What Languages Tell Us About the Structure of the Human Mind

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Languages seem to fall into three communicative types. They all talk about reality, but they do not understand it in the same way: (1) some (Russian, Chinese and Hindi) talk about the situation common to the speaker and the hearer, (2) others (Georgian, Turkish and Bulgarian) about the speaker’s experience of that situation and (3) still others (Danish, Swedish and English) also involve the hearer’s experience of it. The choice among a third-person, a first-person or a second-person perspective is a semiotic choice, but it appears that the same kind of choice is made at other areas relating to perception and cognition. If one collects the three linguistic descriptions of ‘our world’, one gets access to the way in which our mind is organized and how it functions: people seem to have two different kinds of vision, and visual stimuli are processed in three stages corresponding to input (experience), intake (understanding) and outcome (a combination of what was experienced and what was understood).
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCognitive Computation
    Volume4
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)82-97
    Number of pages16
    ISSN1866-9956
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Communicative Supertypes
    • Language and Thought
    • First, Second and Third Person
    • Speaker-hearer Reality
    • Naming and Framing Strategies
    • Cognition
    • Identification
    • Assimilation
    • Accomodation
    • Metal Models
    • Perception
    • Processing Visual Stimuli
    • Input-intake-outcome
    • Types of Vision

    Cite this

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    title = "What Languages Tell Us About the Structure of the Human Mind",
    abstract = "Languages seem to fall into three communicative types. They all talk about reality, but they do not understand it in the same way: (1) some (Russian, Chinese and Hindi) talk about the situation common to the speaker and the hearer, (2) others (Georgian, Turkish and Bulgarian) about the speaker’s experience of that situation and (3) still others (Danish, Swedish and English) also involve the hearer’s experience of it. The choice among a third-person, a first-person or a second-person perspective is a semiotic choice, but it appears that the same kind of choice is made at other areas relating to perception and cognition. If one collects the three linguistic descriptions of ‘our world’, one gets access to the way in which our mind is organized and how it functions: people seem to have two different kinds of vision, and visual stimuli are processed in three stages corresponding to input (experience), intake (understanding) and outcome (a combination of what was experienced and what was understood).",
    keywords = "Communicative Supertypes, Language and Thought, First, Second and Third Person, Speaker-hearer Reality, Naming and Framing Strategies, Cognition, Identification, Assimilation, Accomodation, Metal Models, Perception, Processing Visual Stimuli, Input-intake-outcome, Types of Vision",
    author = "Per Durst-Andersen",
    note = "Published online 14. September 2011",
    year = "2012",
    doi = "10.1007/s12559-011-9109-0",
    language = "English",
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    pages = "82--97",
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    What Languages Tell Us About the Structure of the Human Mind. / Durst-Andersen, Per.

    In: Cognitive Computation, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2012, p. 82-97.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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