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Old 10-01-2005, 02:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by meegannie


Did you just make up a word?
Hmm, what post is it in? I can't find it.

But I'll look again. Seeing it out of context, I have no idea what I was referring to, off the top of my head.
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Old 10-01-2005, 03:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by unosdostres14
Everyone for one second....try to think of something without using language to think it.
it's hard. you actually have to try. at least i did. i'm not quite sure if i succeeded.
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Old 10-01-2005, 04:20 PM   #18
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One of the most interesting threads in a while

I think I fall into the "you can't think it without language" camp but that my be my heavy doses of Vygotsky in grad school round 1. At the least, as an English teacher, I believe I witnessed daily the fact that improved facility with languages improves thinking processes. I know I've had experiences where a new word or saying that was just exactly the right way to express something opened up new avenues of thought for me. Montessori was in this camp, too, I believe.

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Old 10-01-2005, 05:31 PM   #19
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...I think this thread might pull me out of lurk-dom.

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Stupid child.) Maybe that was the real first venture into humanity, the creation of language. Or did tools come first? I'm woefully ignorant on primitive mankind.
tools came first

At least, they're pretty sure tools came first, it's hard to tell without physically going back and looking but last I heard [/I]Homo erectus[/I] had tools but not language.

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem

Back on the primitives for a post more, how would the language have technically developed anyway? Grunts and so on would have been verbal communication but did one person one day with visual thought, decide to give a particular noise (to become a word) to say...a rock? Agreement from another and then everyone on which sound denoted rock to follow? If we pretend English was the first language for ease of argument, then what happened? Did thought further develop that sound was not the only wy of communicating? Primitive people were creative as well, as we know. Did they then think it might be handy to form what we call letters? How did this get thought if letters weren't already known? I'm trying to imagine just how someone can develop an idea of something from absolute scratch. When we want to think of something, we rely entirely on language allowing us to think. How do you think when the language is still forming?
Actually "primitive" men weren't that creative. Correct me if I'm wrong but up through Neandertals I don't think there are any artifacts that aren't purely functional (though I think the Neandertals are debatable). Anatomically modern Homo sapiens had both language and art. Personally I think the two are closely related, in the ability to think abstractly.

Regarding the 10 newborns on an island, I think they would almost certainly develop language. We really are hard-wired for it. Though children who are raised with no contact with other humans often never fully develop language - they can be taught to say single words but not real sentances.
I'd say based on this definately thought came before language, though language can definately help refine thought.
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Old 10-01-2005, 07:51 PM   #20
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It seems logical that spoken words arose with the need to magnify or clarify gestures or non-specific utterances that conveyed thought. I imagine that before that, thoughts were 'images', the way they surely are for other intelligent mammals, though in a more sophisticated form.
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Old 10-02-2005, 08:21 AM   #21
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I'll look at the language book. It looks interesting, but I was hoping to have a discussion going on without the influence of the experts in. Once that happens, either everybody says "oh, okay" and discussion ends or the thread becomes an argument on the expert's views.

Re: unodostres14's comments and added to najeena's, I think
that we do retain our ability to think or to comprehend without language. For example, I think a lot of our thought processes still rely on visual images and the mind works to make sense as to how those visual images are fitting together (the perfect example is putting a puzzle together--there is no language needed, but thought is involved) Sometimes I dream in images only, with no language interspersed, and there is analysis going on in that dream. However, you could probably make a good case that because of language, the objects and concepts in the dream are identified sub-subconsciously even though I am not aware of that in the dream. That is a cat; that is a plane; that is the circusmstance I'm dealing with. And perhaps since I have already incorporated this, I am using language. (I'm already in the subconscious dreamstate, so I'm helplessly using sub-subconscious to denote the deeper influences working on the dream).(By the way, I dreamt last night that this thread derailed into an argument on religion. That was purely a language dream.. )

I also suspect that artists and musicians, when creating, do not rely on language as much as they do images and sound. While they may have needed language to have technique conveyed, there is probably not much language being used in those creative processes. The first cavedweller who thought to transfer animal or other images to the cavewalls or the first artist (or other) to use color in design probably was not using language.

Or the fascination of the idiot savant.

