Re: Foreign languages a measure of intelligence?

Subject: Re: Foreign languages a measure of intelligence?
From: Romay Jean Sitze <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 1994 11:53:43 -0700

On Mon, 7 Nov 1994, amy welden wrote:

> When you become fluent in another language, you don't reuse the
> same areas for nouns and verbs, but develop new neural pathways for
> the new language. This means you have more active pathways to deal
> with the other language that can be accessed perhaps for other things,
> like making analogies and finding innovative ways of solving
> problems.

> Many people who are fluent in more than one language will tell you
> that they think differently when they are speaking the other
> language.

Regardless of the theories involved, there has to be some truth the the
idea that until you have a word for things it is almost impossible to
think about it. I may be alone in this, but I have at times felt almost
as if I was fighting against an unbreakable--even physical--band around my
mind when I tried to understand a concept--only to have that band
disappear later on when my vocabulary had expanded to include the terms
and structures needed to more fully explain the concept. As to whether
language influences the way a culture thinks, or the culture influences the
development of the necessary language to reflect it's thoughts, this seems
to me to be a sort of chicken and the egg question. Today, at least, they
seem interactive.

* RoMay Sitze rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu *
* Results! Why, man, I have gotten *
* a lot of results. I know several *
* thousand things that won't work. *
* Thomas A. Edison *

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