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作者:Lera  发布时间:2018-7-18  阅读次数:95  字体大小: 【】 【】【


那么,语言如何塑造了我们的思维方式?让我大家一起看看演说者 Lera Boroditsky怎么说。


So, I'll be speaking to you using language ... because I can. This is one these magical abilities that we humans have. We can transmit really complicated thoughts to one another. So what I'm doing right now is, I'm making sounds with my mouth as I'm exhaling. I'm making tones and hisses and puffs, and those are creating air vibrations in the air. Those air vibrations are traveling to you, they're hitting your eardrums, and then your brain takes those vibrations from your eardrums and transforms them into thoughts. I hope.

我要用語言跟各位說話…… 因為我可以。 這是人類的神奇能力之一。 我們能把非常複雜的 想法傳送給另一個人。 我現在在做的, 是用我的嘴巴發出聲音, 吐氣時發聲。 我會做出語調、嘶嘶聲、呼氣, 在空氣中產生空氣振動。 那些空氣振動會傳到你那裡, 觸及到你的耳膜, 接著你的大腦會取得 耳膜接收到的振動, 把它們轉換為思想。 我希望啦。


I hope that's happening. So because of this ability, we humans are able to transmit our ideas across vast reaches of space and time. We're able to transmit knowledge across minds. I can put a bizarre new idea in your mind right now. I could say, "Imagine a jellyfish waltzing in a library while thinking about quantum mechanics."

希望現在就在發生。 因為這種能力,我們人類 才得以把我們的想法 跨越空間和時間,傳給別人。 我們能把知識傳送到不同人的大腦。 我現在就能在各位的腦中 放入一個怪異的想法。 我可以說, 「想像一隻水母在圖書館跳華爾滋, 同時想著量子力學。」


Now, if everything has gone relatively well in your life so far, you probably haven't had that thought before.

如果你的人生中目前為止 一切算是相對順利, 你以前可能沒有過那種想法。


But now I've just made you think it, through language.

但現在我能讓你們去想它, 透過語言辦到。

Now of course, there isn't just one language in the world, there are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world. And all the languages differ from one another in all kinds of ways. Some languages have different sounds, they have different vocabularies, and they also have different structures -- very importantly, different structures. That begs the question: Does the language we speak shape the way we think? Now, this is an ancient question. People have been speculating about this question forever. Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor, said, "To have a second language is to have a second soul" -- strong statement that language crafts reality. But on the other hand, Shakespeare has Juliet say, "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Well, that suggests that maybe language doesn't craft reality.

當然,世界上的語言不只一種, 全世界人類說的語言就有約七千種。 每種語言在各面向上都不同。 有些語言有不同的聲音, 它們有不同的字彙, 它們還有不同的結構── 非常重要,不同的結構。 於是,我們會問: 我們所說的語言 是否會形塑我們的思考? 這個問題歷史悠久。 長年來大家都一直在思索這個問題。 神聖羅馬大帝查理曼說過: 「有第二種語言, 就像是有第二個靈魂」── 很有力的陳述, 說明了語言製造出現實。 但,另一方面,莎士比亞 筆下的茱麗葉說: 「名字有什麼用? 玫瑰不叫玫瑰,依然芳香如故。」 那意味著,語言不見得會製造現實。

These arguments have gone back and forth for thousands of years. But until recently, there hasn't been any data to help us decide either way. Recently, in my lab and other labs around the world, we've started doing research, and now we have actual scientific data to weigh in on this question.

數千年來,這些論點一直你來我往。 但,直到最近之前,都沒有任何資料 來協助我們決定是哪一種。 最近,在我的實驗室 和世界上其他的實驗室, 我們開始做研究, 現在,我們有了真正的科學資料, 可以來探究這個問題。

So let me tell you about some of my favorite examples. I'll start with an example from an Aboriginal community in Australia that I had the chance to work with. These are the Kuuk Thaayorre people. They live in Pormpuraaw at the very west edge of Cape York. What's cool about Kuuk Thaayorre is, in Kuuk Thaayorre, they don't use words like "left" and "right," and instead, everything is in cardinal directions: north, south, east and west. And when I say everything, I really mean everything. You would say something like, "Oh, there's an ant on your southwest leg." Or, "Move your cup to the north-northeast a little bit." In fact, the way that you say "hello" in Kuuk Thaayorre is you say, "Which way are you going?" And the answer should be, "North-northeast in the far distance. How about you?"

