Monday, August 2, 2010

Does Language Influence Culture? -

I almost didn’t read this article, but I’m so glad I did!  Fascinating!


Does Language Influence Culture? -

New cognitive research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world.


It turns out that if you change how people talk, that changes how they think. If people learn another language, they inadvertently also learn a new way of looking at the world. When bilingual people switch from one language to another, they start thinking differently, too. And if you take away people's ability to use language in what should be a simple nonlinguistic task, their performance can change dramatically, sometimes making them look no smarter than rats or infants.

All this new research shows us that the languages we speak not only reflect or express our thoughts, but also shape the very thoughts we wish to express. The structures that exist in our languages profoundly shape how we construct reality, and help make us as smart and sophisticated as we are.




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