Monday, February 06, 2006

language as a medium (S-WH cont'd)

I've spent enough time around babies to know this much: a baby doesn't really need language, though he/she wants it as soon as he/she learns of its power. Language doesn't create the thoughts; the baby has them from the start, and communicates them pretty well, for the most part. Gets what he/she wants, gets held, gets fed, and doesn't need language.

Later, they become eager to please- they give you something you ask for, long before they ask you for what they want. They're still getting what they want with a well-placed cry. They talk just to show you they can.

Language becomes the medium of choice, especially among other kids, because it's faster, easier, and everyone understands it. But it's not necessary, and it didn't create the thoughts. It affects their thinking: having accepted this set of classifications and standards, one begins to see them as real. But we are all also aware of an intrinsic reality, separate of any classification we might impose upon it, one that could, in fact, sweep us away, or not be expressed by our words. And when the child becomes aware of this, he/she never sleeps again...


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