Way of Knowing : Way of Knowing Language Power of Language : Power of Language What is the role of language in knowing?
How does it influence what we know and how we know it? Symbolic Representation
Making noises at each other
Scratching marks on something
So much a part of our lives, that the power escapes us? Symbolism : Symbolism Sounds stand for things or ideas
With no direct connection
How does language create meaning?
Symbols refer to ideas and things
Stir associations of ideas
Create the stimulus and response of language behaviour Connections
Culturally agreed meaning Symbolic Representation : Symbolic Representation Connections between symbols and things
What things symbolize something in our everyday lives?
What distinctions would you draw with:
An animal danger sign, such as the flash of a deer’s tail or the cry of a bird
A human danger sign, such as the slippery road sign
The word “danger” Signs and Symbols
Signs: those which are genetically inherited as a characteristic of the species, fixed in their meaning, and anchored in the immediate place and time
Symbols: meaning created through convention Doves Doves Everywhere… : Doves Doves Everywhere… What is the difference between:
Your sense perception of the bird we call a dove?
An image of the dove with an olive branch?
The word “dove”?
The sentence “He dove into the water”? Dove He dove into the water. Power Symbols : Power Symbols Consider these symbols:
How many of them are familiar to you?
Is any of them significant to you in the context of your own community?
Could anyone outside your community, looking up or being told the meaning of the symbol, understand it as you do?
If not, why not? Ayyavazhi Omkar (Aum) Shinto Bahá'í Khanda The Burning Question… : The Burning Question… What does a flag symbolize?
If the relationship between flag and meaning is a matter of convention, why do certain actions generate feeling?
In what way is the action itself symbolic?
Can you think of other examples of symbolic actions? True Symbolistic Power : True Symbolistic Power Words!
Most words have no connection between the sound and the thing/idea
Gooble or Finglehopper
These are learned connections
Opens vast possibilities of communicating
Talk and think in abstractions removed from our immediate sense experience Connections
We connect our lives with the lives of others in our language community
We give words to categories of experiences we seem to share
Create meaning socially
This ability impacts our thoughts and culture and how we know
Human relationships, projects, endeavors require verbal and written language
Are words enough or always necessary? Words – who needs ‘em anyways!... : Words – who needs ‘em anyways!... Language and “body language”: alternative or complementary
On a sheet of paper draw a series of lines to make a fairly simple geometrical figure (about 8 to 12 lines) Your task is to describe your figure to your partner so they can reproduce it exactly.
Take your drawing, sheets of paper and a pencil
Sit back to back so neither can see the other’s drawing (or expressions)
Rule: no turning around or peeking
Clue: you an say things like “fold your paper in half”, “divide your paper into quadrants” etc… Language and Body Language : Language and Body Language Exercise:
Imagine you have been asked to write a manual on:
Write step-by-step instructions for someone who has never tied shoe-laces before The Body of Language : The Body of Language How do we communicate with our body?
What can we communicate with our bodies?
Are there limitations? Activity
Write two simple sentences, such as:
I like to eat oranges.
School is neat! (so 80’s!!)
Write two slightly harder sentences, such as:
I go to school by bus and listen to my I-pod.
English is fun, but TOK is funner (who needs good language in philosophy!)
Now, let’s communicate! So…What is Language, anyway? : So…What is Language, anyway? What is your definition of Language?
3 significant features
Uses symbols Uniquely Human
Only us…not them
What is the difference between communication and language?
Do you agree with the definition?
Do you have any empirical evidence that animals do use language? So…What is Language, anyway? : Animal Communication
Fixed number of signals
Volume and pitch reflects degree of fear or hunger or sexual determination
Compare… Language as Communication
Sender to Receiver
Compare Human and Animal Communication So…What is Language, anyway? Sender Message Receiver So…What is Language, anyway? : So…What is Language, anyway? Functions of Language
Affect feelings Social Communication
Formal and informal
Rhyme and alliteration
The little voice in your head
Verbal, written, visual, auditory, tactile
Thought without language?? So…What is Language, anyway? : So…What is Language, anyway? Bewitchment of words and language
Use one of the four functions of language
Write a short exposition but…
you can’t use the verb To Be
Am, are, is, was, were, being, been, going to be, etc…