Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.

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Hopi: Heterochronic Patterns


"After long and careful study and analysis, the Hopi language is seen to contain no words, grammatical forms, constructions or expressions that refer directly to what we call "time." or to past, present, or future, or to enduring or lasting, or to motion as kinematic rather than dynamic (i.e. as a continuous translation in space and time rather than as an exhibition of dynamic effort in a certain process), or that even refer to space in such a way as to exclude that element of extension or existence that we call "time," and so by implication leave a residue that could be referred to as "time." Hence, the Hopi language contains no reference to "time," either explicit or implicit." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 57-8)

"Thus, the Hopi language and culture conceals a METAPHYSICS, such as our so-called naive view of space and time does, or as the relativity theory does; yet it is a different metaphysics from either." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 58)

"The Hopi conceive time and motion in the objective realm in a purely operational sense---a matter of the complexity and magnitude of operations connecting events---so that the element of time is not separated fromwhatever element of space enters into the operations." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 63)

"In this field and in various others, English compared to Hopi is like a bludgeon compared to a rapier." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 85)

"Lexemic categories may be either overt or covert. Hopi is an example of a language in which they are covert. Possibly Maya may be another case, though we lack clear information on that point. In Hopi there is no distinction in the simplex (bare-stem) forms between nouns and verbs, and sentences are possilbe in which there is no distinction in the sentence." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 94)

"Can there be languages not only without selective nouns and verbs, but even without stativations and verbations? Certainly. The power of making predications or declarative sentences and of taking on such moduli as voice, aspect, and tense, may be a property of every major word, without the addition of a preparatory modulus. This seems to be the case in Nitinat and the other Wakashan languages." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 98)

"The Hopi thought-world had no imaginary space. The corollary to this is that it may not locate thought dealing with real space anywhere but in real space, nor insulate real space from the effects of thought. A Hopi would naturally suppose that his thought (or he himself) traffics with the actual rosebush---or more likely, corn plant---that he is thinking about. The thought then should leave some trace of itself with the plant in the field. If it is a good thought, one about health and growth, it is good for the plant; if a bad thought, the reverse." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 150)

"Hopi "preparing' activities again show a result of their linguistic thought backround in an emphasis on persistence and constant insistent repetition. A sense of the cumulative value of innumerable small momenta is dulled by an objectivied, spatialized view of time like ours, enhanced by a way of thinking close to the subjective awareness of duration, of the ceaseless "latering" of events. To us, for whom time is a motion on a space, unvarying repetition seems to scatter its force along a row of units of that space, and be wasted. To the Hopi, for whom time is not a motion but a "getting later" of everything that has ever been done, unvarying repetition is not wasted but accumulated. It is storing up an invisible change that holds over into later events." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 151)

"Hopi races and games seem to emphasize rather the virtues of endurance and sustained intensity. Hopi dancing is highly symbolic and is performed with great intensity and earnestness, but has not much movement or swing." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 155)

"In the Hopi language, 'lightning, wave, flame, meteor, puff of smoke, pulsation' are verbs---events of necessarily brief duration cannot be anything but verbs. 'Cloud' and 'storm' are at about the lower limit of duration for nouns. Hopi, you see, actually has a classification of events (or linguistic isolates) by duration type, something strange to our modes of thought. On the other hand, in Nootka, a language of Vancouver Ilsland, all words seem to us to be verbs, but really there are no classes 1 and 2; we have, as it were, a monistic view of nature that gives us only one class of word for all kinds of events." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 215)

"Hopi may be called a timeless language. It recognises psychological time, which is much like Bergson's "duration," but this "time" is quite unlike the mathematical time, T, used by our physicists. Among the peculiar properties of Hopi time are that it varies with each observer, does not permit of simultaneity, and has zero dimensions; i.e., it cannot be given a number greater than one. The Hopi do not say, "I stayed five days," but "I left on the fifth day."" (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 215)

