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Louder than words : the new science of how the mind makes meaning

Author: Benjamin K Bergen
Publisher: New York, NY : Basic Books, 2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Whether it's brusque, convincing, fraught with emotion, or dripping with innuendo, language is fundamentally a tool for conveying meaning - a uniquely human magic trick in which you vibrate your vocal cords to make your innermost thoughts pop up in someone else's mind. You can use it to talk about all sorts of things - from your new labradoodle puppy to the expansive gardens at Versailles, from Roger Federer's  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Benjamin K Bergen
ISBN: 9780465028290 0465028292 9780465033331 0465033334
OCLC Number: 778420571
Description: xi, 296 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: The polar bear's nose --
Keep your mind on the ball --
Meaning and the mind's eye --
Over the top --
More than words --
Early and often --
What do hockey players know? --
Lost in translation --
Meaning in your grasp --
What is simulation good for? --
The repurposed mind --
Epilogue : The crosstalk hypothesis.
Responsibility: Benjamin K. Bergen.

Abstract:

Whether it's brusque, convincing, fraught with emotion, or dripping with innuendo, language is fundamentally a tool for conveying meaning - a uniquely human magic trick in which you vibrate your vocal cords to make your innermost thoughts pop up in someone else's mind. You can use it to talk about all sorts of things - from your new labradoodle puppy to the expansive gardens at Versailles, from Roger Federer's backhand to things that don't exist at all, like flying pigs. And when you talk, your listener fills in lots of details you didn't mention - the curliness of the dog's fur or the vast statuary on the grounds of the French palace. What's the trick behind this magic? How does meaning work? In Louder than Words, cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen draws together a decade's worth of research in psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience to offer a new theory of how our minds make meaning. When we hear words and sentences, Bergen contends, we engage the parts of our brain that we use for perception and action, repurposing these evolutionarily older networks to create simulations in our minds. These embodied simulations, as they're called, are what makes it possible for us to become better baseball players by merely visualizing a well-executed swing; what allows us to remember which cupboard the diapers are in without looking, and what makes it so hard to talk on a cell phone while we're driving on the highway. Meaning is more than just knowing definitions of words, as others have previously argued. In understanding language, our brains engage in a creative process of constructing rich mental worlds in which we see, hear, feel, and act. Through whimsical examples and ingenious experiments, Bergen leads us on a virtual tour of the new science of embodied cognition. A brilliant account of our human capacity to understand language, Louder than Words will profoundly change how you read, speak, and listen.

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Ignores and Misunderstands Pinker

by vleighton (WorldCat user published 2013-08-04) Fair Permalink

Okay, I will admit that so far I have only read to page 43. Okay, if there had been more negative comments, I might have skipped this review. Okay, the writing is well-crafted and the text moves along briskly.

However, I am giving this book a two because of the fact that the author, Benjamin...
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