姓 名 負 責 部 份 (Leader)莊皓帆 92110713 撰寫資料.整合.製作Power point 余逸柔 91210312 撰寫資料 Testy 90210273 撰寫資料 汪 蘋 90110225 撰寫資料 林怡君 92110837 撰寫資料 黃 瀟 89210117 撰寫資料 王淑卿 92110170 撰寫資料 The related representatives and the theories (Ⅰ) Lev Semenovich Vygotsky: A. Reference book: Principle of Language Learning and Teaching Main content: The Social interaction, through language, is a prerequisite to cognitive development. Thought and language were seen as two distinct cognitive operations that grow together. Moreover, every child reaches his or her potential development, in part, through social interaction with adults and peers. Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development is the distance between a child’s actual cognitive capacity and the level of potential development (Vygotsky 1962,1978). B. Reference web: http://www- personal.une.edu.au/~lgrunwa2/une/psychology_theory/180notesvygotski.html Main content: Language is the crucial tool in determining how a child will learn, advanced modes of thought are transmitted to a child through words. Therefore Vygotsky argues that the tools, language and social structure of the culture into which a child is born will affect the learning that takes place. Cognitive development is not so much the unfolding of schema within the individual but more understanding of the self within the social context. The Zone of Proximal Development. Parents , teachers and peers interact with the child and mediate learning through socially organized instruction. The task of teaching is particularly complex, because to be effective the teacher needs to understand the social dynamics as well as the individual differences in each student and the teacher need to understand their own teaching style to ensure that learning is being facilitated. Zone of Proximal Development is seen as the potential of the child to solve problems (according to their developmental level) and the level of potential development in regards to the guidance by more knowledgeable peers or adults. Learners ultimately appropriate and internalize the knowledge transacted through assisted performance so that it becomes their own. There needs to be structure and support in place to enable a child to grasp concepts, when the child has developed confidence and is independent this frame work can be removed (This is referred to as scaffold instruction) (Ⅱ) Benjamin Whorf 1897 - 1941 : A. Reference book: Principle of Language Learning and Teaching Main content: One of the champions of the position that language affects thought was Benjamin Whorf, who with Edward Spair formed the well-known Spair-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity-namely, that each language imposes on its speaker a particular “world view”. B. Reference web: http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information/biography/uvwxyz/whorf_ benjamin.html Main content: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: It is generally accepted by Ethno linguists that culture influences language but there is far less agreement about the possibility that language influences culture. Edward Sapir and his student, Benjamin Whorf, suggested that language affects how people perceive their reality, that language coerces thought. This is known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. Simply stated, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis says that the content of a language is directly related to the content of a culture and the structure of a language is directly related to the structure of a culture. (Ⅲ) Jerome Bruner (1966): words shape concepts Reference web: http://tiger.towson.edu/~alobac1/301/theory.htm#jerome Main content: Bruner was very interested in children's stages of cognitive development.He described development in three stages: 1. The enactive stage (birth to about age 3) is when children perceive the environment through actions that they initiate. Showing and modeling have the most learning value at this stage. 2.The iconic stage (about age 3-8) is when children are able to remember and use information through imagery. Their visual memory increases at this stage and children are able to imagine things without actually experiencing them. 3.The symbolic stage (about age 8) children have the ability to think and talk about things in abstract terms. They have a better understanding on mathematical principles and the use of symbols and the use of symbolic idioms. Bruner was very concerned with the idea of discovery learning and felt that students were more likely to understand concepts they had discovered through their own exploration and experience. What’ is Language…? "Language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols." (Edward Sapir, 1921) "A language is a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by means of which the members of a society interact in terms of their total culture." (G. Trager, 1949) A language is "a set (finite or infinite) of sentences, each finite in length and constructed out of a finite set of elements.“ (Noam Chomsky 1957) Language is "the institution whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means of habitually used oral-auditor arbitrary symbols." (R.A. Hall 1964 ) "Language is a range of possibilities, an open-ended set of options in behavior that are available to the individual in his existence as social man. The context of culture is the environment of any particular selection that is made from within them ... The context of culture defines the potential, the range of possibilities that are open. The actual choice among these possibilities takes place within a given context of situation." (Michael Halliday. 