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...parenting tip of the moment

Dialogue launches language, the mind, but once it is launched we develop a new power, "inner speech," and it is this that is indispensable for our further development, our thinking. "Inner speech," says Vygotsky, "is speech almost without words...it is not the interior aspect of external speech, it is a function in itself. ...While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought. Inner speech is to a large extent thinking in pure meanings." We start with dialogue, with language that is external and social, but then to think, to become ourselves, we have to move to a monologue, to inner speech. Inner speech is essentially solitary, and it is profoundly mysterious, as unknown to science, Vygotsky writes, as "the other side of the moon." "We are our language," it is often said; but our real language, our real identity, lies in inner speech, in that ceaseless stream and generation of meaning that constitutes the individual mind. It is through inner speech that the child develops his own concepts and meanings; it is through inner speech that he achieves his own identity; it is through inner speech, finally, that he constructs his own world.

It is certain that we are not "given" reality, but have to construct it for ourselves, in our own way, and that in doing so we are conditioned by the cultures and worlds we live in..

quoted from L. S. Vygotsky in "Thought and Language", quoted by Oliver Sacks, and Oliver Sacks in
"Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf"
by Oliver Sacks, pages 72-73


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