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Linguistic determinism

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❶His take on linguistic relativity was more radical: This section does not cite any sources.

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For instance, Native Americans, Inuit, and Aboriginals are three groups of indigenous peoples from the North American continent, extreme northern climates, and Australia, respectively. In his studies, Sapir was In his studies, Sapir was surprised at the contrasts between how indigenous people and European people spoke about the order of the world.

This discovery led him to the conclusion that the language we are born into determines in a fixed and unalterable way the way in which we perceive objects, manipulate object, understand abstractions and our relationships to abstractions.

Here's an example about feasting from his work. The English thought is six separate words focused on the person HE , while the Nootka thought is one word with five suffixes focused on the action BOIL:. Sapir's student, Benjamin Whorf, dedicated himself to proving and examining Sapir's hypothesis. In his studies, he discovered that while there are deterministic constructions of reality imposed on our cognition and perceptions through our birth-language, there are also cultural factors cultural-linguistic factors that can override aspects of the deterministic strictures of our original language or languages, if bi- or multi-lingual , and thus can enlarge our perceptions and cognition relevant to the world we experience.

According to Whorf, since there is an opportunity to broaden and enlarge the deterministic structure of language at least in degrees , then the deterministic nature of language is relativistic: As an example, the Japanese have an expression that is given as a sort of blessing when someone leaves home to go anywhere, to work, to school, to the market, anywhere.

The person departing says what is loosely translated into English as "I go come back. The person staying at home says, loosely in English, "Off you go. When ages move into new epistemes, the science, religion, and art of the past age look absurd. Some Neo-Marxist historians [ who? As the environment changes, so too do the language constructs. The possibility of linguistic determinism has been explored by a variety of authors, mostly in science fiction. There exist some languages, like Loglan , Ithkuil and Toki Pona for instance, which have been constructed for the purpose of testing the assumption.

However, no formal tests appear to have been done. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. Introduction to language development.

Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. The development of cognitive anthropology. An Amazonian tribe takes grammar to a strange place". Harper Perennial Modern Classics. Language, Culture and Thinking. Causal theory of reference Contrast theory of meaning Contrastivism Conventionalism Cratylism Deconstruction Descriptivist theory of names Direct reference theory Dramatism Expressivism Linguistic determinism Logical atomism Logical positivism Mediated reference theory Nominalism Non-cognitivism Phallogocentrism Quietism Relevance theory Semantic externalism Semantic holism Structuralism Supposition theory Symbiosism Theological noncognitivism Theory of descriptions Verification theory.

Category Task Force Discussion. Retrieved from " https: Theories of language Determinism. Pages using citations with accessdate and no URL Pages using ISBN magic links Articles needing additional references from October All articles needing additional references All articles with vague or ambiguous time Vague or ambiguous time from October All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from April Separate studies by Bowerman and Slobin treated the role of language in cognitive processes.

Bowerman showed that certain cognitive processes did not use language to any significant extent and therefore could not be subject to linguistic relativity.

Slobin described another kind of cognitive process that he named "thinking for speaking" — the kind of process in which perceptional data and other kinds of prelinguistic cognition are translated into linguistic terms for communication. These, Slobin argues, are the kinds of cognitive process that are at the root of linguistic relativity.

Researchers such as Boroditsky , Lucy and Levinson believe that language influences thought in more limited ways than the broadest early claims.

Researchers examine the interface between thought or cognition , language and culture and describe the relevant influences. They use experimental data to back up their conclusions. Psycholinguistic studies explored motion perception, emotion perception, object representation and memory.

Recent work with bilingual speakers attempts to distinguish the effects of language from those of culture on bilingual cognition including perceptions of time, space, motion, colors and emotion.

Lucy identified three main strands of research into linguistic relativity. The "structure-centered" approach starts with a language's structural peculiarity and examines its possible ramifications for thought and behavior. The defining example is Whorf's observation of discrepancies between the grammar of time expressions in Hopi and English. More recent research in this vein is Lucy's research describing how usage of the categories of grammatical number and of numeral classifiers in the Mayan language Yucatec result in Mayan speakers classifying objects according to material rather than to shape as preferred by English speakers.