I'm not sure that a person who had no other contact with human beings would develop language or need language. I don't know that we are hardwired for language; but I believe we are hardwired for the need to communicate when there are other people (or I guess animals, or whatever) and language becomes a very effective, if not the only, tool to allow communication. And it is the only tool to communicate ideas that cannot be translated by gesture or sound.

Put simply, perhaps what is more primal has less need for language, what is more abstract needs it absolutely.
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Old 10-02-2005, 08:35 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by For Honor
Despite my signature's possible first impression, I have nothing wrong with expressing love. I enjoy the thought of being in a romantic relationship, and loving, and reciprocation and etc. I can even see myself enjoying marriage someday But when I do say the word "love", I mean it. I think people overuse words like that, and then they become meaningless and empty.


I suppose that is a rather latent manifestation of language.... the loss of meaning, or, change of meanings in words.....

eh, but the discussion doesn't have to go down this road. Not yet, at least.

I find your posts very interesting, Honor. There is danger when we use language to finetune something so strictly or overuse it too broadly, that the actual communication of the actual feeling becomes absolutely annihilated. Or the words descend into nonmeaning.

That goes to an earlier post about primal vs. abstract and that sometimes the overuse of language can destroy the primal and I am intensely passionate about retaining a lot of the primal in us.

And I agree with Sherry Darling that "improved facility of languages improves thinking processes."

I find too there is the dictionary definition of a word and our own personal concept of words. I've learned not to make assumptions as to what a person means when they are stressing a particular word. I ask them to define what they mean by it.
There are differing personal definitions of friend, love, patriotism, etc. and the word itself can miscomunicate a meaning if your personal definition of it differs from someone else's. I've watched some threads in here unravel because each person had their own different concept of a word and how it related to the topic at hand. I find that healthy and fascinating, if you take the time to understand the personal meanings that words convey to people.
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:46 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
I'm not sure that a person who had no other contact with human beings would develop language or need language.
Yeah, I agree. No one would develop a complex language just to hear themselves talk. And, even further, if it was just me, my senses would likely be more tuned to pick up and recognize other sounds, like, the wind, or smelling, or knowing what animals make what noises.

A lot of our brain power could be diverted, so to say......


But as you say ...


Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint

I don't know that we are hardwired for language; but I believe we are hardwired for the need to communicate when there are other people (or I guess animals, or whatever) and language becomes a very effective, if not the only, tool to allow communication. And it is the only tool to communicate ideas that cannot be translated by gesture or sound.

Put simply, perhaps what is more primal has less need for language, what is more abstract needs it absolutely.

I believe communication is our claim to fame in this world. We're one of the best. I mean, look at this thread. I don't even have to see you, but I can conceive of what you are thinking. And there aren't even images involved in my head, raelly. Just thoughts.

But what we are doing right now, that's actually quite an amazing thing, if you understand it in one way....
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Old 10-02-2005, 03:17 PM   #24
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Dead on.
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Old 10-02-2005, 06:37 PM   #25
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Philosophically....... happiness has been on my mind a lot......... but I don't know if I want to address it here, or how...
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Old 10-02-2005, 08:07 PM   #26
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It's a philosophical thread. Happiness is a philosophical topic. It can go there if you want it to.
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Old 10-02-2005, 08:55 PM   #27
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not right now, but........ I have a feeling I might erupt within the coming day or so....... just as a heads up
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Old 10-05-2005, 04:39 AM   #28
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I just got a few books out of the library on love and relationships.


How people interact like that factinate me. I'm sure once I start reading, I'll have something more to write. But if anyone has something in the mean time, go right ahead.


Eventually, I'm going to tie them all together here, in this thread; love/happiness/relationships... But that is a vast, vast, vast area of ideas. Especially since you can make connections from everything to...... thought and communication, and language.... to.... astrology.

Go figure

More coming......
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Old 10-05-2005, 06:47 AM   #29
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That's going to be a big topic, Honor. Should be interesting. The art of interpersonal relationships (love, friendship, etc.) and its ties to language, communication, emotion, chemistry, commitment, trust and betrayal, happiness and despair.

Looking forward to your start.
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Old 10-05-2005, 12:24 PM   #30
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One interesting (and possibly related) thing that I think about sometimes is thinking in a particular language. English is the first language that I learnt, and I learned Chinese later. When I speak or write Chinese, I unconsciously have the words out in English first and then translate them. It's one of those split second things.
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