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Transcript

Language and thought

EUROPe

asia

africa

NORTH AMERICA

OCEANIA

SOUTH AMERICA

WORKS CITED

COMM 309 Assignment 1Isabelle Lacad and Julia Kalina

Numbers do not exist in the Pirahã tribe as they have no need for themThey use words such as "hoi" (a few), "hoi" (somewhat larger), and "baagiso" (a bunch) to descibe quantity and size(Haviland)It is said that although mothers of the Pirahã tribe may not know how many children they have, that does not affect how they feel about their children Concepts as such back up the idea that language and thought are not equivalent (Napoli & Lee-Schoenfeld, 2010)

only culture on earth without any numeracy

Amazonas, Brazil

amazonas

no numbers

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Utilize cardinal directions such as "north", "northeast", etc. rather than "left" and "right"This allows them to have spectacular spatial awarness According to Lera Boroditsky, speakers of languages like this stay oriented and they can perfrom navigational feats we used to think were beyond human ability

navigation in Australian Aboriginal communities

Queensland, Australia

queensland

Left? Right? Wrong.

how language may help you save more money

China

china

uncles and econmics

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No matter their age and how you're related to them, you uncle in English, is simply your uncle In Chinese, it is much more complex--whether he’s related by marriage or birth, if it’s your father’s brother, whether he’s older or youngerBy contantly encoding information as such, it forces one to think of many things, such as time, differentlyThe complexity of the Chinese language in relation to econiomics has proven "futureless languages" correlate with how much money one saves

EUROPe

asia

africa

NORTH AMERICA

OCEANIA

SOUTH AMERICA

Futured Languages

Futureless Languages

FUTURED AND FUTURELESS LANGUAGES

Although there is no English equivalent for the German word schadenfreude, which describes feeling joy at other people’s misfortunes, Pullum explains that we are still able to understand the concept even if we do not have a name for it (Pullum). Even if we do not have a specific word, we are able to combine words to illustrate the meaning of schadenfreude and understand the feeling.

Germany

schadenfreude

In Language Matters, Napoli & Lee-Schoenfeld explain that although the Italian language lacks a word for privacy, Italians clearly understand the concept of privacy and exhibit behaviors which reveal that, such as closing the door when using the restroom and avoiding asking personal questions of people they are not familiar with. This example is used to support the authors’ position that language does not determine thought because even without a term for the concept, people are able to comprehend it (Napoli & Lee-Schoenfeld).

italy

Privacy in italian language

In the 5 Minute Linguist, Pullum explains the Hindi word “kal” means either yesterday or tomorrow depending on the context of the sentence. He argues that this does not give Hindi speakers a different understanding of time because English speakers who have separate words for yesterday and tomorrow are still able to understand the concept of the word kal (Pullum).

india

yesterday or tomorrow?

While some may argue language and thought are not equivalent—for example, speaking without thinking—language does in fact have an effect on our thoughts and behaviors to some extent.Although language and thought cannot be one and the same, nor are they even necessarily dependent on each other (Napoli & Lee-Schoenfeld, 2010), it is possible for aspects of languages—vocabulary, syntactic characteristics, and translation—to influence thought. What do you think?

you

language and thought

Do you think language influences thought?

Works Cited

Chen, K. (2012, June). Could your language affect your ability to save money? [Video]. TED Global.https://www.ted.com/talks/keith_chen_could_your_language_affect_your_ability_to_save_moneyGiang, V. (2018). How language shapes our perception of reality. Fast Company. Haviland, J. (1998). Guugu yimithirr cardinal directions. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 26(1), 25-47.Myrick, C., & Wolfram, W. (2019). The five-minute linguist: Bite-sized essays on language and languages. Equinox Publishing.Napoli, D. J., & Lee-Schoenfeld, V. (2010). Language matters: A guide to everyday questions about language. Oxford University Press.TEDxUniversityofMacedonia. (2017, February 6). Gravity of language on thoughts Panos Athanasopoulos [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/embed/W_NR4-hcUNMUCTVSeminars. (2014, February 27). How the languages we speak shape the ways we think [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHulvUwgFWoSmithsonian Channel. (2012, April 30). A language without numbers? [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDM8G5tuHF8

According to Panos Athanasopoulos in “Gravity of Language on Thoughts,” people who use futureless languages are more likely to save for the future and use contraception and less likely to smoke or be overweight. Futureless languages do not make a distinction between present and future, which makes people think about the present and future in the same way. In futured languages speakers use different words depending on if an event is happening in the present or in the future, which results in the future feeling further away and disconnected from the present.

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