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CAT & Mentalese (Language & Thought)

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  • Vitezslav Ruzicka
    Hi, as I ve read somewhere, there is a view in linguistic sciences that we think in a language of thought, sometimes called Mentalese. When we want to speak,
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 29, 2005
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      Hi,
      as I've read somewhere, there is a view in linguistic sciences that
      we
      think in a language of thought, sometimes called Mentalese. When we
      want to speak, we translate from Mentalese into our spoken language,
      be
      it Inuit or any other language. There is a proposal, then, that
      everybody's Mentalese is roughly the same, i.e. the language of
      thought
      is universal and human beings have essentially the same mental
      processes, even though they speak different languages, which fits
      neatly with the hypothesis of the modularity of mind (that there are
      separate and self-contained faculties of mind, of which language is
      one).
      Now, isn't it a vast region for CAT applications?
      Might be worth of taking up with CAT university studies and research.
      BR
      Vit
    • Martin Janda
      A nice idea. I ve read something like that we even *think* in our mother tongue (except perhpas for long-term expats). But even so, I would love to have
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 30, 2005
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        A nice idea. I 've read something like that we even *think* in our
        mother tongue (except perhpas for long-term expats). But even so, I
        would love to have something like a VoiceType or Dragon that would type
        everything I could only think of (well, sometimes, I would have to hide
        the output from my wife ;-)

        Martin

        Vitezslav Ruzicka wrote:

        >Hi,
        >as I've read somewhere, there is a view in linguistic sciences that
        >we
        >think in a language of thought, sometimes called Mentalese. When we
        >want to speak, we translate from Mentalese into our spoken language,
        >be
        >it Inuit or any other language. There is a proposal, then, that
        >everybody's Mentalese is roughly the same, i.e. the language of
        >thought
        >is universal and human beings have essentially the same mental
        >processes, even though they speak different languages, which fits
        >neatly with the hypothesis of the modularity of mind (that there are
        >separate and self-contained faculties of mind, of which language is
        >one).
        >Now, isn't it a vast region for CAT applications?
        >Might be worth of taking up with CAT university studies and research.
        >BR
        >Vit
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • James Kirchner
        ... I d be very wary of a theory that makes everything that neat and clean. I think primarily in pictures, but I have met people who insist that their thought
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 30, 2005
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          On Friday, September 30, 2005, at 02:53 AM, Vitezslav Ruzicka wrote:

          > There is a proposal, then, that everybody's Mentalese is roughly the
          > same, i.e. the language of thought
          > is universal and human beings have essentially the same mental
          > processes, even though they speak different languages, which fits
          > neatly with the hypothesis of the modularity of mind (that there are
          > separate and self-contained faculties of mind, of which language is
          > one).

          I'd be very wary of a theory that makes everything that neat and clean.
          I think primarily in pictures, but I have met people who insist that
          their thought is like a verbal conversation with themselves. If there
          is such a thing as a universal "mentalese", then it's buried under so
          many layers of logic and images that it would probably be almost
          impossible to get to.

          However, read books by Anna Wierzbicka and her work in semantic
          universals. Very revealing.

          Jamie



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        • James Kirchner
          ... I don t know if people think in any language at all most of the time. The interesting thing for me is dreaming. After I d been in the CR for a couple of
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 30, 2005
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            On Friday, September 30, 2005, at 03:23 AM, Martin Janda wrote:

            > A nice idea. I 've read something like that we even *think* in our
            > mother tongue (except perhpas for long-term expats).

            I don't know if people think in any language at all most of the time.

            The interesting thing for me is dreaming. After I'd been in the CR for
            a couple of years, people in my dreams spoke English and Czech. If the
            conversation took place inside my home, it was in English. Even people
            who in real life could not speak English were speaking English in my
            dreams when they were in my apartment. If the scene took place outside
            my apartment, everyone spoke Czech. So, in one dream I had that I had
            flown to New York City, everyone in New York was speaking Czech,
            including the African-American clerk in a grocery store. (This is a
            perfect opening for someone to tell the "true" folk tale about the
            Czech couple in America being stopped by a Czech-speaking black
            policeman.)

            Anyway, I decided that this pattern meant that Czech was my public
            language and English was my private one.

            Jamie



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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