How language shapes the way we think

How language shapes the way we think
Lera Boroditsky
May 2, 2018

Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language — from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian.
“The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is,” Boroditsky says.
“Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000.”



Las palabras: símbolos para recuerdos compartidos

Ingreso de Paz Battaner
Feb 2, 2017
3:50 despertar interes, curiosidad y gusto por la lengua espanola

10:44 refran vasco: “Lo imposible, con esfuerzo se logra”

el significado abstracto
13:09 nominalizaciones de verbos o los adjetivos en sustantivos

45 sentido del humor

<54:32 Borges
las palabras [son] símbolos para recuerdos compartidos

1:11:25 el uso de la lengua puede ser espontaneo, mientras que su analisis no lo es nunca

1:14:28 las palabras las llevamos puestas, de modo que corren con nostros cuando las perseguimos, porque la comprension que buscamos es la de nuestra propia naturaleza, como hispanohablantes.


¿Castellano o español?


El valor económico del castellano será central en el Congreso de la Lengua
– una lengua que nos une y nos integra
– celebrar el idioma

7:34 contribuir al buen uso y la unidad del idioma comun

Scientific idioms

Desert Locust Glossary

acceptable daily intake (ADI)
The amount of a chemical which can be consumed daily for the lifetime of an individual with no ill-effects.

action threshold
The pest density at which a control tactic must be implemented to avoid an economic loss.

adiabatic lapse rate
The rate of decrease of temperature experienced by a parcel of air moves up through the atmosphere under restriction that it can not exchange heat with its environment. Wet and dry adiabatic lapse rate are used in meteorological studies related to locust flight and rainfall.

Always listening to the customer’s (virtual) needs: Social Media Monitoring tools and the creation of ‘authoritative’ knowledge in marketing
Shamil Zainuddin
…the use of scientific idioms to present conclusions from online data can be seen as a way to lend legitimacy and authority to this type of research.
The Co-Production of Knowledge – University of York
Jul 18, 2012
Knowing Qualia: A Reply to Jackson
Paul M. Churchland (in A Neurocomputational Perspective, MIT Press, 1989)
While the approach is well motivated, this binary distinction in types of knowledge barely begins to suggest the range and variety of different sites and types of internal representation to be found in a normal brain. There is no reason why we must be bound by the crude divisions of our pre scientific idioms when we attempt to give a precise and positive explication of

A process of purification and an utter obfuscation of the role of human decision makers by casting policy processes largely in scientific idioms (p.12) are part of the mechanisms by which the view from nowhere is instantiated.

Of course idioms reflect culture and so those diverge widely.

J Cogn Neurosci. 2010 Aug;22(8):1682-700. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21293.
Predictive mechanisms in idiom comprehension.
Vespignani F1, Canal P, Molinaro N, Fonda S, Cacciari C.

Steven Pinker on his sense of style
The Harvard psychologist offers a writing guide based on how the mind works.
Gareth Cook
01 October 2014
my earlier research on irregularity reminded me how much in language is arbitrary and illogical and must be acquired not by logic or rule but by brute-force memorization — spelling and punctuation being prime examples.

Systems Biology Graphical Notation: Entity Relationship language Level 1
Nature Precedings. 2010
The Systems Biology Graphical Notation (SBGN) is a graphical representation crafted over several years by a community of biochemists, modellers and computer scientists.
Three orthogonal and complementary languages have been created, the Process Descriptions, the Entity Relationships and the Activity Flows.
Using these three idioms a scientist can represent any network of biochemical interactions, which can then be interpreted in an unambiguous way.
lexical precision … is illusory



No…these things happen

Subtle linguistic cues influence perceived blame and financial liability
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
October 2010, Volume 17, Issue 5,  pp 644–650

Politicians and other public figures are famous for clever evasions and roundabout claims.

Are these linguistic maneuvers merely ornamental or do they genuinely influence how people think about the events being described …?

Stuff Happens, And The Way We Talk About It Matters
October 5, 2015

Colm Toibin on Elizabeth Bishop

Colm Toibin on Poet Elizabeth Bishop
May 10, 2015

The celebrated Irish novelist Colm Toibin talks about his admiration for the poet Elizabeth Bishop and the kinship he feels for her.

01:45 confessional, autobiographical poems

02:46 her poems are canonical

4:34 people are very careful about what they say
people hint at things rather than declare them
language of restraint … everything is understated

07:40 we live in an age where you’re meant to–even with the most casual acquaintance–sit down and tell them all about how you’re feeling this week

08:10 somehow speech is not accurate enough, language is not clear enough