In Zoltan Torey's The Conscious Mind, the author discusses the emerge of language:

Adding weight to the thesis of the stage-wise evolution of language, Bickerton (1995) noted that

the linguistic history of the hominid line appears … as a two-stage process: first a stage in which there was a lexicon without syntax, then a stage in which infinitely productive mechanisms emerged to create syntax as we know it. If this conclusion is correct, it is a waste of time to look for antecedents of syntax in ancestral species, as syntax could not have come into existence until there was a sizeable vocabulary whose units could be organized into complex structures. … There seems no feasible alternative to concluding that syntax has a specific neural substrate, laid down at some stage prior to the last fifty millennia, most probably at the time when anatomically modern humans emerged as a separate species.

Bickerton’s description is spot on, though it does not say what the “infinitely productive mechanisms” and the “specific neural substrate” for generating syntax actually were. To find these, we turn to the motor writing of the speech areas in the human infant’s neuroplastic brain, the break- through that gave it the leverage to handle its lexicon and generate syntax when, through feature-detection, it acquired qualifiers and function words.

From the beginning of the book, the author has referred to this breakthrough as "the speech areas acquiring a motor-arm, which is the language. Now he says "motor writing", but I can't get the exact meaning of "writing" here!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There's no specific meaning to this term. Probably a typo for motor wiring. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Sep 4, 2023 at 12:43


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