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Linguistic Determinism / Linguistic Relativism

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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. Alan Cruse et al. In Melissa Bowerman and Stephen Levinson. Language Acquisition and Conceptual Development. Linguistic Systems and Cognitive Categories.

Journal of East Asian Linguistics. Evidence for discursive relativity". International Journal of Bilingualism. In Reply to Alfred Bloom" , Cognition , 17 3 , Journal of Unsolved Questions. The linguistics of "color". Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Color and Cognition in Mesoamerica: Constructing Categories as Vantages. University of Texas Press. Institute of General Semantics. An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented". Payack, C , p. Communications of the ACM. Archived from the original on 10 July An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology. Andrews, David , "The Russian color categories sinij and goluboj: The case of Greek blues", Bilingualism: Language and Cognition , 12 1: Their Universality and Evolution , Berkeley: Uses editors parameter link Brown, R.

The Development of Cognitive Anthropology. University of California Press. Davies , "Further evidence that Whorfian effects are stronger in the right visual field than the left", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 3: Some overlooked rationales and forefathers", in J. 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 community.

Linguistic relativity has been abandoned and criticized over the decades, with critics aiming to show that perception and cognition are universal, not tied to language and culture. But some psychologists and anthropologists continue to argue that differences in a language's structure and words may play a role in determining how we think.

Experiments on how color terms influence color perception and how speakers of different languages approach non-linguistic tasks continue to spark debate. Thanks for joining me on this quick tour of linguistic relativity and linguistic determinism. Don't forget to check out the other overviews of language or subscribe to the channel if you'd like to keep learning.

Similar pages on our site Other linguistics courses. 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.

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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 Sapir, a linguist.

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Linguistic determinism is, for the most part, ignored in favor of linguistic relativity which states that one's language influences one's view of the world but does NOT determine it. This is to say, the worldview of a speech community is influenced by the structure of its language (Language Files, p).

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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. The theory of linguistic determinism and relativity presents a two-sided phenomenon: Does the specific language (and culture) we are exposed to in childhood determine, in fact, how we perceive the world, how we think, and.

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The strongest form of the theory is linguistic determinism, which holds that language entirely determines the range of cognitive processes. The hypothesis of linguistic determinism is now generally agreed to be false. Linguistic Determinism suggests that one's language determines the ways one's mind constructs categories. First introduced by Edward Sapir and expanded by his student Benjamin Lee Worf, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis proposed that language patterns lead to different patterns in thought (Ting-Toomey and.