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akerle's picture

langwidge

Ooh I just loved this reading. The second one by Pinker- not the first so much (a little too dense for me I have to say).

 I feel that pinker has a valid point but I don't feel that he has entirely explained himself- at least not to my liking.

 I find his explanation on language aquisition a little too simplistic. He spoke about children CREATING language. I wouldn't disagree with him on this one- but I find it hard to believe that adults play no role in language learning. What about children that are raised by creatures OTHER than humans. I know this may be a tenuous argument since there are clearly not a large amount of wolf children out there- but one of the problems these children appear to face is that they have no language. Whatsoever. So, if children CREATE language- how is it that these 'wolf-children' never learned to speak?

I was also intrigued by Pinkers discussion on deaf children. I was wondering  - what does a deaf child 'hear' when they read? I know that unless I have heard a word pronounced outloud I will often misread it to myself. (I embarrassed myself particularly with the word 'grotesque'). Do deaf children even have a voice in their heads? If so what does it 'sound' like?

Also- Professor Grobstein. I thought about our meeting the other day and I think you're wrong. People DO want sadness- well maybe not in a conscious way. I think most people feel that extreme emotions are better than purgatorial ones. Without sadness no one would ever be happy.

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