Way of Knowing Language

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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 Visual 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 Tree Arbre Árbol Gooble or Finglehopper These are learned connections Power 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 Context!... Knowing This ability impacts our thoughts and culture and how we know Human relationships, projects, endeavors require verbal and written language But… Are words enough or always necessary?

Words – who needs ‘em anyways!... : 

Words – who needs ‘em anyways!... Language and “body language”: alternative or complementary Exercise 1 In partners 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: Tying shoelaces! 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? Many linguists: 3 significant features Uniquely human Communicates 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 Instinctive Volume and pitch reflects degree of fear or hunger or sexual determination Humans Compare… Language as Communication Simplest form 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 Transactional Communication Information Instructions Hypothesis Solve problems Expressive Communication Express feelings Affect feelings Social Communication Formal and informal Examples? Rhyme and alliteration Self-communication The little voice in your head Thinking Verbal, written, visual, auditory, tactile Thought without language??

So…What is Language, anyway? : 

So…What is Language, anyway? Bewitchment of words and language Task: 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…

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