Introduction

About the Module

Does the language you speak affect how you think, or how you feel, or your sense of who you are? This module explores the deep interconnections between language, cognition and culture. It begins by introducing the nature of language, dialects, and registers, and assesses what sort of information is encoded in language itself-- and what is lost when a language disappears. We then turn to issues surrounding bilingualism and biculturalism, and ask to what extent we conflate the logics of our multiple languages, or whether we keep them distinct. We explore whether we think or feel differently when speaking different languages, and in what ways that might be manifested. For data, we analyze our own everyday language practices-- including code-switching, metaphor and gesture-- to help us determine in more concrete terms how and in what ways language is connected to thought on the one hand and culture on the other.