Quote by Desmond Tutu: “Language is very powerful. Language does not ju...”
How Language Shapes Our Perception of the World
Studies in linguistic diversity suggest that the languages we speak profoundly shape our experiences of the world. How does your language affect you? T here are around 7, human languages spoken across the globe, all with unique sounds, vocabularies, and structures. In light of recent research, it's becoming increasingly clear that each language significantly shapes the cognition of its speakers. Boroditsky remarks:.
The importance of languages and the communication in different languages has increased drastically in the XXI century, due to globalization and companies starting to operate in different markets worldwide. Nowadays, we are able to communicate effectively with people from other countries by using English or even other languages. But sometimes we meet difficulties to properly understand each other, simply because of different meanings in our native language. So, how does language shape the way we see the world? The linguistic area got revolutionized by Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf with the introduction of the theory of linguistic relativism. Based on a comparative study of the American Indian language from the tribe Hopi and Indo-European languages, many differences between them were noticed. Thus, according to the Sapir-Whorf-theory, language is more than just a communication tool — it determines our perception of reality and influences our behavior.
Does an English speaker perceive reality differently from say, a Swahili speaker? Does language shape our thoughts and change the way we think? The idea that the words, grammar, and metaphors we use result in our differing perceptions of experiences have long been a point of contention for linguists. But just how much impact language has on the way we think is challenging to determine, says Betty Birner, a professor of linguistics and cognitive science at Northern Illinois University. Other factors, like culture, meaning the traditions and habits we pick up from those around us, also shape the way we talk, the things we talk about, and hence, changes the way we think or even how we remember things.
That our language actively shapes our reality and there is no It would be understandable if realists made such arguments, since they believe.
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That puts a lot of emphasis on the power of language and culture. To some experts, language is considered a technology , perhaps the most powerful one of all.
For a long time, the idea that language might shape thought was considered at best untestable and more often simply wrong. What we have learned is that people who speak different languages do indeed think differently and that even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how we see the world. Language is a uniquely human gift, central to our experience of being human. Appreciating its role in constructing our mental lives brings us one step closer to understanding the very nature of humanity. Lera Boroditsky's Edge Bio Page. Humans communicate with one another using a dazzling array of languages, each differing from the next in innumerable ways.