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Consciousness and language

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Abstract

Our conscious control of language and its acquisition is strictly limited. A processing-oriented perspective to explain this will be outlined called MOGUL according to which some linguistic processes are inherently unconscious while others can be either conscious or not. The former involve representations, found in the dedicated, uniquely human language module, whose sealed-off nature does not permit the  activation levels necessary for conscious experience to take place. However, language knowledge created by cognitive processes that are not specifically linguistic, that is, created outside the language module, can indeed be raised to consciousness. This is because they are more directly connected to the perceptual system and are accordingly open to much higher levels of activation.

References

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