General Question

hubstaff's avatar

Does someone who was born with a hearing loss "hear" an inner voice?

Asked by hubstaff (16 points ) December 3rd, 2013
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Smitha's avatar

I guess they may have a distinct “voice” for their thoughts. They are visual beings, they don’t know what words sound like, so they probably think based on their ideas or pictures they see. It could be an inner “visual” rather than inner “voice”.

thorninmud's avatar

If they have learned to sign (as most would have), they “feel” themselves sign their thoughts in the some way that a hearing person “hears” himself speak.

Bill1939's avatar

I agree with @Smitha and @thorninmud. Before having acquired language, one thinks in sensory terms (visual, tactile, olfactory, etc.). I believe that though the hearing impaired may not ‘hear’ words, they can think with sensory representations of words.

flip86's avatar

Deaf people can read, so they more than likely think similar to hearing people. I’m sure their sign language also factors in.

Plus, not all deaf people are born deaf.

gailcalled's avatar

Sent to our resident audiologist

linguaphile's avatar

I’m 100% deaf and live in the Deaf Community— many of my friends were born deaf. They definitely have an inner voice. The fact that American Sign Language does not have a conventionalized written form requires that Deaf people be bilingual in ASL and written English, so most of the inner-voice is in both ASL and English. I was not born deaf, but my inner voice is bilingual as well.

Many concepts can not be articulated in English, but exist in ASL, or can not be concisely expressed in English, but are better expressed in ASL because of its multilayered nature (up to 7 meanings can be expressed simultaneously). I’ve had discussions with my Deaf friends about this and all of them say the same—our inner-voices are bilingual because we switch between the best ways to express or process concepts.

Do we “HEAR” our voices—No. I describe it as having a telapathic feel to it—language and thoughts emerge, but do not process through the mind’s auditory processing channel.

hearkat's avatar

I am the resident Audiologist, but I honestly work primarily with adults who once had hearing and experienced a loss after having developed spoken communication and language. @linguaphile is absolutely better qualified than I to address this question, which she has done very well above.

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