How did English evolve?

What is the difference between “a hearty welcome” and “a cordial reception”? In a brief, action-packed history of the English language, Kate Gardoqui explains why these semantically equal phrases evoke such different images.

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Language, language and more about language?

A collection of Talks Tagged on Language in TED.com

Mind, Brain, Consciousness

By Skeptics Society 2005 The Brain, Mind & Consciousness conference, on what Nobel Laureate Francis Crick called “the greatest unsolved problem in biology,” was held over the weekend of May 13–15, 2005 at Caltech. This video set includes 30–50 minute talks by Michael Shermer, Roger Bingham, Christof Koch, Alison Gopnik, Richard McNally, Terry Sejnowski, Susan Blackmore, John […]

HOW DOES OUR LANGUAGE SHAPE THE WAY WE THINK?

For a long time, the idea that language might shape thought was considered at best untestable and more often simply wrong. Research in my labs at Stanford University and at MIT has helped reopen this question. We have collected data around the world: from China, Greece, Chile, Indonesia, Russia, and Aboriginal Australia. What we have learned is that people who speak different languages do indeed think differently and that even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how we see the world. Language is a uniquely human gift, central to our experience of being human. Appreciating its role in constructing our mental lives brings us one step closer to understanding the very nature of humanity.

What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Technology commentator Nicholas Carr discusses his book, “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” presented by Harvard Book Store. Is use of the Internet causing us to lose the ability to concentrate and think deeply? Drawing from philosophy, neuroscience, and history, “The Shallows” explores how the Internet may be rerouting neural pathways.

Can I Strip Myself of the Network of Language?

Can we strip ourselves of this network of language which is driving us, shaping us, and unemotionally use words that are simple, direct and therefore a word that doesn’t bring about psychological reactions? Right? Can we do this, first of all? If we can, then we can enquire together because we are free of the word which drives us, but we are using the word directly.