1973) Language is one of the most important areas of human development. Our communication skills set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, and they're also what brings us together with each other . Throughout history, many have reflected on the importance of language. For instance, the scholar Benjamin Whorf has noted that language shapes thoughts and emotions, determining one’s perception of reality. For the linguist Edward Sapir, language is not only a vehicle for the expression of thoughts, perceptions, sentiments, and values characteristic of a community; it also represents a fundamental expression of social identity. Sapir said: "the mere fact of a common speech serves as a peculiar potent symbol of the social solidarity of those who speak the language." In short, language retention helps maintain feelings of cultural kinship. A word is one or more sounds that in combination have a specific meaning assigned by a language. The symbolic meaning of words can be so powerful that people are willing to risk their lives for them or take the lives of others Language and speech are not the same thing. Speech is a broad term simply referring to patterned verbal behavior. In contrast, a language is a set of rules for generating speech. Over the last few centuries, deaf people have developed sign languages that are complex visual-gestural forms of communicating with each other. Since they are effective communication systems with standardized rules, they also must be considered languages in their own right even though they are not spoken. Linguists estimate that there are about 5,000- 6,000 different languages spoken in the world today. The imprecision in this estimate is largely due to the fact that some dialects are in the process of diverging and it is not clear that they have reached the stage of being separate languages. If two people find each other's speech unintelligible, they are usually thought to be speaking different languages rather than dialects. ( Please kindly take a look at chart below ) The Most Common Languages in the World COUNTRIES WITH APPROXIMATE SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF LANGUAGE NUMBERS OF NATIVE SPEAKERS NATIVE (in the year 2000) SPEAKERS 1. Mandarin Chinese 874,000,000 16 2. Hindi (India) 366,000,000 17 3. English 341,000,000 104 4. Spanish 322-358,000,000 43 5. Bengali (India and Bangladesh) 207,000,000 9 6. Portuguese 176,000,000 33 7. Russian 167,000,000 30 8. Japanese 125,000,000 26 9. German (standard) 100,000,000 40 10. Korean 78,000,000 31 11. French 77,000,000 53 12. Wu Chinese 77,000,000 1 13. Javanese 75,000,000 4 14. Yue Chinese 71,000,000 20 15. Telegu (India) 69,000,000 7 Note : If the 15 major variants of Arabic are considered one language, Arabic is the 6th most common language in the world having 198-201,000,000 native speakers with substantial numbers in at least 46 countries. Source : Ethnologue Volume I: Languages of the World, 14th ed. (2000). These statistics are only rough approximations in most cases. 皓帆Individual Reflection NO, I don’t think so. In my opinion, language interacts simultaneously with thoughts and feelings. Additionally, I think that every theory has its advantages, so I collected the related representatives and the theories to solve this chicken-and – egg question. After reading these related theories, I realize that language and thought of human are affected by the different ages, environments, cultures, and educations; therefore, I apply the advantages of these theories and my previous knowledge to prove my opinion. First, according to Vygotsky’s view, he thinks that “thought and language were seen as two distinct cognitive operations that grow together.” Thus, I think thought and language are interactive in the cognitive development. Second, according to Vygotsky’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), children are through the social interaction with adults and peers to reach the their potential development. Consequently, the Vygotsky’s view shows that the relationship of language and thought is interdependent. Third, according to the Spair-Whorf hypothesis, I know that we can learn the different world views when we learn the foreign languages. Furthermore, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis says that the content of a language is directly related to the content of a culture and the structure of a language is directly related to the structure of a culture. Accordingly, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis confirms that language and thought have the mutual influenceable relationships. Fourth, in Audio-Lingual Method, culture consists of the everyday behavior and lifestyle of the target language speakers. Obviously, learning languages affects our thought and culture. Additionally, in the languagefour skills, reading and listening are the interactive process because they are the receptive language and the productive language; therefore, listening and reading are developed on the language and thought at the same time. Fifth, according to the Jerome Bruner’s view, children have the ability to think and talk about things in abstract terms. They have a better understanding on mathematical principles and the use of symbols and the use of symbolic idioms. Hence, children have ability to think and to use language symbol on their suitable developing stage. After integrating these related points, I think that language interacts simultaneously with thoughts. 