讓我分享一些我最喜歡的例子。 我的第一個例子 來自澳洲的一個原住民部落, 我有機會和他們合作。 他們是庫克薩優里族, 他們住在波姆浦洛, 那是約克角半島的西部邊緣。 庫克薩優里族很酷的一點是, 在庫克薩優里語中,他們 不用「左」、「右」這些字, 一切都是用基本的方向: 北、南、東、西。 我說「一切」,真的就是指一切。 你可能會說這樣的話: 「喔,在你的腳的 西南方有一隻螞蟻。」 或「把你的杯子向北北東移一點。」 事實上,在庫克薩優里語中, 說「哈囉」的方式是: 「你要去哪個方向?」 而回應應該是: 「北北東的遠方。 你呢?」

So imagine as you're walking around your day, every person you greet, you have to report your heading direction.

所以,想像一下 你當天走到任何地方, 你問候每一個人時, 都得要報告你朝什麼方向前進。


But that would actually get you oriented pretty fast, right? Because you literally couldn't get past "hello," if you didn't know which way you were going. In fact, people who speak languages like this stay oriented really well. They stay oriented better than we used to think humans could. We used to think that humans were worse than other creatures because of some biological excuse: "Oh, we don't have magnets in our beaks or in our scales." No; if your language and your culture trains you to do it, actually, you can do it. There are humans around the world who stay oriented really well.

但那會讓你很快速確定方位,對吧? 因為如果不知道 你在朝什麼方向前進, 你就說不出「哈囉」。 事實上,說這類語言的人, 都一直很有方向感。 他們的方向感比我們認為 人類能辦到的程度更好。 我們以前認為人類 這方面比其他生物更糟, 是因為某種生物藉口: 「我們的鳥喙或鱗片裡面 沒有內建的磁鐵。」 不對;如果你的語言 和你的文化訓練你去做, 你其實能辦到。 世界上有些人類的方向感非常好。

And just to get us in agreement about how different this is from the way we do it, I want you all to close your eyes for a second and point southeast.

為了讓大家能夠了解 我們的做法上有多大的差異, 我想請大家閉上眼睛一下子, 請指出東南方。


Keep your eyes closed. Point. OK, so you can open your eyes. I see you guys pointing there, there, there, there, there ... I don't know which way it is myself --

眼睛別張開。指出來。 好,可以張開眼睛了。 我看到大家指向那裡、 那裡、那裡、那裡… 我自己也不知道是哪一邊──


You have not been a lot of help.



So let's just say the accuracy in this room was not very high. This is a big difference in cognitive ability across languages, right? Where one group -- very distinguished group like you guys -- doesn't know which way is which, but in another group, I could ask a five-year-old and they would know.

姑且就說在這間房間中的 正確率沒有很高。 不同語言中的認知能力 差別很大,對吧? 一個族群──非常 卓越的族群,比如各位── 不知道哪邊是哪個方向, 但到了另一個族群, 我去問五歲的小孩,他們也會知道。


There are also really big differences in how people think about time. So here I have pictures of my grandfather at different ages. And if I ask an English speaker to organize time, they might lay it out this way, from left to right. This has to do with writing direction. If you were a speaker of Hebrew or Arabic, you might do it going in the opposite direction, from right to left.

大家對於時間的思考方式 也有很大的差異。 這裡是我祖父的照片, 他在照片中的年齡都不同。 如果我請說英語的人 依據時間來整理, 他們可能會這樣排列, 從左到右。 這與書寫的方向有關。 如果你說希伯來語或阿拉伯語, 你可能會用反方向, 從右到左。

But how would the Kuuk Thaayorre, this Aboriginal group I just told you about, do it? They don't use words like "left" and "right." Let me give you hint. When we sat people facing south, they organized time from left to right. When we sat them facing north, they organized time from right to left. When we sat them facing east, time came towards the body. What's the pattern? East to west, right? So for them, time doesn't actually get locked on the body at all, it gets locked on the landscape. So for me, if I'm facing this way, then time goes this way, and if I'm facing this way, then time goes this way. I'm facing this way, time goes this way -- very egocentric of me to have the direction of time chase me around every time I turn my body. For the Kuuk Thaayorre, time is locked on the landscape. It's a dramatically different way of thinking about time.

