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Linguistic Determinism

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❶See also linguistic relativism ; mould theory ; Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

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Change the target language to find translations. Online Encyclopedia, Thesaurus, Dictionary definitions and more. Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. 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 " http: Theories of language Determinism. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors see full disclaimer Donate to Wikimedia. Webmaster Solution Alexandria A windows pop-into of information full-content of Sensagent triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Crawl products or adds Get XML access to reach the best products. Index images and define metadata Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.

WordGame The English word games are: Lettris Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Copyrights The wordgames anagrams, crossword, Lettris and Boggle are provided by Memodata. Translation Change the target language to find translations. Advertize Partnership Company informations My account login registration. The distinction between a weak and a strong version of this hypothesis is also a later invention; Sapir and Whorf never set up such a dichotomy, although often in their writings their views of this relativity principle are phrased in stronger or weaker terms.

Though he never directly explored how language affects thought, significant traces of the linguistic relativity principle underlie his perception of language. His take on linguistic relativity was more radical: Language is what gives the thought its expression and thus shapes it; in other words, thinking is determined by language. 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.


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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 .

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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.

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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.

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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.