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#1
I would like to live an hour of my life without language. I can't imagine how I would think inside my mind without it. Language is a only our way of trying to express our true feelings. How would I acknowledge these feelings without language. How would my mind see them?

This is the thought that's I've been pondering tonight. I thought the pit might have some insight.
#3
Language is probably one of the most amazing things the human race has ever developed. I can't imagine ever being without it.
#4
I don't think it would be possible. You're gonna have to tear a certain piece of your brain out.


Of course not. But it's interesting to think about it.

I don't even know if we could have emotions. Even if we did, how would we categorize them in our minds? How would we think? We couldn't. Laguage is more or less an essential part of us.

It would be like asking a blind man to describe color.
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#5
This sounds like something Tool would sing about.
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#6
Quote by metaldud536
I don't think it would be possible. You're gonna have to tear a certain piece of your brain out.


Yes I know this.

This is a hypothetical what if situation.
#7
Well you would express yourself through Guttural noises I assume.
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#8
without language you would tend to think in pictures, colours, and emotions (although i suppose you could argue that those are languages in their own right).

i tend to think that way most of the time anyway.
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#9
Quote by gacharya
Of course not. But it's interesting to think about it.

I don't even know if we could have emotions. Even if we did, how would we categorize them in our minds? How would we think? We couldn't. Laguage is more or less an essential part of us.

It would be like asking a blind man to describe color.


I think that you can still have emotions without language. I guess without language it may be impossible to be conscious of the emotions we're having.
#10
You could express yourself through music?
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#11
does a deaf person think in a language,
does their thoughts appear in writting, sign language or what?
how about a deaf blind person?
#12
maybe your mind could only handle instints and beliefs, but calculated thinking and planning...? maybe not...i need a blind deaf guy to tell me, and thats hard...i dont know alot of hellen kellers
#13
Quote by rememberthename
does a deaf person think in a language,
does their thoughts appear in writting, sign language or what?
how about a deaf blind person?

I opened a thread about like a week ago, I think if they were born deaf they cant think in a language but in images, if they became deaf later in life they can still think in a language.
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#14
Quote by Wiegenlied
You could express yourself through music?

But music is a language. It contains an alphabet (the 12 notes of the chromatic scale, or more depending on which "alphabet" you're using), grammar (scales, time signatures, key signatures), sentences and phrasing (constructing simple melodies is a lot like working out a sentence or phrase), vulgar expressions (dissonance, noise for noise's sake), colloquialisms (particular cliched scales like minor pentatonic or gallop rhythms), "textbook" examples (musical exercises), and a very extensive vocabulary.

And there's even more but I admit to probably not being intelligent enough to have mastered it to the point of grasping it as a second language. But music IS a language.
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#15
Language is overrated. I bet that if we didn't have mouths we would use visceral imagery to communicate and we would acutally be able to convey our thoughs more thoroughly. It would be slower but people would think about what they said more.
#16
if they became deaf later in life they can still think in a language.


Of course, because by the time they've become deaf they've already become accostomed to laguage.

It's like if I were to go deaf/blind, i would still know what a color/sound was. If I was born that way, no.
Quote by pielover375
So last year, I put some potatoes in this jar and forgot about them. Today, I found them, and when I opened the jar, there is a puddle at the bottom and it smells like alcohol. If I drink this, do you think I will die, or have I made potato vodka?
#17
Thinking about this led to this:

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#18
Of course we could have emotions, and think. We'd just be less able to communicate, and possibly less able to order our thoughts and reason logically.
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#19
My first thought was imagining a person who grew up with no parents, alone in the wild-- a Tarzan or George of the Jungle, if you will. Of course you'll have to suspend some belief if you're going to see this through, but the point is I imagine their thought process laden with nothing but sheer emotion and primitive instinct. But if given enough time, I'm sure a language of some form will eventually come about. But yeah. If I had an hour with no language and no recollection of language, then I feel like I'd be pretty thoughtless and stupid.
#20
Hmm. very strange.
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#21
I wonder if people who practice meditation can go so deep into that state that they don't even think words. Anyone familiar with Buddhism know if that's actually possible? This is a really interesting question.
Could we consider animals communicating with each other as language? I mean whales seem to have a complex set of pitches that they can emit. And dogs can pick up the mood of another dogs bark or growl or cry...
I guess only babies and ppl born deaf truly know.
#22
Technically, our bodies can act as a means of language, and certain gestures/expressions are interpreted the same by everyone. So, we'd have to eliminate certain emotions to get rid of language completely.
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#23
Quote by burndttoast
My first thought was imagining a person who grew up with no parents, alone in the wild-- a Tarzan or George of the Jungle, if you will. Of course you'll have to suspend some belief if you're going to see this through, but the point is I imagine their thought process laden with nothing but sheer emotion and primitive instinct. But if given enough time, I'm sure a language of some form will eventually come about. But yeah. If I had an hour with no language and no recollection of language, then I feel like I'd be pretty thoughtless and stupid.

Dude, read about Genie, a feral child who grew up with almost no concept of language.

I watched a documentary about her and it enraged me in ways I didn't know I could be enraged.
Q: Favourite Pink Floyd song?
A: The one where they get wicked high and play Emin and A for an hour.
#24
Quote by travislausch
Dude, read about Genie, a feral child who grew up with almost no concept of language.

