Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 11:52:29 -0800 From: Dan Moonhawk Alford Subject: Re: Language and Intelligence On Wed, 6 Dec 1995, Rudy Troike wrote: > Even within the realm traditionally considered "intelligence", there > are clearly differential abilities to think/conceptualize/comprehend abstract > matters. Mathematicians and physicists belong at the top of this pile, > with linguists somewhat below, and historians and archeologists somewhere > below that. Wow, what a bizarre notion! What you are characterizing as higher and more abstract is simply that mathematicians and physicists think in the languages of mathematics, which are extremely low-context languages that focus on relationships rather than things. Other languages that focus on relationships rather than things are, most notably, those of Native America -- except in a high-context fashion and as a daily spoken language; otherwise, the analogy here is quite fit. Which thereby, of course, puts a Native child of 7 or 8 above mathematicians and physicists, and perhaps raises some anthropological linguists fluent in Native American languages to the level of math/physics cream.