逸柔Individual Reflection "Language is the dress of thought," is the famous statement of Samuel Johnson, who was only translating the words of the Roman Quintillion. If what you wear reflects what you are, then your style of speech indicates your thinking. Most of us today have been formed from the time we were young in the school of casualness and practicality. There is a natural tendency to reject formalities and embrace the vulgar, to revolt against the manners and speech of a genteel society in favor of a more relaxed and casual attitude and way of being. Within linguistic theory, two extreme positions concerning the relationship between language and thought are commonly referred to as “mould theories”, and “cloak theories”'. Mould theories represent language as “a mould in terms of which thought categories are cast”. Cloak theories represent the view that “language is a cloak conforming to the customary categories of thought of its speakers”. The Sapir-Whorf theory, named after the American linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf, is a mould theory of language. Moderate Whorfianism differs from extreme Whorfianism in these ways: △The emphasis is on the potential for thinking to be 'influenced‘ rather than unavoidably 'determined' by language; △ It is a two-way process, so that 'the kind of language we use' is also influenced by 'the way we see the world'; △ Any influence is ascribed not to 'Language' as such or to one language compared with another, but to the use within a language of one variety rather than another (typically a sociolect - the language used primarily by members of a particular social group); △ Emphasis is given to the social context of language use rather than to purely linguistic considerations, such as the social pressure in particular contexts to use language in one way rather than another. I do not agree with B. L.Whorf; what I think is that, differences in languages and society’s cultural background are related and have their own ways to express their thoughts but it doesn’t mean that language could change people’s thoughts and worldview. The first main point to decide that people’s thoughts is being in the society, nowadays, people have their economic state to form the social group and rank, thus become varieties worldview. If the language did change these, then capitalist, bourgeois and laborer are no different and will have no industrial disputes at all. The major theme of Vygotsky's theoretical framework is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. Vygotsky states: "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people and then inside the child. This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals.” A second aspect of Vygotsky's theory is the idea that the potential for cognitive development depends upon the "zone of proximal development" (ZPD): a level of development attained when children engage in social behavior. Full development of the ZPD depends upon full social interaction. The range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained alone. Initially, this behavior begins as a meaningless grasping motion; however, as people react to the gesture, it becomes a movement that has meaning. In particular, the pointing gesture represents an interpersonal connection between individuals. His principles are 1. Cognitive development is limited to a certain range at any given age. 2. Full cognitive development requires social interaction. Through the chimpanzee and infant child’s experiment they are similar to each other and have two stages- “pre-language” and “pre-thought”, that is language and thought are not produced at the same time, thought comes first then language. This is much more objective reality, but Vygotsky did not reveal the intrinsic quality of language and thought relationship and that’s why we continue with this discussion. However, I tend to lean toward this theory, but why Vygosky can’t answer further about the question “As the contained language’s thought does not include all though in form, why not?” Linguists J.Foder, Z.Pylyshyn, and B.Mclaughlin have another hypothesis, that is language as LOT (means thought language sort) form and appear in our brain. The subject matter is: 1. Faith and other attentions exist in the brain’s mental and physical surface features, and they are the reason why we are concerned about the appearance of actions. 2. These intention status and intention object have similar organization structure. Many theories have their individual advantages and disadvantages, much of the time, we do think in language, and can easily conjure up mental images and sensations that would be hard to describe in words. Also we can think about the sound of a symphony, the shape of a pear, or the smell of garlic bread. None of these thoughts require language. So, it's possible to think about something even if I don't have a word for it? Yes. Take colors, for example. There are an infinite number of different colors, and they don't all have their own names. In other words, the influence of language isn't so much on what we can think about, or even what we do think about, but rather on how we break up reality into categories and label them. And in this, our language and our thoughts are probably both greatly influenced by our culture. Learning a different language won't change the way I think? Not really, but if the new language is very different from your own, it may give you some insight into another culture and another way of life. These are my opinions about the questions, though I do believe it’s an old chicken-and egg one. Reference Website: http://www.lsadc.org/faq/index.php?aaa=faqthink.htm http://www.ling.upenn.edu/courses/Spring_2002/ling001/thought.html http://orvillejenkins.com/worldview/worldvthink.html