Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

What comes first.. thought or language? watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Thought, I can think about things without using words/language. Alot of people think in images.
    How can you think of something without thinking about what it is? :ninja:
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Thought of course. Babies know what they want, they just struggle to comunicate it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ghanglish)
    Thought of course. Babies know what they want, they just struggle to comunicate it.
    Could you not say that's more to do with emotion though?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    *Bookmarks thread*

    My project this term is on linguistic relativity....
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mel0n)
    How can you think of something without thinking about what it is? :ninja:
    It's very difficult to explain and it sounds absurd but you can think without having any words in your mind. It's a differnt sort of thought - like an awareness. Like if I know I'm late for the bus I don't think ''Oh no, I'm late for the bus" I just know it in my mind or if I want a sandwich - I can picture the sandwich and relate it to hunger but I don't literally think "Hmm, I'm hungry, I'll get a sandwich."

    I don't know if that helped to explain it .
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Well recognition of language comes before thought (as you start learning language in the womb) but I would think that thought comes before the actual ability to speak, hence babies crying, gurgling, laughing etc.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    It's very difficult to explain and it sounds absurd but you can think without having any words in your mind. It's a differnt sort of thought - like an awareness. Like if I know I'm late for the bus I don't think ''Oh no, I'm late for the bus" I just know it in my mind or if I want a sandwich - I can picture the sandwich and relate it to hunger but I don't literally think "Hmm, I'm hungry, I'll get a sandwich."

    I don't know if that helped to explain it .
    Hmmm I sortt of get it but at the same time don't I'd think that you would at least have to have some linguistic awareness or whatever and you'd subconsciously need a word to relate the image to. That doesn't make much sense hah.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mel0n)
    Could you not say that's more to do with emotion though?
    Possibly. But could they not go hand in hand? I'm not sure.

    But when you're sitting there playing with a baby (maybe a few months old), I find that the cogs are really turning in their head, when they're trying to work out the world around them, and pointing out things. No real language comes out, but they're thinking things through.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mel0n)
    Hmmm I sortt of get it but at the same time don't I'd think that you would at least have to have some linguistic awareness or whatever and you'd subconsciously need a word to relate the image to. That doesn't make much sense hah.
    It depends on whether you consider visual-spatial and/or kinaesthetic thought as genuine thought. If they are, then even without language, any number of 'thoughts' could cross your mind, and thinking can take place.

    It's a really interesting question.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    "We will defend our people with all the means at our disposal.


    - Menachem Begin

    Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.

    We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours.

    -Golda Meir

    The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

    - Zuheir Mohsen"

    whoever wrote this is obviously extremely arrogant and ignorant.....what gives you the right to write complete lies about a whole race of people who you have been oppressing for waaaaay too long....you obviously don't know who your messing with because after all you've done to the arabs all these years they're still standing strong and keeping creeps like you people out of their country....seriously...i really think you should go n find someone elses country to steal and keep out of ours....fyi...its not our fault you dont have a nation....seriously gay comments like that are just stupid...i usually keep my strong opinions to myself....but seeing as you feel the need to be extremely disrespectful, and also immoral and merciless with your totally out of order comments....then i should say what i feel too!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    p.s. im sorry guyz.....this has nothing to do with the actualy topic of the thread...but i had to write tht...what i read rli shocked me...how sum1 could b so cruel...
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Language cannot possibly come first, because language, by definition is an verbal manner of communicating thoughts. So language cannot exist without thoughts.
    Assuming that language comes before thought, there'd be some period of time where language exists but thought does not, which contradicts the above.

