Re: Photo recognition

Ania Lian (ania@LINGUA.CLTR.UQ.OZ.AU)
Wed, 26 Jul 1995 10:29:06 +1000

On Tue, 25 Jul 1995, John - Reference wrote:
> perception. The undertone of some peoples being unable to recognize
> photographs has been that they are ignorant or lack sophistication,
> but obviously works like Sacks' can inform us about the particularity
> of perception, esp. the difference between looking and seeing, which
> seems to be part of the point of this thread. Cognition, culture,
> and experience all combine to construct our sight.
> Do folks have other examples of this, or refs. on this issue??
Yes. from the field of applied linguistics and language teaching. the
work of Petar Guberina in teaching language to the deaf is based exactly
on the issue of organisation. He says that deaf people arer not deaf but
just organise the world differntly. To help them to function in the world
of spoken language means to find ways of changing (influencing) this

My husband's, Andrew Lian's metaphor is about the Halley's commet or
Southern Cross. Once given/shown things to hang on to, i.e. once made
aware of the sky organisation, one may be able to find the commet or the
cross any time. The same constellation before was absolutely
unrecognisable to the person.

This principle applies then to the whole field of language teaching. If eg.
you cannot pronounce things, it is not because you are deaf,
unintelligent, or have a "stiffened tongue", it is because you do not
hear or cannot produce the sound formants that matter to the natives
but do not matter to you as your own native organisation of the world is
ania lian