Babies can think before they can speak

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Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Babies can think before they can speak

#41  Postby Calilasseia » Oct 15, 2016 2:59 pm

On a related topic ... been there, done that. :)
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Re: Babies can think before they can speak

#42  Postby Oldskeptic » Oct 21, 2016 12:53 am

ScholasticSpastic wrote:We 100% agree about the stuff I didn't quote, but the following is vulnerable to my nit-picking:
igorfrankensteen wrote:
I suggest further, that the ever increasing size of the Human vocabulary, is a sort of proof that there are more words needed, than are available to represent all that occurs in the human mind.


I don't think the cause-effect relationship is as clear as you imply with this statement.


Neither do I. If "the ever increasing size of human vocabulary" is "proof" or an indication of anything it's probably ever increasing specialization in different fields of endeavour. The vast majority of new words, whether they make it into dictionaries or not, will never be used outside small circles of friends, family, and or colleagues.

Also, the lack of a word to describe a physical or mental condition does not mean it can't be communicated easily enough using compound words or phrases. For instances horripilation means having goose bumps, feeling your skin crawl, the hair on the back of your neck standing up, spine tingling. No one that I can imagine something like, "It made me horripilate," mainly because very few people would know what they were talking about. In fact to tell someone what the word means you have to revert to the very phrases that people actually use to describe the feeling.

The same with foreign words like the German word "schadenfreude". No one speaking a different language than German can't understand the feeling when described as "Joy in another's misfortune" just because there is no word for it in that other language.

I remember reading something, I think by Desmond Morris, where an island language, Malay, had no word for depression but when the symptoms were described to native speakers they came up consistently with phrases that roughly translated into, "the sad sickness". Also Malay has a word, "amock" that has been adopted by English speakers for a seemingly unprovoked murderous frenzy. That and other words like "schadenfreude" have not been adopted because others had no experience with the situations or feelings or ways to describe them, but because they were familiar with the situations or feelings and simply adopted shorter simpler ways to express those situations or feelings.
There is nothing so absurd that some philosopher will not say it - Cicero.

Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead - Stephen Hawking
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