Thomas Wulf wrote:
>... biology and linguistics have btw. Found that all thoughts are
>also triggering the larynx and are running there in parallel, albeit
>mute. no way to think without our larynx. so thoughts are bound
Steve Schwartz wrote:
>But are they bound to language because we already have language? Is
>there a way to measure these things in someone who has no language,
>or can we even say that such a person thinks? How would we know?
Without digging into the research I have to wonder how many forms of
"thought" this really investigated. Were there experiments done to check
what happens when the thinking was highly geometric, for example? Or
even musical? Perhaps in those situations there are areas besides the
larynx that are triggered, too, or the larynx has diminished response.
I'll conjecture that this is so.
Of course, it is undoubtedly true that much of our thought is verbal.
(I often wondered if that is why I can recall so little of my pre-language
experience.) But to say all thought is verbal strikes me as wrong,
especially given our giant visual cortices. One reason we teach mathematics
with so many pictures is surely that much of our thinking is spatial,
for instance. And we have many, many nonverbal aspects to our communication.
A good scowl is worth a thousand gruff words, so to "speak". I say our
languages are multisensorial. (And I think it, too.) Of course, I am
no neuro-linguist, but that doesn't stop me from suggesting that even
if the nerves of the larynx get excited every time we think, it doesn't
mean we are using verbal thought, just that we are ready to deploy it.