    => Thoughts come before language


    An example - if you hear a piece of music which has no lyrics, later on you might be able to close your eyes and replay that music back in your head. You're thinking about the music - but you don't need words to be able to do that.
    It doesn't matter which language you speak, or even if you don't speak any language at all, you can still have thoughts like that which are completely independent of language.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Thought.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    You can think without language. You don't think a sentence about what you're about to do before everything you do, do you? I'm not thinking "press Y, press O, press U." It feels weird to think completely in language, I only do it when I'm trying not to think about something specific to drown out all other thoughts except for the sentences I'm thinking, and when I do that I hate the voice going on at me constantly, it's extremely annoying.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    But nature 'twas
    Urged men to utter various sounds of tongue
    And need and use did mould the names of things,
    About in same wise as the lack-speech years
    Compel young children unto gesturings,
    Making them point with finger here and there
    At what's before them. For each creature feels
    By instinct to what use to put his powers.
    Ere yet the bull-calf's scarce begotten horns
    Project above his brows, with them he 'gins
    Enraged to butt and savagely to thrust.
    But whelps of panthers and the lion's cubs
    With claws and paws and bites are at the fray
    Already, when their teeth and claws be scarce
    As yet engendered. So again, we see
    All breeds of winged creatures trust to wings
    And from their fledgling pinions seek to get
    A fluttering assistance. Thus, to think
    That in those days some man apportioned round
    To things their names, and that from him men learned
    Their first nomenclature, is foolery.
    For why could he mark everything by words
    And utter the various sounds of tongue, what time
    The rest may be supposed powerless
    To do the same? And, if the rest had not
    Already one with other used words,
    Whence was implanted in the teacher, then,
    Fore-knowledge of their use, and whence was given
    To him alone primordial faculty
    To know and see in mind what 'twas he willed?
    Besides, one only man could scarce subdue
    An overmastered multitude to choose
    To get by heart his names of things. A task
    Not easy 'tis in any wise to teach
    And to persuade the deaf concerning what
    'Tis needful for to do. For ne'er would they
    Allow, nor ne'er in anywise endure
    Perpetual vain dingdong in their ears
    Of spoken sounds unheard before. And what,
    At last, in this affair so wondrous is,
    That human race (in whom a voice and tongue
    Were now in vigour) should by divers words
    Denote its objects, as each divers sense
    Might prompt?- since even the speechless herds, aye, since
    The very generations of wild beasts
    Are wont dissimilar and divers sounds
    To rouse from in them, when there's fear or pain,
    And when they burst with joys. And this, forsooth,
    'Tis thine to know from plainest facts: when first
    Huge flabby jowls of mad Molossian hounds,
    Baring their hard white teeth, begin to snarl,
    They threaten, with infuriate lips peeled back,
    In sounds far other than with which they bark
    And fill with voices all the regions round.
    And when with fondling tongue they start to lick
    Their puppies, or do toss them round with paws,
    Feigning with gentle bites to gape and snap,
    They fawn with yelps of voice far other then
    Than when, alone within the house, they bay,
    Or whimpering slink with cringing sides from blows.
    Again the neighing of the horse, is that
    Not seen to differ likewise, when the stud
    In buoyant flower of his young years raves,
    Goaded by winged Love, amongst the mares,
    And when with widening nostrils out he snorts
    The call to battle, and when haply he
    Whinnies at times with terror-quaking limbs?
    Lastly, the flying race, the dappled birds,
    Hawks, ospreys, sea-gulls, searching food and life
    Amid the ocean billows in the brine,
    Utter at other times far other cries
    Than when they fight for food, or with their prey
    Struggle and strain. And birds there are which change
    With changing weather their own raucous songs-
    As long-lived generations of the crows
    Or flocks of rooks, when they be said to cry
    For rain and water and to call at times
    For winds and gales. Ergo, if divers moods
    Compel the brutes, though speechless evermore,
    To send forth divers sounds, O truly then
    How much more likely 'twere that mortal men
    In those days could with many a different sound
    Denote each separate thing.

    [Lucretius - De Rerum Natura, lines 5.1028-90, translated by William Ellery Leonard]
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mel0n)
    :\ And why? I can't get my head around which comes first because to me they appear to be hand in hand.

    How do people who are born deaf think? (as in talk to themselves):eek3: :eek3:
    That one still drives me crazy.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Well, I don't get how you'd be able to think without a language to think in - my thinking is basically talking to myself in my head :p:
    My Chinese friend says (when asked whether he thinks in English or Chinese) that he thinks in pictures though, and as someone else said you'd need to be able to think in order to learn a language, so I'm going to say thought comes first. Particularly subconscious thoughts - even babies that can't speak know when they're tired or hungry or whatever.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    Well, I don't get how you'd be able to think without a language to think in - my thinking is basically talking to myself in my head :p:
    My Chinese friend says (when asked whether he thinks in English or Chinese) that he thinks in pictures though, and as someone else said you'd need to be able to think in order to learn a language, so I'm going to say thought comes first. Particularly subconscious thoughts - even babies that can't speak know when they're tired or hungry or whatever.
    Could that not be like... excuse my poor choice of word but, instinct? Like when someone flicks their hands in front of your eyes you automatically flinch without having time to think about it. Or animals have certain actions which they do but they don't have a language or anything to think in.. if that makes sense? I don't think it does.
    The thing that confuses me is the initial thing you said about how is it possible to think without a language to think in.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Chicken.

    ...or the egg. :dontknow:

    :ninja:
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Thoguht has to come first because babies and animals can think.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.