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Languages in LD

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Lucho
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Languages in LD
PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

WAIT! Why did this appear in the quest section! I meant to post it in General Licidity! whatsthat Sorry, guys!!

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Hi, there! :D

I major in Linguistics and translation, so I have always been very curious about the actual language dream characters use. I am a newcomer in LDing, and the LDs I have had have not been long enough to carry out research in this field (although it is one of my plans for the future!)

So, my point is, do you actually believe dreams resort to our own language we use in real life? Can we think of a "dream language"?

Some scholars suggest that human languages, at heart, respond to the same principles and that we can actually speak of a Universal language we all humans share and which is deeply-rooted in our brains (see Chomsky for more of this hehe). So, maybe, in dreams, we do away with differences and we deploy those universal devices of language (any linguistic students who can understand what I mean? haha!). Or maybe not and we just speak [insert you language here]?

Personally, my normal dreams seem to be in "proper" Spanish, and seldom in English (which is the second language i'm fluent in). Language does not seem to be distorted, as far as I can be aware of when I recall dream dialogues. But you never know! Is it Spanish or I just believe it is?

What do you think, experienced dreamers? Do we dream in actual languages? Are signs written in languages you know? Do other characters use comprehensible languages? Any stories / theories?

PS: I'm not sure whether I should pst this here or in "Lucid Adventures"

<mod>Moved from Quest wink </mod>


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FretDancer
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

Very interesting subject, I've really never thought about it, and now that I do, I think most of the speech in my dreams is in English, even though Spanish is my native language. Of course I always get dreams in Spanish as well.

I'm gonna pay careful attention to my next dream and see what language the DCs speak! :D



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Svenshinhan
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

I have a BA degree in English Language and Culture, so I do have a basic linguistic background and I know what you mean, Lucho.

I've recorded lots and lots of dreams and I usually remember very many details when I'm into it. I can only speak from personal experience, though.

My dreams are usually a mixture of languages. For instance, the two languages I use the most are English and Dutch. I know this because I often remember specific conversations I have with people that are either in English or Dutch. Sometimes bits and pieces will be in other languages that I know a little of (German, Swedish, French and Italian mainly), but in those cases I do think my mind makes up for my lack of knowledge and fills in the gaps with "dream language."

I've never actually remembered any specific conversation in any other language than Dutch or English. This is because those are the only two languages I speak 100% fluently. And I use both a lot in daily life.

What language of the two features in my dreams is heavily dependent on several factors. Firstly, the other people involved. If any of my family members are involved, they will simply speak Dutch, as they do in real life. My best friend speaks English, like we do IRL. Most of my other friends also speak Dutch in my dreams.

However, I often dream with lots of DC's that my subconscious made up. That almost always happens in English. This is likely because English is the dominant language in my life. Everything I do for myself, I do in English. So whenever I'm "by myself" in a dream, English will be the default language, even though I live in the Netherlands in waking life.

Therefore, I would assume that the languages we use in our daily lives are carried over into the dream world to a large extent. When I started learning Swedish, I had a few dreams where at least some of the characters spoke what I interpreted as Swedish, but like I said, with only basic proficiency in Swedish, my mind had to fill in the gaps and basically make up the language.

As for Universal Language, I think there is enough scientific evidence to support the idea of Universal Grammar. Why is this important?

Let's take French as an example. I learned this language in high school (alongside English and German), but I've forgotten most of it now. Yet the basics are still somewhere in my subconscious. The sounds of the language, certain grammatical features etc. It's not a stretch to think that my mind would just tie certain elements together with Universal Grammar and "create" a language that in my mind sounds exactly like French. This is how we can dream in languages we don't even speak. Our brain takes what we know, and uses the principle of Universal Grammar to construct something we can interpret more easily.

But I do believe that my English and Dutch dreams are in the proper language, because I can often recall specific conversations and I'll remember exactly what I said in the dream, and what a dream character said. Whereas if I've dreamed in Swedish or French, I'll only remember that I spoke (or heard) the language. I might also recall what was said (by that I mean the "basic meaning" of the conversation), but I've never actually remembered anything specific. This is because I'm not fluent enough in those languages.

So yeah, sorry for the long and unorganized post. It was meant mainly for the OP, but I hope some others have been able to get something interesting out of it. I'll return to this thread later to see if anything else came from my contribution. smile

Definitely a very interesting subject.



Current LD goal(s): To expand the world of Silverwind City in my lucid dreams!
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hugot
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french
PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

I talk only french in my dreams


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Lucho
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

I definitely agree with Svenshinhan's idea of dreams filling in the gaps when DC use languages that we are not fluent in. The question is, what are these fillers? Just random words/sounds/morphemes? Are there any logical reasons behind those fillers? What do they sound like?

Based on ND that I can recall, every time I use a language other than my mothertongue, I always have the feeling that I have a perfect command of it. BUT, Svenshinhan is also right when he poses that there's a difference between recalling exact chunks from dream dialogues word by word and just remembering the general concept.

Maybe we could introduce the concept of mentalese into our discussion. Mentalese is the name some experts give to the actual language of thoughts, the language human beings think in and which seems to be universal. Actually, the popular belief that we think in the same language we speak seems to be only a myth. Experts say we think in images, or rather, in abstractions. Languages happen to be the system we use to externally communicate those abstractions to, say, other people, by means of coding-decoding processes, and nothing else.

