Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pictures get meaning by naming them

It is often said that we are born as picturethinkers and learn the language later. That is not correct. First we learn to listen and with that comes language development. In the uterus we start learning our mother tongue by listening to the voice of our mother. Listening we need to learn to speak, wich is a matter of survival, because we need to learn to communicate as fast as possible.
Looking, visual thinking and using our imagination are things we start doing in our first year of life. When you lie in your craddle, you do not need it very much. Children who start crawling and walking, constantly name everything they see. That way they start seeing more. And learn more words. The next step is naming things that are not present, but can be seen in your thoughts.
Pictures get meaning by naming them. Pictures must be 'read'. Picturethinking is connected with language.

1 comment:

Michael said...

This view does not coincide with my experience :-) There's already all the meaning we ever need when experiencing a picture. Language merely functions as a filter to extract, throw light on, or focus on different aspects of the total picture. Language thus functions as a conceptualizer and reduces the total meaning that is embedded in the picture into easily digestable pieces of information that can be communicated to other people. Language thus can form the bridge between the inner subjective world where the total meaning of the picture is known in one piece, to the objective world to which the meaning of the picture has to be communicated gradually via the transference of easily digestable packets of information that inform the listener of how the subjective inner picture of the speaker is to be reconstructed piece by piece.