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Thinking without language?

Gary Forbis forbis at accessone.com
Fri Nov 19 15:50:25 EST 1999

Jerry Hull <ZZZghull at stny.lrun.com> wrote in message
news:38358329.10425428 at news-server.stny.rr.com...
> On Thu, 18 Nov 1999 16:49:05 -0000, "ADR" <a.dalla_rosa at virgin.net>
> wrote:
> >We don't actually think in words. Observe carefully while your
> >Your tongue is still moving and there is small muscular movements
> >you're actually talking without voicing out loud. Try sticking your
> >out and keeping it still as possible, you won't be able to think well in
> >'words'. Thoughts are feelings on one level which we bring down one level
> >using our tools for communication, such as our mouth.
> This seems completely mistaken.  It is the vocal chords that show
> micro movements which track with "silent speech", if I recall
> correctly.  The tongue has nothing to do with it.

I tried the experiment suggested.  I stuck my tongue out as far as I could
and bracketed it with my index and middle finger.  On repeated experiments
I see that reading text that includes oh sounds such as oh, correctly,
etc. I tended to cup the back of my tongue.  I believe this is what caused
gag reflex in the original experiment since I stuck my fingers as deep as I
could without gagging prior to reading the text.

Maybe this is just suggestibility on my part, that is, give the assertion
I would move my tongue I did in fact move my tongue.  Some words don't
use the back of the tongue and reading them does not cause the gag reflex.
I don't know.  How could I test this now that I know the expected response?
I can't get my relatives to do this, especially without telling them why.

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