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By Donald Preziosi

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Additional info for Architecture, Language, and Meaning: The Origins of the Built World and Its Semiotic Organization

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It is not clear, however, whether such a contrast is in fact an artifact of specific language structures perse, and the question can not, as yet, be easily resolved. As Hill points out, we need to know a great deal more about a number of things, including other kinds of place-naming (and place-making) activities, particularly among extant children and adolescents, as well as, in general, the nature of ordering strategies in the acquisition of concepts (Hill 1974: 192). We may be able to illuminate the picture of architectonic origins a bit more by contrasting the organizational properties of contemporary environments to the ordered environments of other species.

Such a home base or general headquarters might be more or less permanent (though this might limit the effective foraging range), or seasonally or periodically recurrent; it may be a previously designated meeting camp somewhere within the territory of the group. At any rate, the linkage of a vocal label with such an environmental marking-distinction (however materially articulated) would have provided, we may imagine, an enhanced and partly redundant way to designate such spatiotemporal coordinates.

Attention may be unilinear and directed, as in the case of hierarchies of dominance, or synchronically reciprocal, as in a mother-child dyad. Primates communicate their motivational states by means of complex displays which include physical posturing and/or movement and vocalizations. Such gestalte simultaneously incorporate various types and grades of information. The ability to predict social behaviors is crucial to the evolution of complex social systems, and it is in the context of such complex communicative behaviors that we may begin to understand the adaptive nature of environmental structuration, which functions as a component in sets of composite signals.

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