http://www.webcom.com/~bamboo/chinese/chinese.html 汪 蘋 Individual Reflection Basically, in my opinion Language and Thoughts are usually interactive between each other. Language is the one method in our life to express our feeling and is one of the ways that we can ask the things that what we needs. Does the language come first, or the thoughts bounce up in our mind first? To discuss on this topic, we ought to find some clues out in the first place. For nowadays, there are some words that youth usually used in their life, such as “You are so 機車!” It means you are always critical things, sometimes no matter whether you know the things or not, you are always say the wrong things in the wrong times to people, you say things directly but without thinking all the times. “怪角”! It means you are always different between others, it can be the different logic thinking, or maybe to show in your speech, actions, thoughts, or even in your wearing styles something. “別忘了E給我那封信!”: The “E” means E-mail something to friends. Above examples are to express something that are not the same meaning as before anymore, and to express some feeling but not the words meaning. The thought won’t be changed when using different language. Okay, now let’s to study why it happened in our youth persons’ life. In case, there has no any needs to their life, then they don’t need to invent the words to say something, and then we don’t need any language to express the need. On the contrary, whenever people want to say something in thought, then certainly they need the external language to express their internal real thinking. To find new words that they can use in language would be the first mission in life. So that I think the “Thought” should be come out before the “Language”, therefore, upon the ways we can say the Language can’t shape the Thought. A lot of parents even for the teachers, now, for the sake of join the youth’s life, perhaps sometimes would try to learn their language first, and learn their life styles and even to learn some their new words, to use youth’s words in life all the time when they company with them. Not only to learn the language of youth, but also through the language to negotiate with young people, it will make things more smooth going, it’s works than ever. It has some benefits in understand to the youth’s thoughts, maybe to learn their thinking logic will easier than to understand their language. So that I think the language should be one kind of tools, but not the only way to understand their thoughts, because thoughts are always can not be shaped, and language can be varied all the time. The conclusion of mine, I believe the language should be used in life, but anyhow the thoughts should be the point for that what we are thinking, and the last to concern about what does the word meaning in life exactly. 黃 瀟 Individual Reflection There are grounds of thinking that about this question, but most of them are at the stance of objection. Whorf’s hypothesis is too strong and too extreme to accept by most linguists. What is thought? It refers to the formulation of our thinking. And what is language? It is the Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols. In this sense, the language acts as a kind of expression or cloak of our thought. How can we discover the relation between language and thought? In order to convey my view on this debatable question, I try to find a newly invented linguistic item to reveal the process of the forming of langue and thought. In order to transmit the spirit of anarchy, one Japanese writer invented the term Chindogu to represent some un-useless daily gadgets as you can see attaching at the end of my essay. They represent freedom of thought and action: the freedom to challenge the suffocating historical dominance of conservative utility; the freedom to be (almost) useless. Analyzing the process, it is obvious that Chindogu is the dress of the thought of freedom within the domain of gadgets invention. But it is not the final round of this term. Surfing the website, I found that are recruiting new membership to on the Internet to enhance and promote their the spirit of Chindogu. They argued that Chindogu is not totally useless, it is just un-useless. Clarifying the idea of Chindogu, there must group of people who will try to invent their own Chindogu. That is how this term affects their thought. Now, I am trying to relate the idea of Chindogu with my own life experience, and I find it is true in sometimes, we may think of some kinds of idea that we thought that it is useful and finally it turned out to be useless, but we do experience the process that is kind of absurd. On the bases of argument with my partners, I agree with the point of that the potential for thinking to be 'influenced' rather than unavoidably 'determined' by language. It is a two-way process, so that 'the kind of language we use' is also influenced by 'the way we see the world'. And here, I would like to exemplify the view from the point of pragmatic that is widely accepted. Young generation in Taiwan like to say: 想A我的錢， 你欠扁啊？