Language Structure Discussion Question
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One of the thoughts being discussed is the question How does language affect thought? On page 241 of our main text we read the following thinking on this idea The relationship between language and thought has been heavily debated. In the early days of American psychology, John B. Watson (1930) asserted that thought was language and nothing more. In particular, he rejected the idea that thought (internal mental representation or other cognitive activity) could occur without some sort of conditioned language responses occurring. Watson believed that all apparent instances of thinking (such as mentally computing sums, daydreaming about a vacation, weighing the pros and cons of a plan) were really the results of subvocal speech. Thinking was equated with talking to yourself, even if so quietly and covertly that no one (including you) knew you were using language. (Galotti, 2014) I am looking forward to some responses on this, as I suspect many of you have some, ahem, thoughts on this one way or another. Think about it this way. Since beginning this class in cognitive psychology, how has your thinking been influenced by what you are learning? Are you using new vocabulary (language) in new ways to think about (cognition) your lives? How so? Our text clearly states that "it is true that language at least reflects thought in many instances. (Galotti, p. 245, 2014). In the video Why do we talk? The science of speech (2009), there are wonderful progression sequences of humans learning to talk. The video makes that claim that "It's such a sophisticated skill and yet children learn it so easily with minimal effort at all. And when you start thinking about it, it is quite miraculous how the brain does it" (Cohen, 2009). For my son, he mastered "wazzat" and "truck" pretty quickly! I could see how this influenced his thinking very early on whenever a loud vehicle went by he lit up! He 'knew' that it had to be a truck! The louder and heavier the better! I remember while living in Germany children from America would just 'absorb' the language and be speaking the language like those native born in very little time. This was true for the younger children, those under 10 years of age. I marveled to witness this. There is an article that can be found at our library referencing the work of Erik Lenneberg (1967) on the biological foundations of language. You will be covering some of this in your language paper. This is a very fascinating phenomenon in cognitive psychology. I believe that the human brain, and our text refers to Chomsky (Galotti, 2014) who has written extensively on this matter. Corporate America understands this well! There is a very popular language program out there who has used this research in it's product. Green buttons will go to the student who a) identifies the product and it's advertising slogan, and b) whomever wishes to share more research available from our library on this critical period and language acquisition!