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Being bilingual 'slows brain ageing'


Amadeus
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Nativist psychology theories suggest that humans are hardwired with a language of thought from birth. We think in 'the language of thought' or mentalese, rather than a specific language. This may be why people with severe communication disorders who have problems interpreting or articulating spoken language, body language or facial gestures are nevertheless quite capable of thought.

 

In other words - we don't think in any language (other than the language of thought).

 

Does this tie in with Chomsky's theories? Perhaps the "language of thought" is the father of universal grammar.

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Everything ties in with Chomsky. We're not born a blank slate; we're born with a set of basic forms, structures or parameters, be it psychological, linguistic. Jung said the same of psychology with his universal archetypes. This is not to say we're all born like cloned automatons. It's only the basic structures which are inherited; how they manifest or express themselves is individual or tribal, hence the simultaneous universality and diversity in the world.

Edited by Thomas Jefferson
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I'm not sure if the Language of Thought hypothesis directly supports the 'Universal Grammar' hypothesis.

 

LTH is saying that human thought happens in mentalese, not in any constructed language of communication.

 

UGH is saying that all humans are hardwired to learn languages of communication.

 

LTH is saying that we can all think, but we have to learn a language of communication if we want to articulate our thoughts, whereas UGH is saying that humans are all hardwired for learning the grammar of communicative language - both hypotheses are concerned with universal ideas about language, but they are saying different things which neither support nor conflict with each other.

 

When I talk about Language of Thought by the way, I am talking about all sorts of 'thought', e.g.; spatial perception, motor responses, calculation, etc. Chomsky's work on Universal Grammar is much more narrowly focused on cognition, specifically, language acquisition, and I'm not sure if he has much to say on the 'Language of Thought'.

 

Does the above explanation make sense?

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Personal view on this: I would class myself as adept in French (my original first language), English (you may or may not agree!), Spanish, German and Italian. By adept, I mean I speak fairly well and read and write in them.

I converse okay in Russian, very formal Arabic, and Gujarati – but I can’t cope with the alphabets so make no claims about reading and writing.

I’ve also had something of a crash course in East Slavic languages recently.

So, according to the article that set this off, I don’t have to worry about dementia for a while yet!

Can you repost that? I've forgotten what you said already.

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