Why do we use jargon, slang, or kind of style in our communication? Why we do not accept or dislike people who use foul language? The answer for these questions is mostly about social group identity, for in our life under certain culture background, the criterion for right or wrong, proper or improper has been defined and conveyed through languages before we experience it. We know the do and the don’ts in our life. That is how the language affects us in a certain degree on accounts of social linguistic point. Any influence is ascribed not to 'Language' as such or to one language compared with another, but to the use within a language of one variety rather than another (typically a sociolect - the language used primarily by members of a particular social group); Emphasis is given to the social context of language use rather than to purely linguistic considerations, such as the social pressure in particular contexts to use language in one way rather than another. The assertion about language determinism is dangerous in some ways. Observing the origin of language, we can get the conclusion that language is the product and media of our thought, but it does influence our thought in a certain degree. These two ideas interact for thousands of years. Language originated from our thought, and language does affect our thought in many ways from the sense of social linguistic. Reference website: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/whorf.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chindogu http://www.pitt.edu/~ctnst3/chindogu.html http://www.pitt.edu/~ctnst3/chindogu/tenents.html Testy’ Individual Reflection “ The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis has changed the way many people look at the relationship between language, thought and cultural perception of reality. It has influenced many scholars and opened up large areas of study. While many like Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf support the notion that language strongly influences thought and others argue that language does not influence thought, the evidence from research indicates that language does influence thought and perception of reality to a degree but language does not govern thought or reality “ . Language is a fundamental component of the human experience and due to its specific properties, is one aspect that makes human beings unique in comparison to other animals and species . It allows us to turn our thoughts into meaningful words . If one asks about the relation between thought and language, people expect the issue to concern such matters as whether we think in language, whether creatures without language can "think", and the way language shapes our concepts. In my point of view, there is a much deeper question, which concerns the nature of linguistic communication. Philosophers and linguists standardly conceive of language as basically a means by which speakers convey the content of their thoughts to others. The question is whether that is a correct picture of linguistic communication. This is a question about the relation between thought and language because this standard picture of communication gives propositional thought a certain priority over language. According to some research , At around age five, the focus on language changes from acquiring and producing words, phrases, and sentences, to actually thinking about language itself . During this time of “metalinguistic awareness”, we begin to “ play with language ” ( such as making jokes ), recognize sarcasm, and understand double meanings . Clearly, language expresses thought, but can language influence thought ? . Indeed, semantic slanting and name-calling are two concepts of language that have noticeable effects on individual thought and behavior . As would follow from such a perspective, different communities of humans, speaking different languages, would think differently to just the extent that languages differ from one another. The idea of “ linguistic relativity ” is that having language, or having a particular language, crucially shapes mental life. Indeed, it may not just be that a specific language exerts its idiosyncratic effects as we speak or listen to it ; that language might come to “ be ” our thought ; we may have no way to think many thoughts, conceptualize many of our ideas, without this language, or outside of and independent of thislanguage. So I do believe that in one sense, it is obvious that language use has powerful and specific effects on thought . But at the same time , I also think that “ Thoughts are not determined by our language , but they may be constrained by our language “ . A New Language Means New Thoughts….Is it true ..? Do you speak any other languages ? Maybe you've considered how good it would feel to be able to speak to people in another language, but did you know it also expands the range of your possible thoughts ? I personally think It's true. There are concepts in each language that don't exist in others, as well as different expressions. These can give you new ways to think, and change your perspective on things. “ But I think it should be remembered that language follows thought, is built up as an expression of thought, and this is especially true of philosophical terms. When Aristotle laid down the ways in which the mind thinks about things, it is true that he could not get away from language as the medium of thought, but the language follows thought and thought follows things . In another thoughts , I have another questions , Does language shape our thoughts, or is it the other way around ? The linguist Benjamin Whorf was one of the first to state that thought is determined by the language we use, and thus different cultures, since they are linguistically different, will think in different ways. For instance, in German there are a number of words for on: an, im, auf, um. A Whorfian linguist would say that Germans make fine distinctions about the placing of objects, but English speakers do not, and therefore we are unable to think about "on" in the same way. It seemed proof that how we speak does indeed alter how we think about the world. It clearly had shown that environment alters our