Submitted to Identity and its forms, January 24-26, 2018, Milan, Italy.
Coordinating Activities with a Grammar of Self-Transformations
Suppose that the purpose of language is to coordinate activity. We consider how grammar might arise by taking various self-transformations to be quintessential activities.
Cognitive linguists typically consider how meaning grows definite through assemblies of basic concepts. However, thinking is by nature vague, and proceeds rather by reducing vagueness, as when establishing a pattern of recurring activity. Thus we can think of a glass as that which we can pick up and set down; which we can drink from; which we can wash; and that which we can distinguish from other dishes in the sink.
The purpose of grammar is then to standardize such activities and their possible relationships. Self-transformations serve as universally relevant activities which enrich our old self with a new self. We can clarify such self-transformations by studying personal examples of changes in our self-identity. We are affected by being, doing and thinking; by a person, many people, or a perspective beyond them; by embracing a world, entering it or listening from it; by rejecting, by accepting conditionally, and by living in parallel.
We can also derive such circumstances from first principles by variously perturbing an initial state of peace. For example, let us search for constancy. Either we find "one" example, or otherwise, "all" is constantly unconstant.
Thus we may study grammar as a framework, in declarative memory, to which we map relationships of activities in procedural memory, but especially as standardized in terms of ubiquitous self-transformations.