"And every language is a vast pattern-system, different from others, in which are culturally ordained the forms and categories by which the personality not only communicates, but also analyzes nature, notices or neglects types of relationship and phenomena, channels his reasoning, and builds the house of his consciousness." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 252)

"We are obliged to say 'it flashed' or 'a light flashed,' setting up an actor IT, or A LIGHT, to perform what we call an action, FLASH. But the flashing and the light are the same; there is no thing which does something, and no doing. Hopi says only rehpi. Hopi can have verbs without subjects, and this gives to that language power as a logical system for understanding certain aspects of the cosmos. Scientific language, being founded on western Indo-European and not on Hopi, does as we do, sees sometimes actions and forces where there may be only states. For do you not conceive it possible that scientists as well as ladies with cats all unknowingly project the linguistic patterns of a particular type of language upon the universe, and SEE them there, rendered visible on the very face of nature? A change in language can transform our appreciation of the Cosmos." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 262-3)

"The commitment to illusion had been sealed in western Indo-European language, and the road out of illusion for the West lies through a wider understanding of lanugage than western Indo-European alone can give." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 263)

"Very many of the gestures made by English-speaking people at least, and probably by all SAE speakers, serve to illustrate, by a movement in space, not a real spatial reference but one of the nonspatial references that our languages handles by metaphors of imaginary space. That is, we are more apt to make a grasping gesture when we speak of grasping an elusive idea than when we speak of grasping a doorknob. The gesture seeks to make a metaphorical and hence somewhat unclear reference more clear. But, if a language refers to nonspacials without implying a spatial analogy, the reference is not made any clearer by gesture. The Hopi gesture very little, perhaps not at all in the sense we understand as gesture." (Whorf BL (1956) Language, Thought & Reality. MIT Press: Cambridge p. 155)

"Thirty pairs of dichotically presented CV syllables were administered to matched samples of Native American Navajo and Anglo subjects. While sex was not a significant factor, significant differences were evidenced in the performance of the Native American Navajo and Anglo subjects. As predicted, the Navajo subjects demonstated a left ear advantage compared to the traditional right ear effect found in the Anglo subjects. These results are discussed as they relate to linguistic processing and neuropsychological theory. ... Cllinical reports of aphasic Japanese subjects have shown them to have considerable variability in their writing of Kana and Kanji characters (6-9). The Kana symbols are phonetic representations of syllables, while the Kanji characters represent the legographic properties of the characters. Recent studies have investigated the capacity of the two cerebral hemispheres in normal Japanese subjects to differentiate and process these two types of written characters {10-12}. The results of these studies have indicated that the two cerebral hemispheres do differentially process Kana and Kanji characters. The Kana (phonetic) symbols seem to be processed in the left cerebral cortex while the Kanji (logograhic) characters are more reliably reported when projected to the right cerebral hemisphere. These results seem to be consistent whth the clinical observations noted in aphasic Japanese patients {6-9} and are intriquing for several reasons. First, reading these symbols in Japanese appears to require a more neurologically integrated effort than reading English, as it seems to involve the processing of symbols in both cerebral hemispheres rather than in the left cerebral cortex, which seems to be the case with English. Second, one could speculate that some mechanism must scan the characters and, based on their stimulus properties, shift attention transcallosally to the appropriate hemisphere. Finally, these studies suggest that cerebral function for written Japanese may be less fully lateralized in Japanese subjects as is traditionally reported in the contempory literature for English-speaking subjects. If this is indeed the case, there may be other populations in which language lateralization differs relative to our current understanding of neuropsychological asymmetries. There is some very limited evidence that lateralization for language in the Native American Hopi differs more dramatically than would be expected {13}. Using an analysis of EEG ratios, these investigators found a significant right cerebral hemisphere specialization for language processing in Hopi Indian children." (Scott, S., Hynd, G.W., Hunt, L. & Weed, W. (1979) Cerebral speech lateralization in the American Navajo. Neuropsychologia 17: 89)


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