awareness of space, and language is merely used to describe the situation . Think about it .. How do you think ..? Do you think in English or Chinese ? or do you think in some abstract terms , then translate your thoughts into language when you want to express them ..?? . language is not an after – thought. Language is not just what we use to describe thoughts . Language not just limits our expressions . But Is it shapes our thoughts ..?? Is it defines our thoughts ..?? According to mer personal view and opinion , I think it’s true , Language shapes our thoughts ..Language defines our thoughts..!! Why..?? Well, here is my reason… , during our growth , we practice our language and we sharpen our thoughts . The more practice we get , the more efficient we become at wielding our language / thoughts . ( Most of this practicing is done at early ages , without our own realization ) . When you learn a new language , your ultimate goal mostly is likely to eventually be able to “ think in that language “ . But how good can you achieve that goal ..? ( and how good are you in your mother tounge ..anyway.. ? ) Most likely you will get enough practice in everyday language use . But do you get anough practice in exploring your thoughts ..?? Do you intentionally practice it ..? If you don’t become good at thinking in the new language , and you abandon thinking in your mother tounge , how would you think ..?? It’s just my personal point of view , everyone has their own rights to express their idea on this issue , so come just come to think of it. , If language shapes our thoughts , is there any difference in capability of different language..?? Are some languages inferior to others is the best language for thinking..?? Language is one of the lenses, or prisons as I call them, from which we view the world. It is one of the interpitave functions, inside of our head . In case You ask me to decribe the taste of a strawberry or the feeling of pain? How could you ask me without language. How can you say you are in pain without the word/idea of pain being inside your vocabulary . Now what type of pain are you talking about? Physical ? , Mental ? , Emotional ? Is it sharp or dull ? What has caused this pain ? . By using language one can get an idea and express it into a thoughts . Language helps make relations between ideas. That is why analogies are so powerful. As Orwell described in 1984 , “ He who controls the language , controls people’s thoughts “ , After all , if the language does not enable you to think in certain way , you won’t be able to .. Statements to the same or related effect to the subject from diverse intellectual sources : 1.“ The limits of my language are the limits of my world” ( By : Wittgenstein, 1922 ] and “ The fact of the matter is that the 'real world ‘ is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group” ( By : Sapir, 1941, as cited in Whorf, 1956, p. 75 ). 2. “Language is a mirror of mind in a deep and significant sense. It is a product of human intelligence ... By studying the properties of natural languages, their structure, organization, and use, we may hope to learn something about human nature; something significant, if it is true that human cognitive capacity is the truly distinctive and most remarkable characteristic of the 3. Contrary to these common beliefs among philosophers concerning language, a well-known German scholar and diplomat from the 18th century, Wilhelm von Humboldt equated , “ Language and Thought as inseparable, as language completely determining thought “ , in a hypothesis known as the Weltanschauung ( world view ) hypothesis ( Brown, 1968 ). Humboldt also emphasized “profound semantic” differences between languages which lead to varying “cognitive perspectives,” an idea commonly known as cultural relativity ( Wierzbika, 3 ). Although little attention was given to this extreme view at the time, this same idea drew much interest and criticism in the 1930’s in the emergence of a hypothesis known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis ( Linguistic Relativity ) . My Website Reference that related to support my Opinion : http://www.unc.edu/~jdumas/projects/languagethought.htm http://host.uniroma3.it/progetti/kant/field/lat.htm http://www.thymos.com/science/language.html http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6303 http://www.ttt.org/linglinks/StacyPhipps.htm 林怡君’s Individual Reflection When I first saw the title, I had no idea at all, because I had never thought about what language could do with thought. I always thought that language is only a tool for people to communicate with each other, to express their ideas. I had never thought it in the other way. Can the language we speak shapes our thoughts? It’s interesting and also a good topic for debating. Just like all debates, there is no certain answer before people debate. Therefore, we need to identify the question, collect information, and then decide either against or for the argument. First, we need to know why Benjamin Lee Whorf thinks that languages can shape people’s thoughts. He was conducted by E Sapir when studying at Yale University; he was influenced by E. Sapir, and their research and studies. At that time, he made many researches about English and American Indian languages. They believe that they way people behave is based on the language they speak. Because different languages make the ways of recognizing differently, different group of people have different world-view. This is called Sapir- Whorf-Hypothesis. It sounds correct, but is language the only factor that influences people’s thought? I am afraid no body will agree with it