WOK: Language Navi Chawla

Navi Chawla

Katya, Harry, and Sarah

WOK Badge: Memory

How Language Shapes Our Knowledge

Progress Journal

2-30-17: We decided on doing a documentary because it would be a good way to demonstrate the verbal aspects of language. Due to every group member being bilingual, we wanted to test other bilingual people on languages that they do not know how to speak.

3-1-17: My group has finished our documentary and we will practice during this class period. We asked different students whether a word is masculine or feminine.Through our experiment, we were able to find a direct correlation between language and knowledge. In conclusion, our hypothesis was correct, the language that you speak can have can influence on what you know. There were heavily influenced by the languages that they previous spoke. Also, we will try to finish our digital portfolios ahead of time because of us being done.

3-3-17: My group finished our presentation and it went fairly well. Furthermore, our classmates seemed invested in our presentation.

Elective Reading: Engines of Our Ingenuity. “No. 2771: Shorthand”. http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi2771.htm Web. Feb 15 2012- This elective reading talks about how shorthand has changed throughout history. Shorthand was common during the 19th century, but after the inception of cell phones, texting has become the modern form of shorthand. This is interesting because even though technology has evolved, we still have similar writing methods.


Essential Questions: Does our knowledge shaped by the structure of different languages?: Yes, the way a language is structured can have an effect on our knowledge. When subjects were visually shown the word, they looked for endings and factors such as the word looking “girly” to determine whether the word was masculine or feminine. When subjects were allowed to hear the pronunciation, they also looked for the ending, but also whether the word was short and direct, hence being masculine, or elongated, hence being feminine. In terms of meaning, we found that majority of subjects used their prior knowledge of languages that they speak or have been exposed to, to determine the gender of the word. This shows that language can have an effect on our knowledge, especially our knowledge of other languages. In conclusion, our hypothesis was correct, the language that you speak can have can influence on what you know.

How are metaphors used in the construction of knowledge?

Extension: https://www.edge.org/conversation/lera_boroditsky-how-does-our-language-shape-the-way-we-think: This extension is interesting because our language literally changes the way we view and interact with the world. Furthermore, it should be added because it gives an interesting perspective on it shapes our knowledge.

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