Skip Nav

traduire de

Quick Reference

❶It was demonstrated that these native speakers had an impaired ability to compare quantities of objects higher than three, and that their ability to conceive of numbers was comparable to that of an infant. As the environment changes, so too do the language constructs.

definition - Linguistic determinism

Navigation menu
Related content in Oxford Reference

In "Science and Linguistics" Whorf stated that:. We are thus introduced to a new principle of relativity, which holds that all observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same pictures of the universe, unless the linguistic backgrounds are similar, or can in some way be calibrated.

According to Whorf, formulation of ideas and thoughts is not a rational independent process but is determined by particular grammar and vocabulary of the language in which these ideas are expressed. The world around is organized and made sense of by us through language. During earlier years, Whorf published a number of essays in which he analyzed various linguistic aspects of Hopi.

In the course of his research, Whorf noticed that Hopi and some other languages Hebrew , Aztec and Maya were built on a different plan from that of English and many other languages which he called SAE Standard Average European languages. He discovered a number of significant features differentiating Hopi from SAE languages that led him to the idea of linguistic determinism.

Its assessment of time is different from SAE linear temporal view of past, present and future and varies with each observer:.

Hopi time is non-dimensional and cannot be counted or measured in a way SAE languages measure it, i. Hopi grammatical categories signify view of the world as an ongoing process, where time is not divided into fixed segments so that certain things recur, e. The linguistic structure of SAE languages, on the other hand, gives its speakers more fixed, objectified and measurable understanding of time and space, where they distinguish between countable and uncountable objects and view time as a linear sequence of past, present, and future.

Whorf argues that this and numerous other differences imply a different way of thinking. Since thought is expressed and transmitted through language, it follows that a differently structured language must shape thought along its lines, thus influencing perception.

Consequently, a Hopi speaker who perceives the world through the medium of his language must see reality through the patterns laid down by its linguistic structure. Other studies supporting the principle of linguistic determinism have shown that people find it easier to recognize and remember shades of colors for which they have a specific name.

Linguistic determinism can also be evident in situations where the means of drawing attention to a certain aspect of an experience is language. For example, in French, Spanish or Russian there are two ways to address a person because those languages have two second person pronouns — singular and plural.

The choice of the pronoun depends on the relationship between the two people formal or informal and the degree of familiarity between them. In this respect, the speaker of any of those languages is always thinking about the relationship when addressing another person and therefore unable to separate those two processes.

These individuals could not conceive numbers beyond 'one' and 'two', for which there are no actual terms in their language.

After this all numbers are grouped under the term 'many. However, linguistic determinism has been widely criticized for its absolutism and refuted by linguists. For instance, Michael Frank et. Another argument against the principle of linguistic determinism is that humans are able to perceive objects and events that have no corresponding words in our mental lexicon, even if existing linguistic representations would make the perception easier.

Opponents of the theory maintain that thought exists prior to any conception of language. Steven Pinker's theory embodies this idea. He proposed that all individuals are first capable of a "universal mentalese", of which all thought is composed prior to its linguistic form. Language then enables us to articulate these already existing thoughts into words and linguistic concepts.

For example, one may perceive different colors even while missing a particular word for each shade, like New Guinea aborigines can distinguish between the colors green and blue even though they have only one lexical entry to describe both colors.

In its weaker form, however, the proposal that language influences our thinking has frequently been discussed and studied. Linguistic determinism is a partial assumption behind a number of recent [ when? Similarly, Michel Foucault 's New Historicism theory posits that there is a quasi-linguistic structure present in any age, a metaphor around which all things that can be understood are organized.

This " episteme " determines the questions that people can ask and the answers they can receive. The episteme changes historically: From an entirely different starting point, the Sapir—Whorf hypothesis argues that individuals experience the world based on the grammatical structures they habitually use. For example, speakers of different languages may see different numbers of bands in a rainbow.

Since rainbows are actually a continuum of color, there are no empirical stripes or bands, and yet people see as many bands as their language possesses primary color words. See Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. Although neither Edward Sapir nor his student Benjamin Lee Whorf ever wrote a "hypothesis" of this nature, writings such as Whorf's The Relation of Thought and Behavior to Language make arguments based on a version of linguistic determinism [ citation needed ].

A separate angle on linguistic determinism maintains that language is the only thing that is ever known. The objective world is entirely removed by the presence of language. It is perceived, but human life is determined by having language and by the language's own internal demands. Linguistic determinism is a partial assumption behind a number of recent developments in rhetoric and literary theory.

For example, Jacques Derrida 's project of deconstruction aims to break apart the terms of "paradigmatic" hierarchies. Derrida's targets are the latter. Similarly, Michel Foucault 's New Historicism posits that there is a quasi-linguistic structure present in any age, a metaphor around which all things that can be understood are organized.

This "epistem" determines the questions that people can ask and the answers they can receive. The epistem changes historically: When ages move into new epistems, the science, religion, and art of the past age look absurd. Some neo-Marxist historians have similarly looked at culture as always encoded in a language that changes with the material conditions.

As the dialectic struggle of economic forces clash and synthesize, so too do the language constructs. The possibility of linguistic determinism has been explored by a variety of authors, mostly in science fiction. Also, there actually exist some languages that have been constructed for the purpose of testing the assumption. However, no formal tests appear to have been done. Experimental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Linguistics have written and experimented on this hypothesis at length.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors see full disclaimer. All translations of Linguistic determinism. A windows pop-into of information full-content of Sensagent triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites! With a SensagentBox , visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.

Choose the design that fits your site. Please, email us to describe your idea. The English word games are: Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Linguistic determinism is the idea that language and its structures limit and determine human knowledge or thought, as well as thought processes such as categorization, memory, and perception. The term implies that people who speak different languages as their .

Privacy FAQs

Linguistic determinism is the idea that language shapes thought. Determinism itself refers to the viewpoint that all events are caused by previous events, and linguistic determinism can be used broadly to refer to a number of specific views.

About Our Ads

Linguistic determinism is the idea that language and its structures limit and determine human knowledge or thought. Determinism itself refers to the viewpoint that all events are caused by previous events, and linguistic determinism can be used broadly to refer to a number of specific views. linguistic determinism Quick Reference A range of views in which our thinking (or worldview) is seen as being determined or shaped by language—simply by the use of verbal language and/or by the grammatical structures, semantic distinctions, and inbuilt ontologies within a language.

Cookie Info

Linguistic determinism can best be demonstrated in situations in which language is the principal means of drawing people's attention to a particular aspect of experience. Linguistic Determinism. Linguistic Determinism is a concept taken from the narrow field of analytic philosophy and postulates that human language limits and determines human thought patterns and knowledge. This concept makes an assumption that language both reflects and limits human mentality and its ability to make cross-cultural connections.