Linguistic Relativity Thesis

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"Languages, of course, are human creations, tools we invent and hone to suit our needs," Boroditsky continued.

It is necessary to clarify that the words “strong” and “weak” are not related to the strength of the scholarly argumentation, but rather to the degree to which language is assumed to influence our thought and behaviour.

I will discuss how languages divide up nature differently, and the cognitive repercussions of doing so, before identifying contrasting methods of thinking about space and location, and then will finish by looking at how grammatical differences have the power to predispose a particular vision of reality.

Categorisation varies across different language groups One noticeable difference between some languages is the different ways in which they categorise the various aspects of their environment.

But recently it has been resurrected, and 'neo-Whorfianism' is now an active research topic in psycholinguistics." ("The Stuff of Thought.

"Viking, 2007) One big problem with the original Sapir-Whorf hypothesis stems from the idea that if a person's language has no word for a particular concept, then that person would not be able to understand that concept, which is untrue.The English children classified the scenes as either belonging to an ‘on’ group (e.g.... (1992) Language, Diversity and Thought: A reformulation of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis. The ability of people to learn and to speak multiple languages casts doubt on the strong version of the theory, since a person may learn many different languages, but this does not change the way he/she thinks.Therefore, the strong version of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is refuted by the greater majority of linguists and anthropologists. Berlin & Kay, 1969) who argue that all languages share the same structure (hence, all people view the world identically, according to formalists), the weak Sapir-Whorf hypothesis still continues to interest scholars across many fields and disciplines including linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and psychology.The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds - and this means largely by the linguistic systems in our minds.We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way - an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language.By the 1990s, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was left for dead, author Steven Pinker wrote."The cognitive revolution in psychology, which made the study of pure thought possible, and a number of studies showing meager effects of language on concepts, appeared to kill the concept in the 1990s...(Behaviorism taught that behavior is a result of external conditioning and doesn't take feelings, emotions, and thoughts into account as affecting behavior.Cognitive psychology studies mental processes such as creative thinking, problem-solving, and attention.) "The question of whether languages shape the way we think goes back centuries; Charlemagne proclaimed that 'to have a second language is to have a second soul.' But the idea went out of favor with scientists when Noam Chomsky's theories of language gained popularity in the 1960s and '70s. Chomsky proposed that there is a universal grammar for all human languages—essentially, that languages don't really differ from one another in significant ways...." ("Lost in Translation." "The Wall Street Journal," July 30, 2010) The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was taught in courses through the early 1970s and had become widely accepted as truth, but then it fell out of favor.

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