37 votes
Accepted

Are language and thought the same?

The idea that language and thought are one and the same, that thoughts cannot exist without language, is sometimes called strong linguistic determinism or the strong Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (*). It's ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
17 votes

Are language and thought the same?

These examples show that in some way thought continues even if you temporarily lose language: [neuroanatomist .. was struck with a left hemisphere haemorrage.] Over the course of 3-4 hours, she ...
Gene Ruso's user avatar
  • 171
16 votes

Is the rarity of dental sounds explained by babies not immediately having teeth?

There is no evidence that dentals are rare per se – they exist in many languages, for example many Indic languages, Finnish, French and other Romance languages. What is rare is a contrast in front ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
13 votes
Accepted

How do illiterate French people learn which pronunciation to use in different sentences?

I don't think the question of "are these two words, or one word with two forms" is particularly interesting linguistically, at least, not if you're basing the answer on the intuitions of illiterate ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.1k
12 votes
Accepted

Why is the English phoneme /θ/ pronounced like /t/ in Indian accents but /s/ in Chinese accents?

Here's a paper that's addressed a similar phenomenon of the different realizations of /θ/ between Cantonese and Sichuanese speakers, both of which are dialects of Chinese and share similar phonetic ...
Matthew Su's user avatar
10 votes

What is the difference between native language, first language, mother tongue and L1?

This is a very good question because it highlights the multiple terms used to describe what appears to be similar if not the same phenomena; However, as it has been pointed out above, there are ...
Clara's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
Accepted

Do children's mispronunciations influence the development of a language?

Yes, there are such studies. Notably, Jakobson's Child language, aphasia and phonological universals, and David Stampe's The acquisition of phonetic representation in Chicago Linguistic Society, vol ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
10 votes
Accepted

Does your brain make a distinction between vocal and non-vocal language?

Spoken and signed languages are distinguished in the brain in different ways. From the perspective of perception, spoken language is processed in the cochlear nucleus of the brainstem and then the ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
10 votes

I'm having trouble understanding chomskyan linguistics

Neither the behaviorist model of 65+ years ago nor Chomsky's model were submitted to rigorous empirical testing in the realm of first language acquisition, because neither was made explicit enough ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
9 votes

Why is the English phoneme /θ/ pronounced like /t/ in Indian accents but /s/ in Chinese accents?

This is a great question without a clear answer. People have struggled to find the answer since the 1970s: Here is my 2002 paper with many references listed in Appendix A. See also my dissertation ...
k8i's user avatar
  • 161
7 votes

How many languages can a person reasonably know?

The limiting factor for the average person is really the society, the environment. We humans are lazy or, from another perspective, efficient - most of us try to learn only the minimum needed to ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
7 votes

Are language and thought the same?

I only have anecdotal evidence that they are not the same, but I hope it might give an explanation or at least a starting point where to research it deeper. I know someone who had a car accident and ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 299
7 votes
Accepted

Are there any audio recordings of the speech of the feral child Genie?

Most of the material is not in the public domain or online, and access must be requested from the UCLA Library (click "Request Items" in the top right-hand corner): https://oac.cdlib.org/...
linguist's user avatar
6 votes

Language acquisition by 100% immersion -- any cases you know of?

Do linguistic field workers count? In this case I offer the case of Daniel Everett who learned the Pirahã language from scratch by contact with the native people without having any common language. Of ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
5 votes

How and when do French children learn to select between masculine and feminine forms of words when referring to themselves?

Learning the correct gender (and number) for referring to oneself is a very minute and relatively easy part of learning genders or noun classes (and number) generally. As such, it follows the same ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
5 votes

Simultaneous bilingualism vs Sequential bilingualism

Simultaneous and sequential bilinguals differ in regards to the time a second language was introduced, but it does not necessarily determine which language will become dominant. Assuming both ...
Stephanie's user avatar
5 votes

At what age do children lose the ability to hear phomene differences that their native language doesn't make?

Infants can reliability perceive contrasts between sounds in various languages. However, by the age of 10-12 months, babies' ability to distinguish between contrasts important for their native ...
Anita Bowles's user avatar
5 votes

Is Wikipedia's argument for Universal Grammar completely fallacious?

Beginning with your very last parenthesized question, does "this" refer to the argument you quote from Wikipedia or the argument you yourself make that begins with "however"? And why does that ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
5 votes
Accepted

Does a polyglot think in every language he speaks or only in the mother-tongue?

Being bilingual yourself, you should be able to answer this question yourself. But here's my answer: people don't usually think in a language. At least I don't. I think in a language when I am ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
5 votes

How do we know that abstract words mean the same thing to all of us?

We know that words have roughly the same meanings to most members of a language community because we're able to have conversations using them and not become totally confused. You can also flip it ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 231
5 votes

How do Latin American Spanish speakers acquire vosotros forms?

Vosotros is used in the Bible, which is a corpus that many people in Latin America are exposed to at least weekly. This makes it similar to English ye or thou, though in English there are many more ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
4 votes

Simultaneous bilingualism vs Sequential bilingualism

Assuming the existence of a critical period in life to learn a language that extends from early childhood to puberty and affects both the acquisition of the first language and the acquisition of the ...
Miguel Morell's user avatar
4 votes

Is there a word-list for child English?

I found the following link regarding the CHILDES database that might be helpful to you in extracting the list of words you want. The description reads "ChildFreq is a tool that lets you extract word ...
David Farthing's user avatar
4 votes

Are language and thought the same?

It certainly does seem like thought and language are the same; that's been the presumption in human society for as long as we know about. But it's not really true, any more than it's true that your ...
jlawler's user avatar
  • 10k
4 votes
Accepted

Does the study of linguistics help one to be a good speaker and good writer of languages?

There is no evidence that studying linguistics has a particularly positive effect on writing and speech, either in L1 or L2. Let us just take the question of effect on L1 writing: and first, you have ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

How do we know that abstract words mean the same thing to all of us?

I should point out that babies don't know the word "coherence" or "epistemology", and children (and adults) often know a phonological form without having mastered the standard dictionary definition. ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

How do we know that abstract words mean the same thing to all of us?

We don't always have the same definition of abstract words. This is an outstanding issue in all communication. Examples abound. Plato's Republic has a discussion of the definition of “justice”. Some ...
adam.baker's user avatar
4 votes

Language acquisition by 100% immersion -- any cases you know of?

I bet historically that was not an uncommon occurrence up to the early 20th century. Nakahama Manjirō springs to mind, who was shipwrecked off the coast of Japan and then immersed himself in the ...
Nardog's user avatar
  • 4,931
4 votes

Language acquisition by 100% immersion -- any cases you know of?

I recently learned about William Buckley on the Futility Closet podcast. Buckley was an English escaped convict who lived with Indigenous Australians for decades. He learned the language of the people ...
d_b's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
Accepted

Do bilinguals have smaller vocabularies in each language than monolinguals?

From Bialystok’s overview paper Bilingualism: the good, the bad, and the indifferent: “It is now well documented that bilinguals generally control a smaller vocabulary in each language than ...
George Walkden's user avatar

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