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SSP Distinguished Speaker Lecture: Lera Boroditsky on Language and Thought

Thursday, April 22, 2021
Zoom meeting
Photo of Lera Boroditsky

Symbolic Systems Program

The Annual Symbolic Systems Distinguished Speaker Lecture for 2021

How Language Shapes Thinking
Lera Boroditsky
Cognitive Science Department, University of California, San Diego

Thursday, April 22, 2021
5:00-6:15pm PDT

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Language allows us a myriad of ways to construe everything from basic physical features like colors and shapes to complex societal issues like crime or immigration. I will review the ways in which both the languages we speak, and the particular constructions we’re exposed to within those languages shape the ways we think. Linguistic frames create pathways for thinking, making some elements of an issue seem obvious while obscuring others. I’ll highlight some powerful ways that language shapes thinking, showing that sometimes even a single word imbedded in a narrative can covertly shape the way we construe situations and reason about events.


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