totally. Family, education, learning experience, social relationships, religion, etc. can all effects our thinking and it’s really hard to proof Sapir-Whorf-Hypothesis scientifically. Therefore, this hypothesis is not accepted completely. Meanwhile, there are other scholars believe that language is external of thought and thought is internal of language. From this point of view, language and thought are almost the same. When we are thinking something, there are always sounds or sentences across our mind. For example, when people are angry with their parents or boss, they don’t usually swear in front of them but those swear words do appear in their mind. It sounds correct but it can’t be applied on the deaf or mute. At present, the most popular hypothesis at this topic is brought out by Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. He believes that cognitive ability develops earlier than language ability, but thought’s development can be hold by the language. According to what he said, children have feelings and thought before they can speak, which is very true. The adults and peer around them will influence the way they think. Therefore, he thinks it should be the thought affecting our language. Another example is, nowadays, new words are created everyday. Do people have the words first then they have the thought? Or they have the thought and then they create the new words. I personally support the second one. After reading and discussing with our group member, now I have different thought about this topic. I think that language and thought are developed together. One can affect another. They are not either totally individual or totally the same. When we learn our first language, the though is constructed most likely from adults, peers, and education. When we learn the second language, we learn another culture through that language. By doing so, the second language affect our thought more than the first language. For example, when we learn countable noun and uncountable noun in English, it helps us to get the idea, which we don’t have in Chinese. In Chinese, we describe the item with its material and shape, but we don’t think if we can count it or not because even uncountable noun, we still give it a unit of measurement. Therefore, I believe that for L1 learners, surrounding environment affect one’s thought more then language, but for L2 learners, the language will affect one’s thought more than L1. 王淑卿’s Individual Reflection ** The origins of language and thought in early childhood ** The period of infancy, in which fundamental principles of thought are exhibited well before language; the simultaneous emergence of language, deferred imitation, symbolic play, evocative memory, and mental imagery, suggesting language is but one outcome of more fundamental changes in cognitive abilities; the lack of effect of language upon reasoning abilities in middle childhood; and the nature of speech in early childhood, the claim being that the communicative function of speech results from cognitive developments. By contrast Vygotsky, while seeing thought and language as initially separate systems, considers the two merge at around two years of age, producing verbal thought. Mental operations are regarded as embodied in the structure of language, and hence cognitive development results from an internalization of language. Current research on infancy has elucidated the perceptual and social sophistication of the neonate, and points to developments occurring from this base during the course of adult-infant social interchanges. Preverbal gestural communication is established between six and nine months, and by twelve months is under intentional control. The shift to referential communication is again mediated by social interaction, particularly the development of routines to bring about the joint attention of adult and infant upon the same object ?especially the production and mutual comprehension of manual pointing. In addition, underlying changes in the infant's abilities to relate 'parts' to 'wholes' and to construct relations between means and ends appear to inform the elaboration of the simultaneously emerging cognitive abilities noted by Piaget. This suggests that the entire symbolic function is a separate cognitive domain to which wider cognitive abilities may be applied. For older children the influence of language on thought has proved difficult to investigate conclusively. Evidence for the Whorfian hypothesis is scarce, and is incomplete for the claim that language plays a major role in the developing self-regulation of the child's behaviour. Previously, this material has been used somewhat uncritically to inform phylogenetic speculation on the role of language in the evolution of human cognitive abilities. Recapitulatory theories of 'terminal addition' have overlooked the possibility that behavioural development may not occur in stages, and that such stages may not be additive; 'neotenous' theories do not deal satisfactorily with how a rearrangement of the timing of abilities can lead to 'qualitative' changes in 'behavioural capacities'. Recent work explains parallels in ontogeny and phylogeny by appeal to common constraints on information- processing that reflect the demands of changing levels of the structure of knowledge as it interacts with more basic perceptual competencies [Eds]. Does language shape thought? Does the language you speak affect how you think about the world? This question is taken up in three experiments. English and Mandarin talk about time differently--English predominantly talks about time as if it were horizontal, while Mandarin also commonly