f | share    f | like 

X. Whole-brain Understanding

For the left hemisphere of the brain to digest that which is known by the right, the right’s intuitive gestalt of knowledge must be submitted to a certain process of cutting something too big to get your intellect around to easy-to-swallow chunks. This process is known by the word ‘analysis’, which etymologically stands for a process or act of loosening something up into its components, like undoing the knot at the bottom of a bag held upside down. If this bag is Language, then what falls out of it are the main components of Language — which, on the most rudimentary level, are: (1) Phonology (the grammar of sounds); 2) the Lexicon (the word-bank or menu of words [a.k.a. lexemes] of a given language, and the whole nebulous issue of what in the world is a ‘word’); (3) Morphology (the grammar of minimal units of meaning, and why words in some languages seem to ‘flex’); and (4) Syntax (the grammar of the arrangement of words and particle [=‘loose morphemes’] in a phrase, clause or sentence). NOTE: the order I give for the components are not inherent to Language, but budding out that way from my flow of thoughts and writing style; and my particular choice of components to mention or not to mention is entirely wonderfully contentious. Really, I just hope for you yourself to go on this journey and see if the more refined your analysis becomes, the finer the lines become — so that everything runs together and we are back again holding the whole bag with all its components safely inside. (Lowdown: there really are no components, but convention has its requirements, and thinking its conventions.)
The word understand etymologically means 'to stand among'. The synonym comprehend ultimately stems from Latin comprehendere 'to grasp (prehendere) together (com)' Often words for abstract cognitive processes are rooted in words for tangible physical acts. But like I said before: Don't take my word for it! Go have fun surfing an etymological dictionary!
« back top home about contact next »

Site & contents © Francis M. Tokarski, Jr. All rights reserved.