Linguistics Errata

Twink (
Fri, 21 Nov 1997 18:59:22 -0500 (EST)

In my "Wed, 19 Nov 1997 22:12:19 -0500 (EST)" email, I mentioned
a theory with three levels of language and attributed this to Karl
Popper. I've found that Popper's theory actually has four levels of
language, and that he added only the fourth level. The other three
came from Buehler. I bring this up not so much to get the citations
right as because the Buehler-Popper four level system seems much
better than the three level one I outlined.

The four levels are:

1. expressive-symptomatic -- expression inner states of emotion/
feeling (e.g., cries, laughter);
2. releasing-signalling -- trying to elicit a response in the receiver
(e.g., growling);
3. descriptive -- communicating impressions/ideas which can be
true or false (e.g., news reports);
4. argumentative -- reasoning which can be valid or invalid (e.g.,
generalizations like "the free market is the best economic

My reference is John C. Eccles' _Evolution of the Brain: Creation
of the Self_ (1989).

Applied to the case of octopi, I guess they are on level two.
Getting them to level four, if this is at valid, is the goal of
uplifting put into linguistic terms.


Daniel Ust