Lecture20-Language_Thought

Lecture20-Language_Thought - For more information see me...

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Unformatted text preview: For more information see me after class, or email me to set up a meeting: liz_b@berkeley.edu Dr. Liz Bonawitz Liz Bonawitz 11/23/09 Whorf (1956): Are our own concepts of time, space, and matter given in substantially the same form by experience to all men, or are they in part conditioned by the structure of particular languages? Some people seem to think so: ? Some people seem to think so: CHANGING LANGUAGE, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: chairman chair or chairperson Indian Native American handicapped disabled or differently abled POLITICAL SPEECH: mistakes were made = we were not responsible WEBSITES WITH COMMON SENSE ADVICE: Deliberately speak positively. Remove negative thinking from your life by changing your interpretation of events. Rather than immediately focusing on what could or did go wrong, stop and consider possible positive outcomes.... This positive outlook forces you to think successfully.... (Romanus Wolter, Entrepreneur.com) ? Some people seem to think not: The claim that were making about primitive notions is that if data were presented in such a way that these primitives couldnt be applied to it directly, prelinguistically, before you have a grammar, then language couldnt be learnt We have to assume that there are some prelinguistic notions that can pick out pieces of the world, say elements of this meaning and this sound. - Chomsky (1984): There is no scientific evidence that languages dramatically affect their speakers way of thinking.... The idea that language shapes thinking seemed plausible when scientists were in the dark about how thinking works or even how to study it. Now that cognitive scientists know how to think about thinking, there is less of a temptation to equate it with language.... - Steven Pinker (1994) Does language have a dramatic effect on thought in some other way than through communication? Probably not. - Bloom & Keil (2001) I hate [linguistic] relativism more than I hate anything else, excepting, perhaps, fiberglass powerboats. - Jerry Fodor (1985) ... how might language affect thought? What aspects of cognition does it affect? perception? memory? representation? reasoning? What aspects of cognition does it affect? What kinds of cognitive performance does it affect? performance on tasks involving language? performance on non-linguistic tasks? What aspects of cognition does it affect? What kinds of cognitive performance does it affect? What aspects of language might affect thought? phonology? vocabulary? morphosyntax? metaphorical speech? What aspects of cognition does it affect?...
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Lecture20-Language_Thought - For more information see me...

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