describes time as vertical. This difference between the two languages is reflected in the way their speakers think about time. In one study, Mandarin speakers tended to think about time vertically even when they were thinking for English (Mandarin speakers were faster to confirm that March comes earlier than April if they had just seen a vertical array of objects than if they had just seen a horizontal array, and the reverse was true for English speakers). Another study showed that the extent to which Mandarin-English bilinguals think about time vertically is related to how old they were when they first began to learn English. In another experiment native English speakers were taught to talk about time using vertical spatial terms in a way similar to Mandarin. On a subsequent test, this group of English speakers showed the same bias to think about time vertically as was observed with Mandarin speakers. It is concluded that (1) language is a powerful tool in shaping thought about abstract domains and (2) one's native language plays an important role in shaping habitual thought (e.g., how one tends to think about time) but does not entirely determine one's thinking in the strong Whorfian sense. Linguists and other cognitive scientists are centrally interested in understanding the relationship between language and thought. Do we think in language? Is thought simply no vocal language, or is the linguistic system (partly) distinct from more general thought processes? Suppose we present you with a subtraction problem like 1724 - 982 =?and a sentence like “Conclusions “ Based on Our Groups opinions and data distributions , our group conclusions as follow : “ Language is the expression of thought, and the act of translating thoughts into words is the refining of understanding “ . “ Language is a way to express our thoughts to other people. Sometimes you may have an idea, but don't know how to express that idea through language, maybe it's just a picture in your head. To say that language and thought are the same would mean that those who lack the ability to use langauge don't/can't think “ . Basically language and thought are the same thing, because you produce words and sentences when you think, although sometimes there are not well-structured sentences. Also I think thought has the same characteristics and features as any language , so that thought and language are the same thing “ “ Language might shape the way we think and usually what we are thinking can be put into words and spoken, maybe not the exact things we were thinking but a summary of our thoughts put into words. We all have language and we all think of things to say and things to do on a daily basis. Doing so the thoughts we think are then put into some type of language whether it is spoken or written down on a piece of paper “ . “ Language also might can shape the direction of thought -- but do you think that language and thought are "the same"? I found Napoli's comments about Deaf people pretty salient; the question "do deaf people think slower than hearing people because their 'spoken' language is slower ?" also seemed rather absurd, for lack of a better word. And it does seem that we tend to form a complete thought very quickly and then unravel it slowly through our words. What do you think ? “ Language is a vehicle to express our thoughts, but I certainly don't believe it is essential to thought. Personally, when I'm writing a story, I tend to think in images and pictures. For example , Imagine that you are sit down at a computer to write what youve come up with, You will automatically transit the pictures into words and sentences. So all in all it’s very convincing points to prove that thought and language are not necessarily tied together . It is absurd to think that they would think at different speeds, simply because they speak with gestures and expressions “ . “ I do believe that thought and language can be very closely related, but it is also eveident that though exists outside of language. Human beings have thought dealing with emotions and feelings that have no language associated with them. It is also possible for small children to relate images with certain things, again with no direct language association. They can associate something they saw their parents do in the past with something they want now, however this does not mean that they know language “ . “ Language and thought are in harmony with each other a lot of the time but I also think that thought can go outside of language. As others have said humans or whatever you would like to call , surely had thought but they just had no way to really communicate their thoughts to others. Your example of babies having thought but really no language to communicate their thought is also very interesting “ . “ Thought influences language and language influences thought, but they are definitely not the same thing. However, a strong correlation does exist between these thought and language. It is possible to visually think, without language coming into the picture. However, we most often think with a combination of internal language and visuals, though this is not a requirement of thought. Also, thinking of children and toddlers who haven't developed language yet, does this mean there is no thought? I highly doubt it. If you ask most children of early childhood memories, many can give memories that existed before they spoke the english language. This is impressive and shows substantial evidence of both the seperation of thought and language, but also its strong coorelation “ .
Pages to are hidden for
"language is"Please download to view full document