Tag Archives: Dan Slobin

Thinking for speaking

You can probably remember George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The society described by Orwell uses a language called Newspeak, which serves as one of the tools of repression. The theory behind Newspeak is based on a belief that if humans cannot form the words to express the ideas underlying a revolution, then they cannot revolt. Newspeak is aimed at eliminating such words like ‘freedom’ or ‘revolution’, so that “a heretical thought … should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.”

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Memories… in bilingual speakers

My past has raised its head and it is panting into my neck. Memories come in packs and surround me wherever I go, howling in the moonlight. Remember me? Remember how we laughed and quarreled and sat silently? Wait, what did you say then? Oh, yes. Hai detto che ami parlare con me. Ed io ho risposto, smiling, che certo che lo ami, perché sei sempre tu a parlare.

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