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#151855 12/12/05 02:37 PM
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**All three varieties**

That many?

#151856 12/12/05 02:45 PM
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Quote:

I know i think (and learn) more with images than with words.
I also think kineticly --i either imagine myself moving round an object, or mental rotate the object in my head.






Yes, I do this, too. When I am knitting (and, like you oftroy, I can see what each stitch should be as it comes up and seldom have to use the pattern) and when I am potting or printmaking or drawing, any of those visual and manual things, I don't think in words - or at least, I don't think I do. But when I'm writing, I'm definitely thinking in words, not just when I'm doing the writing, but when I'm working out a problem. When I'm working with clay and having a problem, what is going on in my mind is not "Okay, this has to go HERE, and if I press THERE...." It's more like a sixty-cycle hum, and all the "thinking" is going on in my hands and body.
I've known for years that when I create something new, it take me a lot longer to make it because I am thinking about it in my head. Then I do use words interiorly. Once the body has learned the process, I am faster. Then, if I start to think in words, I slow down.
I noticed that when I was teaching someone to card wool, I wanted to demonstrate how to take the batt of wool neatly off the card using something a friend calls "the tennis racket move". I couldn't do it while I watched! I had to kind of detach my mind and let my hands do it, then recall it afterwards. I know this sounds really silly, but it's the only way I can describe the process.
When singing with the choir I belong to, I notice I think differently again. I don't read music, and have to rely on the patterns my ear picks up. In a way I translate these into visual curves.

We probably all think in several "languages", even if we have only one verbal one.
Occasionally, as a generation that grew up with the bilingual cornflakes box, I think in French.

#151857 12/12/05 03:06 PM
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I'm actually beginning to think I'm retarded. I just cannot do any of this. Music particularly. I envy all of you!


TEd
#151858 12/12/05 04:36 PM
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In relation to thinking and doing without verbalising, there's one activity where my brain has clearly switched from one way of operating to another.

As a teenager in school I learnt to touchtype. I don't know if you have ever learnt this, but basically you have a blank keyboard and your fingers have to find their place and stay in place in order to find all the keys around them. It was extremely hard and slow going at first - not to mention very repetitive - but then a breakthrough moment came when one could keep one's eyes on the copy page all the time, and every finger knew where it should go. After that, it was just a matter of picking up speed. Very useful it was, and all in Spanish, of course.

Fast forward a couple of years and I began to study English at uni. We had projects to submit to different classes, typewritten, but that didn't worry me, consummate typist that I thought I was. Hah! The first time I tried to touchtype in English, I almost fainted! I thought I'd lost it completely! You see... I was loooking at my copy page, my fingers were typing away, and there on my sheet of paper was some kind of phonetic transcription of what I was trying to write. This kept happening, and after the initial dismay I realised I must be "hearing" the words in my head as I read them, and then typing their sound. This hadn't come through in Spanish, which is written basically just as it sounds, but here was proof - in some kind of pidgin - that my typing was linguistically mediated.

However, I had no way out other than to type the dratted papers in any case, so I stuck with it and over a few weeks it seems that I was able to train my brain to recognise not sounds but graphs (pictures, in some way), which is what I do now, touchtyping in English, Spanish or French.

In fact, I don't even know whether my brain is linguistically aware of what I'm typing -- it sounds more like the "from the eye to the hand" mechanism that someone mentioned earlier on this thread.

#151859 12/12/05 04:39 PM
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>>linguistically mediated<<

"phonetically mediated"? -- "linguistically" being much broader.

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think in language

Is the language of the mind, English, or whatever your first language is?

Are words thoughts?

Is thinking merely talking to yourself?

Is communication a way to transfer thoughts from one mind to another?

Can you speak as fast as you think?

Are sounds or colors thoughts?

Are some thoughts unspeakable or simply ineffable?

#151861 12/12/05 04:51 PM
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Quote:

>>linguistically mediated<<

"phonetically mediated"? -- "linguistically" being much broader.




Yes, clearly phonetically, thank you... But I guess what I meant was that it was mediated by language in some way. After all, my brain was hearing the sounds because it knows the phonetic idiosyncrasies of English. So yes, mediated by English language phonetics.

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Is the language of the mind, English, or whatever your first language is?

Not necessarah-lee, but primarily. It seems that those who know different languages can, with some *effort, switch back and forth.

Are words thoughts?

Yes, but they are not the only *things that are.

Is thinking merely talking to yourself?

I can think a melody. I can think in multiple part harmony... so the answer is: No, but it does seem to be self-oriented.

Is communication a way to transfer thoughts from one mind to another?

That, IMHO, depends on your intent.

Can you speak as fast as you think?

For me *they are about the same speed.

Are sounds or colors thoughts?

The above consensus says: Yes.

Are some thoughts unspeakable or simply ineffable?

I say: Without a doubt!

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Are words thoughts?

I don't think so, although words, like other signs, can be associated with thoughts, but I don't think the words and thoughts are interchangeable. I can think about words, but I don't think I think in words or sentences. I think in thoughts which are, in some way, related to words.

Is thinking merely talking to yourself?

Not anymore than humming to yourself is thinking. Are thoughts tangible? How do I model a world, by humming, speaking, or thinking? I think that seeing is closer to thinking than speaking is. Whatever it is that maps thinking to speaking it is fundamentally different from what maps feeling to making music. Except, of course, that much of our thinking is abstract. How do we visualize the abstract? By making it concrete. How does a preposition mean? Is it the same kind of meaning / expressing as a noun or a verb?


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#151864 12/12/05 07:23 PM
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Fascinating THread, TEd!

I'm late to the party, and don't have a whole lot to add. Connie and Marianna pretty much summed up the bilingual aspect of things -- I switch back and forth depending on circumstances, and also can think/speak Portuginglęs and Portuńol. But I always do mental math in English, as another poster mentioned. When I think about non-word related things, then yes, like Helen and Elizabeth, I think in images and will often rehearse something as if I were running a video tape (e.g. cooking, I'm not a very arts-and-crafts kind of person) in my mind first.

TEd, how do you go about woodworking? Surely you don't totally think only in words when you're carpentering?

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