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What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 02:17
by James
Post your mind-boggling questions here and/or try to answer them too!

Here are my two:
- What language do born deaf people think?
- Your communicating for the first time in mankind to an alien over some sort of communication device, how do you explain what is left and right if they can't see you?

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Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 18 Sep 2012 12:39
by Rebecca
Have you heard of Helen Keller? She was born deaf and blind... can you even imagine! She had an amazing teacher named Anne Sullivan who took her out of this non-communicative world and taught her sign language (eg, by forcing her hands into the sign language for "cake" then shoving cake in her mouth). That was just the beginning but it gave her language and she went on to become a famous author. There's an old B&W movie on it, Google it to watch! It's mind boggling what her inner world would have been like.

As far as aliens go, I hear that maths is a good universal language....!?! There are astounding mathematical patterns in the universe, that repeat over and over, dictating all sorts of things from the shape of galaxies to crowd behaviors. Aliens advanced enough to chat to us would surely have some concept of this mathematics, even if we use different symbols, we could surely teach each other from the start...

Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 18 Sep 2012 21:12
by Jack Reacher
I was having a very similar conversation with my friend, if we were to stumble upon an alien civilisation that was intellligent, the one thing I think we can almost be sure of to have in common is some study of geometry, we would recognise the same shapes, a triangle is a triangle anywhere in the universe. Same goes for maths I guess, different symbols meaning the same thing.

What I would be interested in (sorry to hijack the topic a bit) is if the laws of physics were different and we were in another universe, would geometry be the same? In other words is it possible that there are other shapes we cannot imagine due to our brains physical structure, same goes for logic.

Anyway I will have to check up on the documentary it sounds really interesting, I always tried to imagine what blind people think, apparently they cant even see shapes in their minds eye.

Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 19 Sep 2012 09:00
by Legended
What do blind people dream about?

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Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 19 Sep 2012 18:13
by James
Legended wrote:What do blind people dream about?

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Music ;)

Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 04:19
by Rebecca
Legended wrote:What do blind people dream about?


I have mused on this one before:
http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/what-do-blind-people-dream-about.html

Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 16:45
by Summerlander
Rebecca wrote:Have you heard of Helen Keller? She was born deaf and blind... can you even imagine! She had an amazing teacher named Anne Sullivan who took her out of this non-communicative world and taught her sign language (eg, by forcing her hands into the sign language for "cake" then shoving cake in her mouth). That was just the beginning but it gave her language and she went on to become a famous author. There's an old B&W movie on it, Google it to watch! It's mind boggling what her inner world would have been like.


She is also a well known case of cryptomnesia. Poor Keller... :|

Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 20 Jan 2013 20:03
by erichsa
I had to look up "cryptomnesia" why Summerlander had to bring that up I don't understand :(

Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 10 Feb 2013 12:18
by taniaaust1
I think I read somewhere a long while ago that blind people dont have dreams (or at least see them... not sure what it meant that they dont have them that was unless they could see for so many years of their life before becoming blind).

My favourite question which I cant answer is why are daffodils yellow?

Re: What language do born deaf people think?

Posted: 10 Feb 2013 21:51
by Summerlander
I'd imagine that Helen Keller's dreams emulated her waking world, a world perceived only through tactility. In the early years of her life, not even language existed. This, as she discovered, came later. It was a precious addition to her life for sure, something that most take for granted.