但庫克薩優里族, 我剛剛和各位說的 原住民族群,會怎麼做? 他們沒有「左」和「右」這些字。 讓我提示各位。 當我們讓他們面向南方時, 他們會把時間從左向右排。 當我們讓他們面向北方時, 他們會把時間從右向左排。 當我們讓他們面向東方時, 時間的方向朝向他們的身體。 模式是什麼? 由東向西,對吧? 所以,對他們而言, 時間完全不會被身體限制住, 時間是和地景綁在一起的。 對我來說,當我面向這邊, 時間就朝這個方向, 當我面向這邊,時間就朝這個方向。 面向這邊,時間就朝這個方向── 非常自我中心,每當我轉身, 也讓時間的方向跟著我轉。 對庫克薩優里族, 時間和地景綁在一起。 這是非常不同的時間思考方式。

Here's another really smart human trait. 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 trait can't do that.

還有個很聰明的人類技倆。 如果我問各位,這裡有幾隻企鵝? 我打賭我知道各位是 如何解答這個問題的。 你會用:「一、二、三、 四、五、六、七、八。」 你用數的。 你給毎一隻一個號碼, 你說出的最後一個號碼, 就是企鵝的數目。 這是個小計倆,你小時候 就有人教你用了。 你學到了數字表, 你學到了如何應用它。 小小的語言計倆。 有些語言並不會這樣做, 因為有些語言並沒有代表數字的字。 這些語言並沒有像「七」這樣的字, 也沒有「八」。 事實上,說這些語言的人不會計數, 他們無法記得確實的「量」。 比如,如果我請各位 把剛才企鵝的數目 對應到同樣數目的鴨子, 你可以靠計數的方式做到。 但語言沒有這項特徵的人就沒辦法。

Languages also differ in how they divide up the color spectrum -- the visual world. Some languages have lots of words for colors, some have only a couple words, "light" and "dark." And languages differ in where they put boundaries between colors. So, for example, in English, there's a world for blue that covers all of the colors that you can see on the screen, but in Russian, there isn't a single word. Instead, Russian speakers have to differentiate between light blue, "goluboy," and dark blue, "siniy." So Russians have this lifetime of experience of, in language, distinguishing these two colors. When we test people's ability to perceptually discriminate these colors, what we find is that Russian speakers are faster across this linguistic boundary. They're faster to be able to tell the difference between a light and dark blue. And when you look at people's brains as they're looking at colors -- say you have colors shifting slowly from light to dark blue -- the brains of people who use different words for light and dark blue will give a surprised reaction as the colors shift from light to dark, as if, "Ooh, something has categorically changed," whereas the brains of English speakers, for example, that don't make this categorical distinction, don't give that surprise, because nothing is categorically changing.

語言也有不同的方式來區別色譜── 視覺世界。 有些語言中有很多顏色的字, 有些語言只有幾個字, 「亮」和「暗」。 不同語言也有不同的顏色界線。 比如,在英文中就有藍色的世界, 包含螢幕上的所有這些顏色, 但在俄語中,就沒有單一個字。 說俄語的人,得要去區別 淺藍色「goluboy」, 和深藍色「siniy」。 所以俄國人一生當中都會在語言上 把這兩種顏色區別開來。 當我們測試大家在感知上 區別這些顏色的能力時, 我們發現,在各語言中,說俄語的人 會比較快做出區隔。 他們比較快就能辨別出淺藍色 和深藍色的差異。 去觀察正在看著顏色的人的大腦── 比如顏色緩慢地從 淺藍色轉換到深藍色── 用不同的字來說淺藍色 和深藍色的人,他們的大腦 在顏色從淺藍色轉換到 深藍色時,會有驚訝的反應, 就像:「喔,改變類別了。」 而,比如說英文的人,他們的大腦 就不會做類別的區分, 就不會有驚訝, 因為沒有類別上的改變。

Languages have all kinds of structural quirks. This is one of my favorites. Lots of languages have grammatical gender; every noun gets assigned a gender, often masculine or feminine. And these genders differ across languages. So, for example, the sun is feminine in German but masculine in Spanish, and the moon, the reverse. Could this actually have any consequence for how people think? Do German speakers think of the sun as somehow more female-like, and the moon somehow more male-like? Actually, it turns out that's the case. So if you ask German and Spanish speakers to, say, describe a bridge, like the one here -- "bridge" happens to be grammatically feminine in German, grammatically masculine in Spanish -- German speakers are more likely to say bridges are "beautiful," "elegant" and stereotypically feminine words. Whereas Spanish speakers will be more likely to say they're "strong" or "long," these masculine words.