So maybe, in dreams, characters speak in mentalese and we believe they are using actual languages. That would be a good explanation for "I can understand characters that speak in foreign languages, but i cannot recall the actual words." We understand because we can indeed understand the abstractions/ideas behind what the dream makes us believe is an actual language!

Has any dreamer encounter a character that speaks a language 100% alien for the dreamer? That would be interesting. wink


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Carnun
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

It would be interesting to understand what dreamers who have brain lessions on the Broca's and/or Wernicke's area of their brains dream... do their dreams contain speech? Or only perceived speech?

I too also dream in other languages other than English, my mother toungue. I also have conversations in spanish and dutch, but it is dependent on the dream characters as well. For instance, I will only dream in spanish now if its people from my past who I used to communicate in spanish all the time with. Dutch comes across with random dream characters, but is something I use in my daily life quite frequently too... consequently, my mother tongue suffers, and I seem to have developed this... accent! Bleagh!!!

I can not exactly say that I am 'fluent' in both languages, but I know enough to communicate abstract concepts. In dreams, I seem to fill in the gaps where I think I am probably more fluent than I actually am. This is true in understanding what other dream characters are saying - the reality is I will hear a lot of dutch during the day, a lot more than I actually understand - can my brain just be reproducing this while another part attributes inaccurate meanings?!


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Svenshinhan
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

Lucho wrote:
So maybe, in dreams, characters speak in mentalese and we believe they are using actual languages. That would be a good explanation for "I can understand characters that speak in foreign languages, but i cannot recall the actual words." We understand because we can indeed understand the abstractions/ideas behind what the dream makes us believe is an actual language!


That's actually a very real possibility. Thoughts often do happen in abstractions. It is, of course, possible to think using actual words, but there is no specific language attached to merely the abstractions. Infants who haven't yet learned a language can actually dream and experience emotions. It would explain the "contradiction" of being able to understand a language one doesn't speak while in the dream world.

Abstractions can be decoded if we have the impression that a language we speak is used, whereas if a "foreign" language is used, they don't make much sense, though we still get the general idea of the conversation. Of course, our subconscious simply makes us believe that we're speaking a language when in reality (as long as we don't actually speak it) we just hear gibberish in the form of abstract thoughts that our brain interprets differently.

Quote:
I definitely agree with Svenshinhan's idea of dreams filling in the gaps when DC use languages that we are not fluent in. The question is, what are these fillers? Just random words/sounds/morphemes? Are there any logical reasons behind those fillers? What do they sound like?


They may be random sounds, words and morphemes. Of course, the more we really know of a language, the more said sounds, words and morphemes will actually be based on reality. Of course, this is all mere conjecture on my part. I have no evidence of my brain doing such a thing.

But the Mentalese thing you mentioned, plus the "gap-filling" by our brains (because I do sometimes remember a few specific phrases in a foreign language), to me at least, makes the most sense when trying to explain dream language. I would be very interested to hear the opinion of dream specialists that are also well versed in linguistics. I don't know of any one, but they might exist, lol. But yeah, in general Mentalese sounds very plausible. It would definitely explain a lot.



Current LD goal(s): To expand the world of Silverwind City in my lucid dreams!
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Ghosteh
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

I can remember german, danish norwegian, swedish and english as languages my DC's have used 8P but I always speak swedish to my DC's, even though there have been some people I know dont understand swedish IRL, but in the dreams they can lachgroen


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WASD
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

Interesting topic indeed. I am aware of speaking swedish, english, and using telepathy without words in my dreams smile

It's hard to figure out how i mostly experience language in NDs and LDs. I think that words from your native languages are mostly used, but perhaps not full sentences. Yet you understand the words as sentences. Or perhaps dreams have a "dream language" that does not use words, like body language.

I have experienced talking swedish to a person i know from youtube, and he reacted strangely. Then i remember he is english and i started talked english to him and he understood. I think this has happened a few times in both LDs and NDs.


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Kirbypowered
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

One thing about my dreams is that there is barely ever any talking in them, only at certain times or for certain things. Usually though, when I wake up the dream speech leaves me rather quickly, contributing to only remembering certain phrases. I remember all speech in English, but that's probably because it's the only language I know well. I believe it could be possible that most or all speech in dreams is foreign/not a real language, but gets coded out into English or other languages when you recall it.

I remember seeing some other members of LD4all mention that sometimes a DC will say something that makes complete sense in the dream, but when they wake up it doesn't make any sense. In another case, someone said that a DC said something and he instantly knew the meaning even though it wasn't a real word, and it stuck with him when he woke up.

Cool topic, it's not something I've really thought of before. Another thing, does anyone know if the whole thing where people try to learn a language by listening to it while asleep has to do with its affects on dreams, possible making them all based around the language?



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Essa
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

In my dreams I have noticed German and French, other than English of course.

I've been speaking French for six years, and I have very little experience with German. However, my dad and his side of the family are all German so I do hear it, but I've never gotten the chance to learn it.

And I have had an experience with DCs speaking in a different language, gibberish even, and I'll understand it until I wake up.


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Haddock
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Sep, 2010  Reply with quote

In my dreams there's mostly only norwegian that are spoken, but it happens a lot too that I meet DCs that speaks english. I can only remember one time when someone spoke in chinese, or that was what it sounded like at least.


Current LD goal(s): Make my dreams more vivid, and fix my flying problem..
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