguistics being concerned with behavioral aspects of language acquisition and use, as well as speech therapy (Encyklopedia Językoznawstwa Ogólnego, 1993). Thus, the following chapter examines aspects of feedback distortions to language processing that may result from injury or impediment.