語言有各種結構上的變化。 這是我的最愛之一。 許多語言在文法上都有性別; 每個名詞都有被指派一種性別, 通常是男性或女性。 在不同語言,這些性別也不同。 比如,在德文,太陽是女性, 但在西班牙文則是男性, 月亮剛好相反。 這有沒有可能影響人的思考方式? 說德文的人是否會用 比較女性的方式來想太陽? 比較男性的方式來想月亮? 結果發現,的確是如此。 比如,如果你請說德文的人 和說西班牙文的人描述一座橋, 就像這裡的橋── 「橋」在德文文法中要用女性, 在西班牙文則要用男性── 說德文的人在形容橋時 比較會用「漂亮的」、「優雅的」, 或其他刻板印象上是形容女性的字。 而說西班牙文的人比較有可能會說 橋很「堅固」或「長」, 這些是男性用字。


Languages also differ in how they describe events, right? You take an event like this, an accident. In English, it's fine to say, "He broke the vase." In a language like Spanish, you might be more likely to say, "The vase broke," or, "The vase broke itself." If it's an accident, you wouldn't say that someone did it. In English, quite weirdly, we can even say things like, "I broke my arm." Now, in lots of languages, you couldn't use that construction unless you are a lunatic and you went out looking to break your arm -- (Laughter) and you succeeded. If it was an accident, you would use a different construction.

在描述事件時,不同語言 也很不一樣,對吧? 比如像這樣的事件,一個意外, 在英文,可以說「他打破了花瓶。」 在比如西班牙文, 你比較有可能會說「花瓶破了」, 或「花瓶自己破了」。 如果它是個意外, 就不會說是有人做的。 在英文,挺奇怪的, 我們甚至會說像這樣的話: 「我弄斷了我的手臂。」 在許多語言中, 你不會用那種句法結構, 除非你是瘋子, 然後你跑出去想辦法 把你的手臂弄斷── (笑聲)且你成功了。 如果是意外,你就會 用不同的句法結構。

Now, this has consequences. So, people who speak different languages will pay attention to different things, depending on what their language usually requires them to do. So we show the same accident to English speakers and Spanish speakers, English speakers will remember who did it, because English requires you to say, "He did it; he broke the vase." Whereas Spanish speakers might be less likely to remember who did it if it's an accident, but they're more likely to remember that it was an accident. They're more likely to remember the intention. So, two people watch the same event, witness the same crime, but end up remembering different things about that event. This has implications, of course, for eyewitness testimony. It also has implications for blame and punishment. So if you take English speakers and I just show you someone breaking a vase, and I say, "He broke the vase," as opposed to "The vase broke," even though you can witness it yourself, you can watch the video, you can watch the crime against the vase, you will punish someone more, you will blame someone more if I just said, "He broke it," as opposed to, "It broke." The language guides our reasoning about events.

這是會造成不同結果的。 說不同語言的人 會把注意力放在不同的地方, 就看他們說的語言需要他們怎麼做。 如果我們讓說英文的人 和說西班牙文的人看到同樣的意外, 說英文的人會記得是誰做的, 因為英文要求你說: 「是他做的;他打破了花瓶。」 而說西班牙文的人 比較不會記得是誰做的, 如果是意外的話, 但他們比較會記住這是一件意外。 他們比較會記住意圖。 所以,兩個人看同樣的事件, 目擊同樣的犯罪, 最後卻會記得該事件中不同的細節。 當然,在目擊證人證詞方面, 這是值得深思的。 在責怪和懲罰時, 也應該想想這一點。 如果是說英文的情況, 我剛讓你看到有人打破了花瓶, 我說:「他打破了花瓶」 而不是說:「花瓶破了」, 即使你自己可以親眼看見, 你可以看監視影片, 你可以看這件關於花瓶的罪行, 你會懲罰某個人多一些, 你會責怪他多一些, 若我說「他打破了它」, 而不是「它破了」。 語言會引導我們對於事件的推理。

Now, I've given you a few examples of how language can profoundly shape the way we think, and it does so in a variety of ways. So language can have big effects, like we saw with space and time, where people can lay out space and time in completely different coordinate frames from each other. Language can also have really deep effects -- that's what we saw with the case of number. Having count words in your language, having number words, opens up the whole world of mathematics. Of course, if you don't count, you can't do algebra, you can't do any of the things that would be required to build a room like this or make this broadcast, right? This little trick of number words gives you a stepping stone into a whole cognitive realm.

