Are Words Inadequate?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Bowser, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    There is an idea that language (of which words are a subset) affect the way we think. Thus if one is exposed to more diverse language (not merely putting a range of languages beneath one's belt, but diversity in terms of a diversity within the length and breadth of mapped out territory within a language), the more diverse one's impressions of existence are. As such, its not that language is a limitation that pales in comparison to our experiences, but rather that it is the catalayzing means of indirectly enriching our experiences.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Stephen King, in his book "On Writing", described writing as "the closest thing we have to telepathy".
     
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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  7. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    As others are intimating ,when language is bent out of shape the result is something quite extraordinary. True this is not to everyone's taste (I am a natural philistine for my sins) but to contemplate a society that was not largely (or at all) shaped by these methods of communication would be abhorrent and take us backwards .

    As someone said "you're gonna miss me when I 'm gone" ,we are so used to its presence ,like the air we breathe that we feel we can manage without it.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    J -- Where language is insufficient to perform this function is a circumstance so rare as not to justify modifying language for.
    How? I contend that language, in most circumstances, is adequate to convey internal experience. Not in 3D-Surroundsound, but enough for the requirements of communication. Plus: "However, both psychologists and novelists keep trying to expand language to cover just such contingencies."
    That's how languages grow and evolve and sometimes mutate: when there is a perceived need, there is a response.
    And you can always add inflection, volume, gestures, facial expressions, illustration, stage lighting, costume and makeup.
     
  9. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    I would say it was the cave paintings. Or even our thoughts?
     
  10. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Well yes thoughts are clearly a prime form of virtual reality - practically their main function possibly. (a way to take an internal still photograph of the moving exterior world)

    I doubt whether a thought could have any substance without the opportunity of communication.

    I imagine there must be a whole area of study around the significance of cave paintings (I would not know much about them)
     
  11. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    What do you mean by that?
     
  12. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    I mean that without social intercourse our mental faculties would dwindle and run down.

    They have been created by social intercourse at the outset and without that environment our thoughts would have a character that would be intrinsically impoverished.
     
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  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, as you point out, art is an expression of thought. It is not essential to have a recipient. Many artists paint simply as a release of their own thoughts. Some never show their works to others.
     
  14. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    But the thoughts have their roots in social interactions.

    Art without having benefited from that fertilisation would be a mere curiosity.

    Shakespeare's monkeys on a typewriter.

    I will guess that the appreciation of beauty in nature is bound up with the physical attraction we fill as newborns to our close family.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    They may be closely linked, but I'm not sure they are one-and the-same.

    I don't know why that has to be the case.
    Fresh air and bright sunshine after a rainy day are causes for happiness even to incommunicative Man. No reason why he might not immortalize such a memory in his art.
     
  16. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    How would communication or 'social intercourse' be excluded and how would be the impoverishment be measured?
     
  17. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    With great difficulty and unethically.
    A test tube baby could be brought up in such an artificial and nightmarish environment.

    Again , measuring the impoverishment would really be unimaginable.

    As gradations go ,it might be interesting to study cases where humans have been brought up by animals...
     
  18. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    Even if adult humans would be isolated, they still have memories of communication and the language and can basically speak to themselves. There must be studies about that though, the effect on communication and socialization by isolation, and of children brought up by animals. But what would be the point of such a study as the one you suggested? Why would the assumed impoverishment be of importance to study? What value is put into the word impoverishment for example? And for all that, what is communication and socialization in this context? Can speaking to a wall be communication, drawing a face on the wall and speaking to it socialization? Does other humans need to be involved, or can matter, the body, our thoughs, nature, air, the environment also be a part of the communication and socialization?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  19. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    I have only indicated that separating a new born from conception and raising it in an environment without human communication would address the issue . I have also said t would be unethical to do so .

    S o this is purely a thought experiment with no real value except as a talking point.

    Impoverishment is bound to be a partly subjective assessment** but the point of the study (with socially deprived children -not adults) would obviously be to highlight the benefits of socialization as well as to better understand to effects of social deprivation (perhaps not a very common occurrence but surely deserving of study)

    I don't know ,. There have been cases of children having been brought up by animals. There must have been consequences and probably some attempt at a case study.

    **although inter-human empathetic capabilities /deficiencies might well be capable of being measured
     
  20. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Some person or persons once said
    The above might have under estimated the value of a picture. A movie of video is worth a lot more than a static picture.
     
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  21. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    ... 3 D experiential learning ?

    genericaly speaking, all things have limitations.
    philisophical/psychological debate subject interjects here with "does imagination have limits?"
    cross link to my thread about infinity & AI etc...

    is this your question ?

    do words convey emotions ?
    cross link Daves comments & thread (thread?) empathic/etc.. mirror-neurons...

    is an idea a narative of language ?
     

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