noyce005: January 2012 Archives

Yeah Dude

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Have you ever wondered if people who grew up speaking Spanish, German, Bushmen, or Mandarin also think in that language? Have you wondered if that 5 month year-old baby can actually understand what you're saying? Chapter 8 seeks to answer and explain concepts such as these.

This chapter is entitled "Language, Thinking, and Reasoning" and, after skimming most of it and reading the parts that looked interesting, it seems to make a quality attempt at explaining the correlation between these three concepts. The first chunk of the chapter is about how language works; the various processes that go into language. According to the text there are four levels of language: phonemes, morphemes, syntax, and extralinguistic information. The last, extralinguistic information, includes things like body language, whose importance is shown in the cartoon below. The rest of the chapter delves into deeper topics about how language correlates to cognitive ability.


There were several things that I learned or thought were interesting:

  • Before birth babies are able to recognize several things: their native language, their mother's voice, and even specific stories.

  • Even skilled lip-readers can only catch about 30-35 percent of the words being said. This is because much of the work is done by the throat, tongue, and teeth.

  • Many deaf children will initially make their own hand-signs. Especially if their parents are people who don't know how to sign.

Overall this chapter looks quite interesting and I can't wait to read it in detail.

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