Do we really live in language?

Alessandra Iantaffi (
Mon, 13 May 1996 17:10:44 +0100 (BST)

Hello Gary and others who are following the 'we live in language' debate!

I have read your notes on language, and am reflecting on them... However,
a doubt is taking more and more shape in my mind. If we keep talking
about spoken, verbal language as we are doing, what about those people
whose language is not verbal or who do have a language impairment? Do
they live 'less' than others? Are their interactions less meaningful? I
am thinking of Deaf people using sign language, and, in a different way,
of people with aphasia, and also of children who do not yet master the
language properly. Just another point about Deaf people and sign
language before I log off... The belief that we live in spoken, verbal
language has led to Deaf culture and Sign Language to be heavily
oppressed in the last 116 yrs (from 1880, Milan congress), so beliefs of
this type, might seem harmless and of the taken-for-granted type, but may
affect people's lives.
Looking forward to constructivists thoughts on language,