Language and Communication

By George A. Miller | Go to book overview

is not pleasant to think that these clotheslines must be made from the sand of subjectivity.

It is a pleasant chore to recall help received from others. Professor C. T. Morgan deserves the reader's gratitude for his corrections of many obscurities and some downright mistakes. Professor S. S. Stevens' dogged persistence as an editor and critic made it possible to avoid some of the stylistic hazards an author can put in the reader's way. Doctor J. G. Beebe-Center has taken some of the arguments seriously enough to answer them with criticism and encouragement. Doctor D. A. Ramsdell has never tired of contending that language is even more complicated than this book pretends to find it. Doctor M. R. Rosenzweig gave valuable criticisms of the first draft, Doctor R. L. Solomon made numerous improvements in Chap. 9, and Professor B. F. Skinner was kind enough to read Chap. 8. Doctors F. C. Frick, E. B. Newman, and J. C. R. Licklider scuttled many of the author's thoughtless thoughts before they could become embarrassing in less congenial gatherings. Professor Roman Jakobson helped to reduce the number of linguistic blunders, and Doctor Yehoshua Bar-Hillel provided similar advice on several points of logic. The most valued critics, however, have been the undergraduates whose examination papers were faithful mirrors of their teacher's inadequacies. Against all these friendly critics is balanced the one person who was never critical, who typed four versions of the manuscript and mimeographed two, and who had persistent faith that the job was worth doing. Students and colleagues were helpful, but without the unwavering interest and industry of Katherine James Miller, the job would not have been done.

Some of the writing was done while the author held a position in the Psycho- Acoustic Laboratory. Good use was made of the laboratory's secretarial, drafting, and photographic facilities. Consequently, this book appears as PNR-100 from the Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, Harvard University, under contract with the United States Navy, Office of Naval Research (Contract N5ori-76, Project NR142-201), and reproduction for any purpose of the United States government is permitted.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

For the quotations used at the beginnings of chapters, the author wishes to make grateful acknowledgment to the following sources: Houghton Mifflin Company, for the quotation in Chap. 4, from G. K. Zipf, The Psycho-biology of Language, 1935, p. 17; George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., for the quotation in Chap. 5, from Bertrand Russell, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919, p. 55; The Macmillan Company, for the quotation in Chap. 9, from Sigmund Freud , Psychopathology of Everyday Life, 1914; Anderson & Ritchie, for the quotation in Chap. 10, from Aldous Huxley, Words and Their Meanings, 1940, pp. 8-9. Oxford University Press and Mrs. A. N. Whitehead, for the quotation in Chap. 11, from A. N. Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics,

-vi-

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Language and Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Preface to Revised Edition vi
  • Preface vi
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword to the Teacher xi
  • Chapter 1 - By Way of Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Phonetic Approach 10
  • Selected References 46
  • Chapter 3 - The Perception of Speech 47
  • Selected References 79
  • Chapter 4- The Statistical Approach 80
  • Selected References 99
  • Chapter 5 - Rules for Using Symbols 100
  • Selected References 118
  • Chapter 6 - Individual Differences 119
  • Selected References 139
  • Chapter 7 - The Verbal Behavior of Children 140
  • Selected References 158
  • Chapter 8 - The Role of Learning 159
  • Selected References 173
  • Chapter 9 - Verbal Habits 174
  • Selected References 198
  • Chapter 10 - Some Effects of Verbal Habits 199
  • Selected References 222
  • Chapter 11 - Words, Sets, and Thoughts 223
  • Selected References 248
  • Chapter 12 - The Social Approach 275
  • Bibliography 276
  • Index 287
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