The "domain-centered" approach selects a semantic domain and compares it across linguistic and cultural groups. It centered on color terminology, although this domain is acknowledged to be sub-optimal, because color perception, unlike other semantic domains, is hardwired into the neural system and as such is subject to more universal restrictions than other semantic domains.

Space is another semantic domain that has proven fruitful for linguistic relativity studies. Speakers rely on the linguistic conceptualization of space in performing many ordinary tasks. Levinson and others reported three basic spatial categorizations. While many languages use combinations of them, some languages exhibit only one type and related behaviors. Speakers define a location as "north of the house", while an English speaker may use relative positions, saying "in front of the house" or "to the left of the house".

The "behavior centered" approach starts by comparing behavior across linguistic groups and then searches for causes for that behavior in the linguistic system. Whorf attributed the occurrence of fires at a chemical plant to the workers' use of the word 'empty' to describe the barrels containing only explosive vapors.

Bloom noticed that speakers of Chinese had unexpected difficulties answering counter-factual questions posed to them in a questionnaire.

He concluded that this was related to the way in which counter-factuality is marked grammatically in Chinese. Other researchers attributed this result to Bloom's flawed translations. He concluded that cognitive differences between the grammatical usage of Swedish prepositions and Finnish cases could have caused Swedish factories to pay more attention to the work process while Finnish factory organizers paid more attention to the individual worker.

Everett's conclusions were met with skepticism from universalists [68] who claimed that the linguistic deficit is explained by the lack of need for such concepts. Recent research with non-linguistic experiments in languages with different grammatical properties e. The study focused on three groups, those who spoke only Swedish, those who spoke only Spanish and bilingual speakers who spoke both of those languages. Swedish speakers describe time using distance terms like "long" or "short" while Spanish speakers do it using volume related terms like "big" or "small".

The researchers asked the participants to estimate how much time had passed while watching a line growing across a screen, or a container being filled, or both. The studies showed a correlation between color term numbers and ease of recall in both Zuni and English speakers. Researchers attributed this to focal colors having higher codability than less focal colors, and not with linguistic relativity effects.

Researchers such as Lucy, [74] Saunders [75] and Levinson [76] argued that Berlin and Kay's study does not refute linguistic relativity in color naming, because of unsupported assumptions in their study such as whether all cultures in fact have a clearly-defined category of "color" and because of related data problems. Researchers such as Maclaury continued investigation into color naming.

Like Berlin and Kay, Maclaury concluded that the domain is governed mostly by physical-biological universals. Linguistic relativity inspired others to consider whether thought could be influenced by manipulating language. The question bears on philosophical, psychological, linguistic and anthropological questions. A major question is whether human psychological faculties are mostly innate or whether they are mostly a result of learning, and hence subject to cultural and social processes such as language.

The innate view holds that humans share the same set of basic faculties, and that variability due to cultural differences is less important and that the human mind is a mostly biological construction, so that all humans sharing the same neurological configuration can be expected to have similar cognitive patterns.

Multiple alternatives have advocates. The contrary constructivist position holds that human faculties and concepts are largely influenced by socially constructed and learned categories, without many biological restrictions. Another variant is idealist , which holds that human mental capacities are generally unrestricted by biological-material strictures. Another is essentialist , which holds that essential differences [ clarification needed ] may influence the ways individuals or groups experience and conceptualize the world.

Yet another is relativist Cultural relativism , which sees different cultural groups as employing different conceptual schemes that are not necessarily compatible or commensurable, nor more or less in accord with external reality. Another debate considers whether thought is a form of internal speech or is independent of and prior to language. In the philosophy of language the question addresses the relations between language, knowledge and the external world, and the concept of truth.

Philosophers such as Putnam , Fodor , Davidson, and Dennett see language as representing directly entities from the objective world and that categorization reflect that world. Wittgenstein, Quine , Searle, Foucault argue that categorization and conceptualization is subjective and arbitrary. Another question is whether language is a tool for representing and referring to objects in the world, or whether it is a system used to construct mental representations that can be communicated.

Korzybski's thinking was influenced by logical philosophy such as Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica and Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Hayakawa was a follower and popularizer of Korzybski's work, writing Language in Thought and Action. The general semantics movement influenced the development of neurolinguistic programming , another therapeutic technique that seeks to use awareness of language use to influence cognitive patterns. Korzybski independently described a "strong" version of the hypothesis of linguistic relativity.

