I never even said that it hasn't evolved far enough in the human direction, just not far enough!
But what about dolphins, which may have comparable-ish powers of language? That isn't really in the human direction, after all. And yet you're using human traits as your basis of language skills. Considering also that the OP is about making them more physiologically like humans, I think it was a completely reasonable assumption to go from
I would almost expect it to be worse. A small child's brain is, after all, at least human. A chimp brain hasn't evolved that far.
to 'their language skills are not as evolved in the human direction'.
Ziggy Stardust wrote:
I am just always wary of that sort of simplification, for two reasons. First, I am a cognitive scientist that studies language, so it's my job to pretend its more complex and important than it probably really is :mrgreen: . Second, there are lots of people (Ray Kurzweil being a notable example) who use these oversimplistic linear models to make rather bold claims that don't hold any real water. I am not saying you CAN'T do it, but just that you should be wary of doing so and how you interpret the results.
Haha yes, it should be reasonable to assign biological meaning. Of course the meaning of such a variable would simply be 'how does a species compare, linguistically, to a human model of development' and not, say, 'can we boil language down to a single number that solves everything.' My bad if it seemed like I said that.
Ziggy Stardust wrote:
That is, conceptually chimps seem capable of processing the world in a way that aligns rather well with our own language-driven processing. The computational side of it involves lots of hundred-to-thousand dimensional matrices to which we apply singular value decomposition to "simplify" to more palatable low-dimensional matrices for analysis. The jury is still out on whether these decomposed linearizations are accurate or useful, depending on the study they either correlate well with standard human judgment or not at all.
Very cool. To be more specific, I was talking about using principal component analysis, the first couple of which are generally pretty useful. I've never heard of singular value decomposition but it looks really interesting!