The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. To what extent, if at all, does our language govern our thought processes?. Grammar . “In substance, grammar is one and the same in all languages, but it may vary accidentally.” Roger Bacon Chomsky – the propensity to receive grammar is innate.
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The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
To what extent, if at all, does our language govern our thought processes?
1) Strong: Language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories. (What we CAN and CAN NOT think)
2) Weak: Linguistic categories and usage influences thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behaviour. (Influences how we THINK about things)
How language influences the way in which we CAN THINK …
Peterson and Siegal
Numerical Differentiation – Piraha tribe
In Brazilian Amizon
“One, Two, Many”
First noted by Peter Gordon
How language influences the way in which we THINK …
Spatial Orientation - Australian aboriginals
- Guugu Yimithirr
Research Case 2:
Colour Differentiation – Russian
Research Case 3:
Perception of things (Bridge) –
- El puente vs. die Brücke
Here’s what you might have come up with if the pictorial element of the language governs:
“娱”[amusement], “耍”[playful], “婪”[greedy], “嫉”[envy], “妒”[envy], “嫌”[dislike], “佞”[to flatter], “妄”[presumptuous], “妖”[evil], “奴”[slave], “妓”[prostitute], “娼”[prostitute], “奸”[rape], “姘”[have an affair], “婊”[prostitute] and “嫖”[prostitute]