Body Language;
mathematical
formulas
Language in TOK
• Language is:
– Rule-governed
– Intended
– Creative and open
ended
• English, Arabic,
Chinese….
The origin of our languages
Language family
Major language
Location
Indo-European
English
Americas, Europe, SW Asia,
Australia, South Africa
Sino-Tibetan
Chinese
China, SE Asia
Japanese-Korean
Japanese
Japan, Korea
Afro-Asiatic
Arabic
North Africa, Arabian
Peninsula
Dravidian
Telugu
India
Malay-Polynesian
Indonesian
Malaysia, Indonesia,
Philippines, Madagascar
Altaic
Turkish
Russia, Finland, Turkey,
Northern Asia
Niger-Congo
Bantu
Sub-Saharan Africa
5,000/10,000 B.C.
Indo-European language diffusion
The indo-european language family
Language and knowledge
Language
Knowledge
Think of today. As you go through it, how do you use
language (or having it used on you)? What kinds of
knowledge, if any, are gained or given in each way that
language is used?
What is the role for knowledge for social greeting and chat?
Word of politeness? Commands? Emotional expression?
Joking? Representational, informative language in reports
or some classes?
Language and knowledge
Knowledge issues of language
•
•
•
•
•
Language and identity
Problems of translation
Problems of meaning
Language and truth
Language and the WOK: sense
perception and emotion
• Language used to deliberately deceive
and manipulate people (propaganda)
Language and identity
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0n4
Vw6twKo
• Language is an essential part of what
defines a culture or civilization
• An individual has a linguistic identity:
identification with a language and its
speakers
Language and identity
• Continental and insular Scandinavian:
Swedish, Danish, Swedish vs Icelandic and
Faroese: political and linguistic identity merge
• Hindi vs Urdu
Lost in translation
Pepsi
brings
your
ancestors
back from
the dead!
• Guten Tag (German --> English)
• S’il vous plait (French --> English)
• How do you do (English --> Any language)
Lost in translation
• ‘The lift is being fixed for the next day.
During that time we regret you will be
unbearable’ (Romanian Hotel)
• ‘Ladies may have a fit upstairs’ (HongKong tailor shop)
• ‘Ladies, leave your clothes here and
spend the afternoon having a good time’
(Italian laundry)
Language and meaning
• Define as precisely
as you can the
following three
words:
• A. Triangle
• B. Table
• C. Love
• Triangle: three
straight lines that
define an area
• Table: a piece of
furniture with a flat
top and one or more
legs, providing a
level surface for
eating, working etc
Language and meaning
- Try and explain to a blind person what the
word ‘red’ means
Problematic meaning
• Ambiguity: vagueness, secondary meaning,
metaphor and irony
Language and truth
• You have a strong need for other people to like you
and for them to admire you. At times you are
extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other
times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. You
have a great deal of unused energy which you have
not turned to your advantage. While you have some
personality weakness, you are generally able to
compensate for them. You prefer a certain amount of
change and variety and become dissatisfied when
hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride
yourself of being an independent thinker and do not
accept other opinions without satisfactory proof. You
have a tendency of being critical with yourself. Some
of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic.
Language and knowledge
Language
Emotion
Sense perception
Language reflects and
shapes sense perception
and emotion
Denotative and connotative
language
• Factual, denotative:
refers to the literal,
primary meaning of
something
• Emotional, connotative:
implies or suggests (an
idea or a feeling) in
addition to the literal,
primary meaning
Connotative language
Connotative language
• ‘Misunderstanding
of words have
produced tragedies
in both war and
peace, in both
business and non
business situations’
Language and values
• When we gossip, we
negotiate with one
another about how
to describe people
Which of these
competing
descriptions
you settle on
is likely to
affect the way
you think
about the
person in
question.
• Is John a good
storyteller or a liar?
• Is Maurice a fluent
conversationalist or a
wind-bag?
• Do you see Melissa as
self confident or
arrogant?
• Is Paul’s refusal to
show emotion a sign of
inner strength or
insensivity?
Language and communication
• Language can be
used to influence
and persuade
through: emotionally
laden language,
weasel words,
revealing and
concealing
• Terrorist/freedom
fighter
• Pro life/Pro choice
• Genetically modified
food/Frankestein
food
• US Department of
war/of Defense
Language and communication
Warspeak
Security assistance
Neutralise
No longer a factor
Take out
Pacification
Collateral damage
Liberate
Pre-emptive
Ethnic cleansing
Real meaning
Arms sales
Kill
Dead
Destroy
Bombing
Bombed cities
Invade
Unprovoked
Genocide
Neuro linguistic programming (NLP)
• NLP (California,1970s)
developed by an
information scientist
and a linguist
• People with similar
education, training,
background and years
of experience were
achieving widely
varying results ranging
from wonderful to
mediocre.They wanted
to know the secrets of
effective people.
Neuro linguistic programming (NLP)
• Possibility of being able
to duplicate the behavior,
and therefore the
competence, of these
highly effective
individuals.
• They studied how the
successful people
communicated (verbal
language, body
language, eye
movements, and others).
Neuro linguistic programming (NLP)
• By modeling their
behavior, they were
able to make out
patterns of thinking that
assisted in the subject's
success.
• They theorized that the
brain can learn the
healthy patterns and
behaviors.
• The words we use
reflect an inner,
subconscious
perception of our
problems. If these
words and perceptions
are inaccurate, they will
create an underlying
problem as long as we
continue to use and to
think them. Our
attitudes are, in a
sense, a self-fulfilling
prophecy.
Language and knowledge
• The role of language in methods that
lead to knowledge: interviews,
questionnaires, reports…
• The role of language in the justification
of knowledge: historical documents and
archives, public reports contributing to a
growing field, conclusions able to be
(re)tested….
Conclusions
• ‘If you can’t say it then you don’t know it’
(H. Reichenbach, 1891-1953)
• ‘I know more than I can say’ (M.
Polanyi,1891-1976)
Sources
• http://teacherweb.ftl.pinecrest.edu/snyd
erd/MWH/readings/3/3%20%20Language.pdf
• http://www.holisticonline.com/hol_neurol
inguistic.htm
• Lagemaat R. (2005), Theory of
Knowledge for the IB diploma
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Language in TOK