I watched a documentary about her and it enraged me in ways I didn't know I could be enraged.


We watched her documentary in Psychology. It was so intriguing yet saddening. It gave us a new glimpse of language and brain development, yet the circumstances surrounding it were tragic.
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#25
If you're talking about strictly verbal language, then music would be a good alternative.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#26
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If you're talking about strictly verbal language, then music would be a good alternative.

Again, I think one COULD actually look at music as a "verbal" language.

But I digress. Your post reminds me of a Star Trek: Voyager episode I recently watched, which featured an alien race stowing away on the ship that communicated entirely through "musical" pitch variations. It would be kind of cool if such a race of people, human or alien, actually did exist, and communicated solely through "musical" tones.
Q: Favourite Pink Floyd song?
A: The one where they get wicked high and play Emin and A for an hour.
#27
Quote by travislausch
Again, I think one COULD actually look at music as a "verbal" language.

But I digress. Your post reminds me of a Star Trek: Voyager episode I recently watched, which featured an alien race stowing away on the ship that communicated entirely through "musical" pitch variations. It would be kind of cool if such a race of people, human or alien, actually did exist, and communicated solely through "musical" tones.

It is a language, but it's not explicit in the way that verbal language can be, which is the beauty of it.

Using tone rows for communication would, however, be explicit language.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#28
But isn't that what our idea of music is? Communication using varying tones? Someone with no concept of how language works might not know that minor keys are meant to sound sad, major keys are meant to sound happy, atonal sounds are meant to sound chaotic and insane.

That's one way that music is a much more "strict" and non-universal language than people give it credit for. There are even different languages within music, with different cultures placing different meanings on different sounds. The "grammar" of, say, Indian classical music is completely different from the "grammar" of European classical music, since they use completely different temperments (kind of like the differences between, say, Latin letters and Cyrillic letters), and attach different emotional meanings to different intervals of notes and keys (while this isn't a true example, probably, imagine if in another culture, minor key sounds were viewed as sounding happy rather than sad).

So even expressing one's self through music cannot be considered a truly universal language that everyone, even without knowledge of verbal languages, can easily recognize or communicate with. For the tones and intervals to resonate an idea emotionally or otherwise, the other person one is "talking" to through music has to have an understanding of the same rules as the one communicating, or else it's lost on them.
Q: Favourite Pink Floyd song?
A: The one where they get wicked high and play Emin and A for an hour.
#29
Quote by travislausch
But isn't that what our idea of music is? Communication using varying tones? Someone with no concept of how language works might not know that minor keys are meant to sound sad, major keys are meant to sound happy, atonal sounds are meant to sound chaotic and insane.
There are a lot of discrepancies in your claims here. First of all, you don't have any basis for the assertion that different keys and harmonic qualities don't have inherent sentiments. You're also oversimplying music by overlooking all other attributes of music, including dynamics, timbre, texture, etc. Any and all attributes can make a statement that can be intuitively understood.

]
That's one way that music is a much more "strict" and non-universal language than people give it credit for. There are even different languages within music, with different cultures placing different meanings on different sounds. The "grammar" of, say, Indian classical music is completely different from the "grammar" of European classical music, since they use completely different temperments (kind of like the differences between, say, Latin letters and Cyrillic letters), and attach different emotional meanings to different intervals of notes and keys (while this isn't a true example, probably, imagine if in another culture, minor key sounds were viewed as sounding happy rather than sad).

This is a good point. It is true that we are conditioned to hear the music around us to accurately interpret what the music intends. So I have limit my initial post to only music that is culturally familiar.

For the tones and intervals to resonate an idea emotionally or otherwise, the other person one is "talking" to through music has to have an understanding of the same rules as the one communicating, or else it's lost on them.

Tone rows used in that way would be explicit because it would basically be codified language, so that anyone who know the codes can understand it.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
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#30
@ travis

That is all very true. Math is the only universal launguage I can see.
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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#32
Quote by gacharya
It would be like asking a blind man to describe color.


I know a blind girl who knows clearly what a color is, but that's 'cause she turned blind at 7...

To contribute, I don't think it's even possible to think without language.
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#33
Language isn't just words though, it's a whole system of the signifier and the signified, I think doing anything without language would be nigh on impossible.
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#34
Communicating through choreographed danced > verbal language
Most of the important things


in the world have been accomplished


by people who have kept on


trying when there seemed to be no hope at all
#35
Hi, resident linguist here.

It's impossible.

/thread.


If you are interested though google FOXP2, it's the mutation that gave homo-species language, and sometimes modern humans are born without it and have communication problems.
#37
Animals do it.. I'm aware that some animals have a primitive form of language, but not all.
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#38
Quote by zgbgydug
Animals do it.. I'm aware that some animals have a primitive form of language, but not all.


Which animals have no form of language?
#40
Without language, the only comedy would be increasingly intricate slapstick. Fuck that.

WEBBDIT: Though, come to think of it, that's only if I mean 'language' to be 'verbal language', and I might be wrong to do so, but I'm no linguist, I'm just some bloke, right, who happens to have some time on his hands and a touch of brain capacity to spare, and doesn't particularly expect an off-hand and vaguely whimsical thing posted (largely) anonymously on the internet during a moment of downtime to be as thoroughly examined as these things usually are.
Last edited by webbtje at Oct 3, 2010,
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