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Old 05-10-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
BeccaPrice
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A man without words

A man Without Words, by Susan Schaller.

Schaller was an American Sign Language interpreter when she first met a deaf 27 year old man, Ildefonso. He could mime some basic needs, it seems, but had no language per se. Schaller worked with him intensively and eventually he had a breakthrough that things had names...

Schaller spent a fair amount of time tracing down other "languageless" people, and the language therapists who work with them. She also, many years after working with Ildefonso, found him again, and through him discovered a community of men who were also languageless.

This is a fascinating book, a quick and easy read. It's not availabe in eformat, but used copies are only a few dollars.

There is a lot more that I wish she would expand on. She does go into the difference between "languageless" people like Ildefonso and the "wild" children who have absolutely no language at all. I'd like to know more about these "wild" children, and more about how "languageless" people think (it's incomprehensible to me how someone can think without words - I know that autistics like Temple Grandin say they think in pictures. I'd love to know more about that.)

My next book is one Schaller mentions in her book, The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker. Maybe that one can answer my questions about the relationship between language and thought.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:35 AM   #2
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A man Without Words, by Susan Schaller.

Schaller was an American Sign Language interpreter when she first met a deaf 27 year old man, Ildefonso. He could mime some basic needs, it seems, but had no language per se. Schaller worked with him intensively and eventually he had a breakthrough that things had names...

Schaller spent a fair amount of time tracing down other "languageless" people, and the language therapists who work with them. She also, many years after working with Ildefonso, found him again, and through him discovered a community of men who were also languageless.

This is a fascinating book, a quick and easy read. It's not availabe in eformat, but used copies are only a few dollars.

There is a lot more that I wish she would expand on. She does go into the difference between "languageless" people like Ildefonso and the "wild" children who have absolutely no language at all. I'd like to know more about these "wild" children, and more about how "languageless" people think (it's incomprehensible to me how someone can think without words - I know that autistics like Temple Grandin say they think in pictures. I'd love to know more about that.)

My next book is one Schaller mentions in her book, The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker. Maybe that one can answer my questions about the relationship between language and thought.
vision + language (words/sound) + thought reinforce each other
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:41 AM   #3
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I don't think visually at all - I don't picture things when I read, even. I know others do, but I don't. I think totally in words.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #4
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but words carry meaning and if the meaning is some location or visual cue, you can't help but visualize the scene described by the words, no?

How one can read, say, The lord of the Rings, and don't get a pretty good picture of the journey?
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:53 PM   #5
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words carry meaning, yes, but really, I don't seem to visualize that meaning. If asked to describe a character in a book, be it never so vividly painted, I can parrot back the author's description, but I don't seem to have a visual in mind.

The only two exceptions are Aral Vorkosigan, from Lois Bujold's books, and that only because she said that she used Oliver Reed as a model, and I"ve seen pictures of Oliver Reed. And the other exception is Ivan Vorpatril, from the same series. Someone suggested that John Barrowman play Ivan, and now that's how I see Ivan... but only because I've seen pictures of John Barrowman.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:29 PM   #6
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I've heard this before. My college girlfriend ("Way back in the '70s, dear. I'm sure I don't remember anything else about her!") also could not visualize scenes. Speaking as someone to whom this sort of visualization is intrinsic, I was amazed.

It was true, though. She really couldn't.

Last edited by cromag; 05-15-2013 at 09:30 PM. Reason: typo repair.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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I'm much more aural - which may be why I love audiobooks so much. I can tell you when a narrator has the *right* voice for a character that I've also read about. Couldn't tell you what the character looks like, but I know the sound when I hear it.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:56 AM   #8
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I am in the jewelry business and it constantly amazes me the number of people that can not visualize anything.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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Oddly, I have no problem with things like making jewelry, or when our house was remodeled, or sewing with no pattern. I can tell how things can go together. I just don't actually *visualize* it, as in having a picture in my head.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:21 AM   #10
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Oddly, I have no problem with things like making jewelry, or when our house was remodeled, or sewing with no pattern. I can tell how things can go together. I just don't actually *visualize* it, as in having a picture in my head.
I teach sometimes 3D things
must get small number graduate students some simple pieces of wood and pipe and cord and little vehicles and have them build a "mine model" so can better understand.

fill trough with model with sand even and guide tv probe through pipe and tunnels so can see from "inside"

a field trip helps but they must experience building their own
learn to think about results of actions

most have no problem and have "races" with balls or powered trucks through mine
like maze
very elaborate cut into clay
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:35 AM   #11
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I am in the jewelry business and it constantly amazes me the number of people that can not visualize anything.
Apache
some of my elder relatives personally mined gems and precious metals and so others designed ornaments

I allow my wife only very subdued pieces, then find that all family babies must have only very inert ear piercings and some with real diamonds.

most clever planning is undone

I like to hunt with metal detector
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