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Influence of Language on Cognition – Language (PSY, BIO)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:01 Some believe that language and thought or the cognition cognitive side of things are actually developed separately.

    00:06 So they’re not happening.

    00:08 So they’re teasing those two those apart.

    00:10 And to some extent, that can make sense.

    00:13 So like I said in my example of the baby saying dada, most of the time, initially at least, the child doesn’t really know what dada means.

    00:22 They know that it’s a sound and they’re building a vocabulary of these words and building language.

    00:27 And it’s not until a little bit later that they actually realized that when I say dada and I point to that weird guy who’s always around, that that’s actually my father.

    00:35 that that’s actually my father.

    00:37 That’s who I’m point to.

    00:38 And it doesn’t make the association of, you know, saying, you know, bottle or baba or whatever a baby ends up saying and points to the bottle that it makes a cognitive length between the sound that I’m making and the thought that I’m having.

    00:54 Okay? According to this idea, there are three stages.

    00:57 The first stage is immersion in social speech, so just really a sponge in acquiring all this language.

    01:03 And then talking to themselves, trying different things.

    01:06 So we call that private speech where you’ll see little children sometimes kind of just playing with their toys or walking around and making weird noises.

    01:13 And you know, and you’re laughing, “Oh, isn’t that so cute?” Well, the baby is actually trying to express some of the sounds and words that it knows and builds this phonetic vocabulary and phonetic skills.

    01:24 And then finally, it starts to understand the grammar and the relationship and it builds inner speech.

    01:29 And again, the children will have this internal dialogue and try to vocalize and piece together the language that they’ve started to acquire and the cognitive meanings around these words to put them together.

    01:40 And so, if you’re going to look at that kind of figuratively, we’re saying, “Speech is acquired first and then we have thought.” And then at some point, the two of them overlap when we get speech and thought together.

    01:52 Now, let’s take a look at another complicating factor and that would be looking at where you from, what is the language that you’re ultimately going to speak.

    01:59 So we call that linguistic relativity hypothesis and it states that cognition and perception are determined by language that the one speaks.

    02:06 So, if you’re from, say, Canada versus China versus Italy, there are going to be some differences there.

    02:14 We all know that, right? So, different language groups conceptualize the world differently.

    02:18 And so, there are some semantic contacts.

    02:20 There is some cultural influence and there are different things that people in that country might experience versus other parts of the world.

    02:29 So, you know, it can be something as simple as -- a great example is we look at groups that have a definition for the words snow or water.

    02:40 And so, we have the aboriginal subpopulation in the Inuit.

    02:43 And for them, they live in a snowy climate.

    02:46 They have several different words that describe snow or define snow.

    02:51 Whereas the average layman who doesn’t live in snow all the time has one definition, snow, right? So, we’re saying here is this, because of the semantic -- because of the cultural influence, the semantic distinctions are made between these words and language.

    03:08 And so, at the end of the day, globally, there is probably a core set of language, words and rules but then these can be further convoluted as you start layering the linguistic differences that you would see across cultures.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Influence of Language on Cognition – Language (PSY, BIO) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Making Sense of the Environment.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Social speech, egocentric speech, inner speech
    2. Social speech, private speech, external speech
    3. Immersion, egocentric speech, experimental speech
    4. Immersion, private speech, external speech
    5. Social speech, immersion, inner speech
    1. ...linguistic relativity hypothesis.
    2. ...usage based theory.
    3. ...optimality theory.
    4. ...native language magnet model.
    5. ...behaviorist theory.

    Author of lecture Influence of Language on Cognition – Language (PSY, BIO)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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