Table of Contents
Anna Maria Di Sciullo: On the Asymmetry of Language and Genes L-words and DNA words
I focus on DNA “words” and words in human language. I raise the following questions: in what sense are linguistic words related to DNA words? What makes linguistic words unique? Previous works have identified the common structural features of “words” in protein sequences and human texts, relating, for example, graphemes to DNA bases composing DNA words. Other works relate DNA bases to phonemes in human languages. I address the question of similarities between DNA words and words in human languages in terms of asymmetrical relations.
Language Faculty, DNA words, L-words asymmetry, Structure, Combination, Self-replication
Peter Kosta, Diego Krivochen: Interfaces, Impaired Merge and the Theory of the Frustrated Mind
In this paper, we will reanalyze the basic structure generation operation in Minimalist Syntax, namely, Merge. We will present a new approach to generation in a wide sense and its interfaces: C-I and S-M, building on work by Krivochen (2011 et seq.), Kosta & Krivochen (2014), and Krivochen & Kosta (2013). Our main claim is that there is nothing more to “syntax” than Merge and, going further, that the so-called “syntactic component” of the Faculty of Language is not the only computational system in the mind-brain: as a consequence, the term “syntax” has wider scope than generally recognized. By doing so, we attempt to sustain the claim that Merge is a third-factor, principled operation (Chomsky, 2005).
Merge, Generation, Interfaces, Language Design, Molecular Genetics, FOXP2
Edward N. Trifonov, Michaela Zemková: Genome and Language – Two Scripts of Heredity (an Ontogenetic Theory of Language Origin)
One manifestation of life which is not easy to comprehend is the repeated invention of linear script, first as genomic sequences, and then as language writings. Both possess their specific alphabets. The evolution of both began, in all likelihood, from simple repetitions (TGTGTG…, GCCGCCGCC…, ma-ma-ma, da-da-da). The ontogenetic dimension arises from the fact that the spectrum of the easiest pronounced simple repetitions by babies in the period of canonical babbling is the same for all ethnicities, and, quite likely, represents the early hominids’ vocal abilities. Repetitions continued to enter, at a later point, but simultaneously accumulated mutational changes, turning into more complex words already not recognizable as repeats. This scenario appears to be common for both genome and language, which, thus, carry the heritage of the human species each in its own manner.
Evolution of genomic sequences; Evolution of language; Canonical babbling; Triplet expansion; Ontogeny of speech
Jan Špaček: Life Exists Only as a Concept
We have a good understanding of life on a molecular level, we have synthesized life from simple molecules and we are searching for extraterrestrial life, yet we still are not sure what life is. Over a hundred different definitions of this concept have been published over the last hundred years, yet none has been generally accepted. The lack of consensus on a life definition is not a coincidence. Our inability to create an acceptable definition of life reflects life’s key attribute: its nonexistence as a natural kind.
Definition, Life, Life origin, Natural kind, Organic chemistry, Synthetic life
Daniel Zahradník, Edward N. Trifonov, Michaela Zemková: The Evolutionary Landscape of Human Genome Vocabulary
An inspection of the full vocabulary of the words (16-mers) of the human genome reveals that the top of the list, ranked by word occurrence, contains almost exclusively simple repeats and words from Alu sequences – the most abundant dispersed elements. These excessive words can be considered “generators” and suggest a simple model of genome evolution: an everlasting intrusion of the generator sequences in the “neutral” regions of the genome and gradual mutational changes causing an increase in sequence complexity. The way to detect the generators is to find those words all mutated forms of which appear less frequently. Examples of the generators are presented.
Evolution of genomic sequences; sequence generators; genome vocabulary
Jan Hapala, Edward N. Trifonov: The Most Frequent RRRRRYYYYY “Word” in the Genomes of Eukaryotes
Eukaryotic genomes are organized in a complex structure built of protein+DNA particles, called nucleosomes. The location of the nucleosomes in the genome is influenced by the appearance of RRRRRYYYYY (R stands for A or G; Y represents C or T) sequences in the DNA. This motif was found to be in primate genomes. In this work, we analyze the occurrence of this motif in the genomes of other species and examine the occurrence of the motif in the form of tandem repeats (one instance of the motif immediately following the other). We show that the nucleosome positioning motif is among the top ten decamers composed of 5 Ys and 5 Rs overrepresented both as a singular occurrence and as tandem which demonstrates its importance for the genome structure and function.
genome, eukaryotes, nucleosome positioning, frequent sequence word
Samanta Pino, Ernesto Di Mauro: „Non Est Signum…”: Are Genetic and Literary Texts Comparable?
How far can the similitude between chemical alphabets and languages, abutting on logical mental processes, be stretched? The question is motivated by the recurring similitude between genetic material and literary texts. The similitude has been reappearing often for at least three decades and is based on presumed correspondences between, for example, chromosomes and the chapters of a novel, between genes and sentences and between nucleotides and letters. Even more detailed comparisons are occasionally invoked. We believe that in principle the similitude is essentially unjustified because of the completely different intrinsic structures, organizations, meanings and purports of the two systems and of their parts.
classifications, definition of life, genomics, prebiotic precursors, semiology