full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Lera Boroditsky: How language shapes the way we think

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Here's another really smart human trick. Suppose I ask you how many penguins are there. Well, I bet I know how you'd solve that problem if you solved it. You went, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight." You cnueotd them. You naemd each one with a number, and the last number you said was the number of penguins. This is a little trick that you're taught to use as kids. You learn the number list and you learn how to apply it. A little lsnugtiiic trick. Well, some languages don't do this, because some languages don't have exact number words. They're lgegaauns that don't have a word like "seven" or a word like "eight." In fact, pelope who speak these languages don't cuont, and they have tbrloue keeping track of excat quantities. So, for example, if I ask you to match this number of penguins to the same number of ducks, you would be able to do that by counting. But folks who don't have that linguistic trick can't do that.

Open Cloze

Here's another really smart human trick. Suppose I ask you how many penguins are there. Well, I bet I know how you'd solve that problem if you solved it. You went, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight." You _______ them. You _____ each one with a number, and the last number you said was the number of penguins. This is a little trick that you're taught to use as kids. You learn the number list and you learn how to apply it. A little __________ trick. Well, some languages don't do this, because some languages don't have exact number words. They're _________ that don't have a word like "seven" or a word like "eight." In fact, ______ who speak these languages don't _____, and they have _______ keeping track of _____ quantities. So, for example, if I ask you to match this number of penguins to the same number of ducks, you would be able to do that by counting. But folks who don't have that linguistic trick can't do that.

Solution

  1. count
  2. exact
  3. named
  4. trouble
  5. linguistic
  6. counted
  7. languages
  8. people

Original Text

Here's another really smart human trick. Suppose I ask you how many penguins are there. Well, I bet I know how you'd solve that problem if you solved it. You went, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight." You counted them. You named each one with a number, and the last number you said was the number of penguins. This is a little trick that you're taught to use as kids. You learn the number list and you learn how to apply it. A little linguistic trick. Well, some languages don't do this, because some languages don't have exact number words. They're languages that don't have a word like "seven" or a word like "eight." In fact, people who speak these languages don't count, and they have trouble keeping track of exact quantities. So, for example, if I ask you to match this number of penguins to the same number of ducks, you would be able to do that by counting. But folks who don't have that linguistic trick can't do that.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
kuuk thaayorre 3
stay oriented 3
dark blue 3
spanish speakers 3
english speakers 3
human mind 3
air vibrations 2
languages spoken 2
languages differ 2
organized time 2
linguistic trick 2
number words 2
russian speakers 2
german speakers 2
perceptual decisions 2
grammatical gender 2
linguistic diversity 2

Important Words

  1. apply
  2. bet
  3. count
  4. counted
  5. counting
  6. ducks
  7. exact
  8. fact
  9. folks
  10. human
  11. keeping
  12. kids
  13. languages
  14. learn
  15. linguistic
  16. list
  17. match
  18. named
  19. number
  20. penguins
  21. people
  22. problem
  23. quantities
  24. smart
  25. solve
  26. solved
  27. speak
  28. suppose
  29. taught
  30. track
  31. trick
  32. trouble
  33. word
  34. words