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Language as a way of knowing

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Mercedes Mascitti

on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Language as a way of knowing

Language as a way of knowing
How does it influence what we know and how we know it?

Language is a social convention
In our language community we crate meaning socially.
The entire language system is symbolic and gives us nearly infinite possibilities for meaningful combinations.
Lost in translation?
Body Language
Together with the words we speak our bodies help carry the message we want to communicate..
SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION
BABEL TOWER : The origin of different languages
Facts about language
Language is the Human Capacity that serves to give us K and affect our understanding of the world and ourselves
Symbolic nature.
How language creates meaning
Symbols stands--> Things and ideas
Association of ideas
Stimulus and response of language behaviour
Meaning comes from the connection between the image and a particular cultural practice. ( Associated ideas).
Is a matter of convention.
We can think and talk in abstractions based on our sense perception or our imagination.

Do we have an universal language?
Lost in translation?
INFLUENCE OF GEOGRAPHY. "Translation is always a shift not between two languages but between two different cultures" ( Eco Umberto).
Different groups open their eyes on different geographical conditions. The translation gulf grows with the effect of geography on the way people live in the world and all that follows in their culture.
GENDER. Some languages divide their words according to gender. Does the gender division affect how people think or feel about their objets?.
STRUCTURE OR POLITENESS. There are several levels of formality that affect the structure of some languages.
SACRED TEXTS
Its a matter of interpretation
Language carries interpretation. We quickly encounter ambiguity, A lack of precision that allows differing interpretations.
Connotation and dennotation.
Metaphors.
Suggestive power of symbolism that cannot be rationally explained.
Hypothesis of linguistic relativity ( Sapir-Whorfs hypothesis): The particular language we speak causes us to think in a certain way and the speakers of different languages consequently perceive the world quite differently.
Roles of Language
We think using the symbols of language as tools for thought
We interact socially, connecting with other through greeting and conversation.
We give factual reports
We express our emotions
We create, using language for literature or for humour
We persuade others
We give instructions, make requests, or otherwise affect actions around us
We change our lives, for example by pronouncing marriage vows.

SELECTION: Selection is made according to criteria
EMPHASIS:Something stressed as most important
WORD CHOICE: Kind of language used. Denotative (factual) or connotative (suggestive).
CONTEXT: How does it affect the overall meaning of the passage.
Language, emotion and values
Metaphor is mapping one concept onto another or comparing one with another.
Roles:
Explanatory role
Challenge orthodox thinking
They can condition our thoughts and actions.
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