|Language and Thinking|
Sounds into Words
Language and Thinking 2011
This is a must read book by Stephen Gislason who
simplifies complex issues and introduces new and sometimes surprising insights.
Click the topics (left) to read from the book. The 2011 edition is available as
a printed book for mail delivery or as a download from Persona Digital Online.
From the introduction.
"Humans resemble other animals in their ability to
communicate. Communications involve chemical senses, sounds, body language, and
visual signals. Communication is all about community, sharing information,
sending warning signals and fulfilling the needs of the group. Human languages
combine many different expressions of communication in a complex manner. Ideas
about written language tend to dominate scholarly investigations, but sounds and
gestures have been more important in the evolution of communication systems.
Speaking is a spontaneous feature of the brain, and all normal children will
speak if they hear a language spoken; any language will do. Older infants
imitate words they hear spoken and if adults engage them in conversation, will
expand their vocabularies and start to make meaningful statements.
Words go with gestures Young children point with a
pudgy index finger and say the name their pointer indicates. Pointing and naming
remains an endearing characteristic for the rest of a human life. Babies follow
the path of language evolution. Their progress is from the description of the
immediate and concrete objects to making abstract statements about events.
The first thing you do when you are learning a language is point and name. You
invent nouns. Little tykes can get a lot accomplished with their pointing finger
and a few nouns. Tourists in a foreign country revert to the two-year-old
strategy of pointing, naming, using pantomime to replace the verbs they do not
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