We do not realize what tremendous power the structure of an habitual language has. It is not an exaggeration to say that it enslaves us through the mechanism of s[emantic] r[eactions] and that the structure which a language exhibits, and impresses upon us unconsciously, is automatically projected upon the world around us.

In their fiction, authors such as Ayn Rand and George Orwell explored how linguistic relativity might be exploited for political purposes. In Rand's Anthem , a fictive communist society removed the possibility of individualism by removing the word "I" from the language, and in Orwell's the authoritarian state created the language Newspeak to make it impossible for people to think critically about the government, or even to contemplate that they might be impoverished or oppressed.

Others have been fascinated by the possibilities of creating new languages that could enable new, and perhaps better, ways of thinking.

Examples of such languages designed to explore the human mind include Loglan , explicitly designed by James Cooke Brown to test the linguistic relativity hypothesis, by experimenting whether it would make its speakers think more logically. Speakers of Lojban , an evolution of Loglan, report that they feel speaking the language enhances their ability for logical thinking [ citation needed ]. APL programming language originator Kenneth E. Iverson believed that the Sapir—Whorf hypothesis applied to computer languages without actually mentioning it by name.

His Turing award lecture, "Notation as a tool of thought", was devoted to this theme, arguing that more powerful notations aided thinking about computer algorithms. The essays of Paul Graham explore similar themes, such as a conceptual hierarchy of computer languages, with more expressive and succinct languages at the top.

Thus, the so-called blub paradox after a hypothetical programming language of average complexity called Blub says that anyone preferentially using some particular programming language will know that it is more powerful than some, but not that it is less powerful than others. The reason is that writing in some language means thinking in that language. Hence the paradox, because typically programmers are "satisfied with whatever language they happen to use, because it dictates the way they think about programs".

In a presentation at an open source convention, Yukihiro Matsumoto , creator of the programming language Ruby , said that one of his inspirations for developing the language was the science fiction novel Babel , based on the Sapir—Whorf Hypothesis. Ted Chiang 's short story Story of Your Life developed the concept of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as applied to an alien species which visits Earth.

The aliens' biology contributes to their spoken and written languages, which are distinct. In the American film Arrival , based on Chiang's short story, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the premise. The protagonist explains that "the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the theory that the language you speak determines how you think".

In his science fiction novel The Languages of Pao the author Jack Vance describes how specialized languages are a major part of a strategy to create specific classes in a society, to enable the population to withstand occupation and develop itself. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The strong version says that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories.

The weak version says that linguistic categories and usage only influence thought and decisions. Universalism and Universalism and relativism of color terminology. Linguistic relativity and the color naming debate. General semantics and Neurolinguistic Programming. Constructed languages and Experimental languages. Introduction to language development. A Preliminary History and a Bibliographical Essay".

Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. As Jane Hill and Bruce Mannheim write: Gorgias and the New Sophistic Rhetoric. Den Ouden, Language and Creativity: An Interdisciplinary Essay in Chomskyan Humanism, p. Handbook of American Indian languages. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin American Indian Grammatical Categories. Ein internationales Handbuch , ed.


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The central difference between linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity is the idea that world-view concepts and thoughts cannot be altered versus can be dommonet.tk Sapir, a linguist.

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Among the strongest statements of this position are those by Benjamin Lee Whorf and his teacher, Edward Sapir, in the first half of this century—hence the label, 'The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis', for the theory of linguistic relativity and determinism.

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3 Implications of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis • Part of challenge to theories of unilineal social evolution (which posited that simple societies evolve into complex ones). In its strongest expression, linguistic relativity - the idea that viewpoints vary from language to language - relies on linguistic determinism - the idea that language determines thought. In other words, how people think doesn't just vary depending on their language, but is actually grounded in, determined by, the specific language of their.

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Put simply, linguistic determinism (the strong version of the hypothesis) is based on the argument that language shapes the speakers’ way of thinking and how they conceptualize the world. A well known example of this is the people of Piraha, who have only three numbers in their language: one, . A form of linguistic determinism is "linguistic relativity" (Sapir–Whorf hypothesis; discussed in Kay&Kempton ). The known example of this is the claim that it is easier for people to recognise and remember shades of colours for which they have a specific name in their own language (a claim discredited later by Berlin&Kay ).