Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 13:47:04 EST From: David Bergdahl Subject: Intelligent Language Ohio University Electronic Communication Date: 06-Dec-1995 01:46pm EST To: Remote Addressee ( _MX%"ADS-L[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UGA.CC.UGA.EDU ) From: David Bergdahl Dept: English BERGDAHL Tel No: (614) 593-2783 Subject: Intelligent Language There ARE some language-based phenomena which do correlate with intelligence: humor for one. The ability to play on words, allude to fossilized speech < history or literature or popular culture, rhetorical skill combined with wit and wisdom, these are associated with intelligence. Of course, this is verbal intelligence, and there are others: along with Linguistic Intelligence Howard Gardner lists Musical Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence and Personal Intelligences in his 1983 book. My 11 yr old's school has "gone over" to the theory of multiple intelligences in a big but pop psychology way. But that's another thread. The point to the question appears to be is, is linguistic intelligence primary, or a predictor of "general intelligence," or somehow privileged? The answer--within our culture--is yes, but that various prejudices (such as the pronunciation of as [i[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]n] with [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] as schwa) override our judgments. But, taking away judgments of social status, we all have to admit that schools as society's proxy reward verbal ability and stigmatize those without excellence in that area. In the same way, in the church choir as a kid I was told to move my mouth but not sing because they needed boys in the choir but I was tone deaf and couldn't sing on key. In terms of musical intelligence, I'm a dud, but believe it or not it has not affected by social status one iota. Likewise, I was told I was tall enough for basketball but too uncoordinated to consider it; my tenure decision, fortunately, did not consider my low score on Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence. You get the point: we may object to the privileged status of verbal ability (ability, NOT social status inferred from pronunciation or grammar), but it is used, and not just by psychologists. (Although I suspect that Harvard Ed School Prof. Gardner is closer to what 'psychologists' believe than our straw man!) BERGDAHL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU David Bergdahl Ohio University/Athens "Where Appalachia meets the Midwest"--Anya Briggs Received: 06-Dec-1995 01:46pm