Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Lev S. Vygotsky on Language and Thought - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 76
Language and thought/Vygotsky/Upton: Vygotsky (1986)(1) saw thought as dependent on language.
VygotskyVsPiaget: for Vygotsky language is one of our most important cultural tools and the medium through which most (if not all) learning takes place. Mental operations are believed to be embodied in the structure of language, and cognitive development results from the internalisation of language. >Cultural tools/Vygotsky.
Thinking/Vygotsky: Initially thought and language develop as two separate systems. Before the age of about two years, children use words socially – that is, to communicate with others. Up to this point, the child’s internal cognition is without language. At around two years of age, thought and language merge. The language that initially accompanied social interaction is internalised to give a language for thought. This internalised language can then guide the child’s actions and thinking. >Self-talk/Vygotsky.


1. Vygotsky, L.S. (1986) The genetic roots of thought and speech, in Kozulin, A. (ed. and trans.) Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Vygotsky I
L. S. Vygotsky
Thought and Language Cambridge, MA 1986

Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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