PSY 369: Psycholinguistics. Language, culture, and cognition. Lanuage and thought. How does language impact thought? E.g., Can two people who speak different languages communicate? The question has been debated for a long time And still is today (well, at least last week)
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Language, culture, and cognition
Socrates: And do you accept my description of the process of thinking?
Theaetetus: How do you describe it?
Socrates: As a discourse that the mind carries on with itself about any subject it is considering. … I have a notion that, when the mind is thinking, it is simply talking to itself, asking questions and answering them. … So I should describe thinking as a discourse, … not aloud to someone else, but silently to oneself.
Aristotle: SPEECH IS THE SYMBOL OF THOUGHT
Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience and written words are the symbols of spoken words. Just as all men have not the same writing, so all men have not the same speech sounds; but the mental experiences, which these directly symbolize, are the same for all, as also are those things of which our experiences are the images.
“Every language is a vast pattern system, different from others, in which are culturally ordained the forms and categories by which the personality not only communicates, but also analyzes nature, notices or neglects types of relationships and phenomena, channels his reasoning, and builds the house of his consciousness.”
“We cut up and organize the spread and flow of events as we do largely because, through our mother tongue, we are parties to an agreement to do so, not because nature itself is segmented in exactly that way for all to see.”
“From this fact proceeds what I have called the ‘linguistic relativity principle,’ which means, in informal terms, that users of markedly different grammars are pointed by their grammars toward different types of observations … and hence are not equivalent as observers …”
null and void, negative, inert
drum no longer contains gasoline
drum is no longer dangerous; okay to smoke cigarettes
gasoline drum without gasoline
worker smokes cigarettesDoes language affect thought?
Container no longer contains intended contents
Check out: ISU’s Mind Project Virtual Anthropology Lab
Miller & Stigler (1987)