Once humankind spoke like children do Developmental psychology explains the history of language

Oesterdiekhoff G.W., Human Evolution – Vol.33 – 1-2-2018

Theories of ethnosyntax and evolutionary approaches to language have described certain patterns of many languages partially spoken by today missing features known among the so-called full grammar languages. There are languages without subordinate clauses, embedding, recursion, passive, plural, many tenses, etc. Likewise research found that even the full grammar languages of today have a past where they likewise shared these simpler traits, having gone through several processes of grammaticalization during certain historical periods. More, research found resemblances to language acquisition in ontogeny. During certain stages of language acquisition modern children share traits with those of archaic languages, a fact already known by some fathers of language research. This article here shows that neither universal grammar theory nor evolutionary respectively Darwinian approaches to language can explain these parallels. It is argued that developmental psychology and Piagetian cross-cultural psychology can explain these parallels. Modern children do not recapitulate the history of language, as Haeckel once believed, but conversely, preoperational stage structures in the mind both of children and ancient humans cause the parallels in language and grammar. Therefore, the knowledge of developmental psychology concerning the psychology of the preoperational stage is necessary in order to explain each single pattern of language and grammar on their earlier stages on the one side and the emergence of full grammar language on the other side. The article gives an overview over a wide range of parallels concerning language patterns, coming to the conclusion that developmental psychology delivers the foundations both to linguistics and the description of the history of language.

Oesterdiekhoff G.W.
Department of Sociology Karlsruhe
Institute for Technology Karlsruhe,
Germany.
E-mail: Oesterdiekhoff@t-online.de

DOI: 10.14673/HE2018121040

The first scientific revolution Developmental psychology as the fundamental theory to all human and social sciences

Oesterdiekhoff G.W., Human Evolution – Vol.33 – 1-2-2018

Several authors of the past have already maintained that developmental psychology might be in future the fundamental theory to all human and social disciplines. These authors based their idea upon the observation of far-reaching and striking similarities of psychological structures between children and ancient humans. These similarities might explain the historically earlier forms of society, culture, politics, law, morals, and religion as manifestations of psychological stage structures of ancient human beings, while the more recent forms of these phenomena have originated in the risen psychological stage structures of modern human beings. However, the current human and social disciplines provide instead that the human being always had had the same rational structure respectively had had the same anthropological stage, in opposition to that what the developmental approach might provide and claim. This article here shows that the developmental approach actually has the capacity to rebuild every single human and social discipline upon new foundations and to impart to them breakthroughs regarding knowledge discovery and theory construction. The developmental approach basically revolutionizes the theoretical foundations in every single human and social science. More, it unifies them under one common roof and breakes apart the known boundaries, thus defining interdisciplinarity in a completely new way.

Oesterdiekhoff G.W.
Department of Sociology Karlsruhe
Institute for Technology Karlsruhe,
Germany.
E-mail: Oesterdiekhoff@t-online.de

DOI: 10.14673/HE2018121039

Cognitive Modules or Evolutionary Stages? The Relationship between Developmental and Cross-Cultural Psychology

DOI: 10.14673/HE2016121015

Published in Human Evolution – Vol. 31 – n.1-2 – 2016

Key words: Developmental/evolutionary psychology, cross-cultural-historical psychology,  ontogeny, psychological stages, children, premodern humans, social evolution, world history, modern societies.

Abstract

The founders of developmental psychology and psychoanaly-sis described resemblances between premodern adults and children. Theories based on these parallels were widespread mainly between 1840 and 1950. However, in the recent decades several authors from different disciplines have also contributed to this idea. This article examines the principal contributions to the debate over time and the conclusions drawn from empirical data. It provides an answer to the question: Do these similarities exist only between certain cognitive functions and embedded modules, or are they instead manifestations of psychological/evolutionary stages? While today many maintain that the  simi-larities between premodern adults and children of the modern age are primarily limited to cognitive structures, the arguments presented here suggest that such parallels encompass their en-tire psychological state.

Oesterdiekhoff, G.W.

Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Department of Sociology,
PO Box 6980,
76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.
Phone: (+49) 2043 31116
E-mail: oesterdiekhoff@t-online.de

 

Sociological Functionalism or Developmental Psychology as a Theoretical Foundation to Ethnology? Radcliffe-Brown´s Analysis of the Andaman Islanders´ Religious Beliefs Revised

DOI: 10.14673/IJA2016121023

Published in Int. Journal of Anthropology – Vol. 31 – n.1-2 – 2016

Key words: developmental psychology, functionalism, religion, magic, animism.

Abstract

Radcliffe-Brown described the religious and magical beliefs of the Andaman Islanders, especially their rites regarding the daylight and the seasons, their god Biliku and the cicadas, his children. He emphasized that these beliefs are by no means irrational or childish but express important social values or social functions. His book on the Andaman Islanders was a central contribution to functionalism, a theory that objected to the previously prevailing evolutionary anthropology and related developmental approaches. This article resumes the study of the research data, showing that functionalism cannot explain the belief systems of the islanders. It demonstrates that the cognitive-developmental approach has all the tools necessary in order to be able to explain the magical-religious worldview not only of these islanders but also of the whole archaic world. Ethnology, or social anthropology, is required to study the cognitive-developmental approach in order to establish a superior theoretical foundation.

Oesterdiekhoff, G.W.

Karlsruhe Institute for Technology,

Department of Sociology,

PO Box 6980,

76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.

Phone: (+49) 2043 31116

E-mail: oesterdiekhoff@t-online.de

 

Buy: Euro 12,00