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Thinking without language?

Larisa Migachyov lvm at leland.Stanford.EDU
Fri Nov 19 19:50:11 EST 1999

Gary Forbis wrote:
>  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
>  'thinking'.
>  > >Your tongue is still moving and there is small muscular movements
>  occuring,
>  > >you're actually talking without voicing out loud. Try sticking your
>  tongue
>  > >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
>  by
>  > >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,
>  micro,
>  etc. I tended to cup the back of my tongue.  I believe this is what caused
>  my
>  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
>  that
>  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.

I tried this again.  My gag reflex aside, I was able to read your
paragraph without moving my tongue at all.  

Larisa Migachyov                            
Quaternion Press Publishing House
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