Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From ‘Dreaming in Hindi. Coming Awake in Another Language’ by Katherine Russell Rich

……..as a friend said, “In India we share everything, even privacy.”

At birth, we have the potential to discern all the speech sounds used around the globe: the throaty Polish dz, like a slipped j to Americans, the high-ba and low-ba pitch phonemes of Mandarin. Phonologically, in infancy “we’re citizens of the world,”……….At birth, our brains are already tuned to the prosody, the characteristic lilt, of whatever our mother’s tongue is…….For a brief period early in life, we can easily register anything anyone from anywhere says, then we cant. By six months, our ability to detect other cultures’ vowels is waning, though other cultures’ consonants remain clear for a while.

………Chinese writing fires the brain differently……..in scans, it activates both brain hemispheres, whereas English engages mostly just the left, the half where language functions generally reside

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