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Does language shape how we think?

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  • barbara bianchi
    According to Steven Pinker in The Language Instinct (p.233), GENDER is is not a synonym of sex (i.e. male vs. female vs. object), but a class including:
    Message 1 of 46 , Aug 31, 2010
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      According to Steven Pinker in The Language Instinct (p.233), GENDER is is not a synonym of 'sex' (i.e. male vs. female vs. object), but a class including: human, animal, inanimate, tool, food, etc. Therefore, we don't necessarily have two/three genders, but potentially an infinite number of them:

      http://bearsite.yi.org/General/Linguistics/Pinker%20-%20The%20Language%20Instinct.pdf

      (see pp. 127; 132; 233, 478 - Glossary)

      Hope this helps,
      Barbara

      "thaes ofereode; thisses swa maej"
      (= that passed, so may this)
      (= quello e' passato, cosi' [anche] questo puo' [passare])
      Old English poem Deor

      Barbara Bianchi
      Mob. 07789838425





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • literacyacrosscultures
      And in follow up to that inquiry. One line of thinking in ELT said that SL/FL/L2 learners hadn t learned to do top-down reading skills enough, and so attempted
      Message 46 of 46 , Sep 8, 2010
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        And in follow up to that inquiry. One line of thinking in ELT said that SL/FL/L2 learners hadn't learned to do top-down reading skills enough, and so attempted to remediate by emhasizing a lot of skimming and scanning exercises (the problem being skimming and scanning, while important skills, are not really fluent reading skills). Another line of thinking said that it's because SL/FL/L2 learners hadn't really acquired enough automaticity in the language or in reading that language, and emphasized 'bottom-up' skills. The problem with that being, what is a bottom-up skill for a native speaker learning to read is not necessarily a bottom-up skill for someone who is also learning the language (such as, phonics makes little sense unless you already have a large English vocabulary to which to apply it).

        I was pointing this out because there is another possbility: that the native language does interfere with fluent reading of the SL/FL/L2, and this has explanatory power as to why, for example, relatively fluent users of English as a FL might have a measured reading speed of 70-100 words per minute instead of 200-300. And this becomes a major concern for the many people who go to anglophone countries to complete university degrees and find that they can not keep up with reading assignments.

        Charles Jannuzi
        Fukui, Japan


        --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, "literacyacrosscultures" <jannuzi@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, Mary <lightsteps@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Is it generallly assumed to be correct that non-native speakers do not have
        > > the ability to read as quickly in their second language as native speakers?
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