我已經舉了幾個例子, 說明語言如何能 深深形塑我們的思考方式, 而影響的方法有很多種。 所以,語言的影響可能很大, 就像剛才空間和時間的例子, 大家在排列空間和時間時, 用完全不同的座標架構。 語言的影響也可能很深── 可參考計數的例子。 在你的語言中有計數的字詞, 有數字的字詞, 就能打開整個數學的世界。 當然,如果你不會計數, 你不會做代數, 你就完全做不到像是 建造這間房間這一類的事情, 也無法做這場轉播,對吧? 數字字詞的小小計倆, 能給你一個墊腳石, 進入認知的國度。

Language can also have really early effects, what we saw in the case of color. These are really simple, basic, perceptual decisions. We make thousands of them all the time, and yet, language is getting in there and fussing even with these tiny little perceptual decisions that we make. Language can have really broad effects. So the case of grammatical gender may be a little silly, but at the same time, grammatical gender applies to all nouns. That means language can shape how you're thinking about anything that can be named by a noun. That's a lot of stuff.

語言的影響也可能很早, 也就是顏色的例子。 這些是很簡單、基本、感知的決策。 我們隨時都在做幾千個這樣的決策, 而語言也有介入其中, 去擾亂我們這些非常小的感知決策。 語言的影響也可能很廣。 文法性別的例子雖然可能有點可笑, 但同時,文法性別 是用在所有名詞上的。 那意味著,語言能形塑你如何思考 任何能用名詞來命名的事物。 那數量很驚人。

And finally, I gave you an example of how language can shape things that have personal weight to us -- ideas like blame and punishment or eyewitness memory. These are important things in our daily lives.

我最後舉的例子, 說明語言能形塑對我們 有個人意義的事物── 像是責怪及懲罰這類想法, 或是目擊證詞。 這些都是日常生活中的重要事物。

Now, the beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is. Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000 -- there are 7,000 languages spoken around the world. And we can create many more -- languages, of course, are living things, things that we can hone and change to suit our needs. The tragic thing is that we're losing so much of this linguistic diversity all the time. We're losing about one language a week, and by some estimates, half of the world's languages will be gone in the next hundred years. And the even worse news is that right now, almost everything we know about the human mind and human brain is based on studies of usually American English-speaking undergraduates at universities. That excludes almost all humans. Right? So what we know about the human mind is actually incredibly narrow and biased, and our science has to do better.

語言多樣性之美在於它能向我們揭示 人類心智是多麼巧妙和有彈性。 人類心智發明出了不只一個 認知宇宙,而是七千個── 全世界的語言有七千種。 我們還能創造更多── 當然,語言是活的, 我們可以去磨它、改變它, 來符合我們的需求。 可惜之處在於,我們在不斷 失去語言的多樣性, 我們大約一週會失去一種語言, 依據一些估計, 在接下來的一百年, 世界上的語言有一半會不見。 更糟的消息是,現在, 幾乎所有我們對於人類心智 和人類大腦的知識 都是來自於針對說英文的美國大學生 所做的研究。 那就幾乎排除了所有人類,對吧? 所以我們對於人類心智的了解, 其實是非常狹隘且有偏見的, 我們的科學得要做得更好才行。

I want to leave you with this final thought. I've told you about how speakers of different languages think differently, but of course, that's not about how people elsewhere think. It's about how you think. It's how the language that you speak shapes the way that you think. And that gives you the opportunity to ask, "Why do I think the way that I do?" "How could I think differently?" And also, "What thoughts do I wish to create?"

最後,我想留下一點讓各位思考。 我已經告訴各位,說不同語言的人 如何有不同的思考方式, 但重點並不是其他地方的人怎麼想, 重點是你怎麼想。 重點是你說的語言 如何形塑出你的思考。 那就給了你一個機會,可以問: 「我為何會用我這種方式思考?」 「我要如何用不同方式思考?」 還有, 「我想要創造出怎樣的想法?」

Thank you very much.




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