Looking At How Language Affects Thought English Language Essay

Languages differ dramatically from one another in footings of the description of the universe. This assignment explores different ways in which the universe is described by the talkers of different linguistic communications and its consequence on different ways of believing about the universe. The survey reviews the description of spacial footings, temporal footings, substances and objects by different talkers of different linguistic communications and its consequence on the ways of believing about the universe around us.

Keywords: linguistic communication, thought, infinite, clip, objects, substance, lingual relativity, Whorf, Sapir

Language Affects Thought

Language is a complex phenomenon for human communicating. Each linguistic communication of the universe is different from the other. This diverseness in universe linguistic communications ranges from the clear differentiation of pronunciation and vocabulary to the more complex differences of grammar. The representation adopted by different linguistic communications of the universe to the same sentence such as, ‘the professor delivered the talk ‘ , is different to each linguistic communication. In English, the verb ‘delivered ‘ Markss the past tense. In Indonesian and Mandarin, the verb ne’er changes to tag tense. In Russian, the verb is changed to tag tenses and gender, so if the topic is female alternatively of male, so a different verb is used from the verb that is used for the male. Similarly, in Russian, the verb is besides changed to tag whether the whole talk was delivered or lone portion of it was delivered by the professor. In Turkish, the verb even specifies weather the bringing of talk was witnessed or it was a chitchat. It is evident the talkers of different linguistic communications the different facets of the universe to utilize their linguistic communication decently ( Gumperz and Levinson: 1996 ) Do these characteristics of linguistic communication affect the manner their talkers think about the universe?

The thought that thought is shaped by linguistic communication is most normally associated with the plants of American linguistics Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf. Harmonizing to Whorf, the classs of every human linguistic communication present a manner of perceiving, analysing and moving in the universe. The strong position of the Sapir Whorf Hypothesis that thought and actions are wholly determined by linguistic communication has been rejected in the field of linguistics. However, replying a less deterministic weaker version ‘does linguistic communication affect idea ” has proven to be a really hard undertaking for the research workers. In recent times researches have found new groundss which highlight the effects of linguistic communication on idea. This assignment discusses the consequence of linguistic communication on people ‘s thought of infinite clip, substance, and objects.


Languages differ from each other in the description of the scene of infinite. For illustration, In English, it is different to set something in which it is contained ( the orange in the home base ‘ , ‘the missive in envelope ‘ ) and seting things onto surfaces ( “ the orange on the tabular array ‘ , ‘the spine on icebox door ‘ ) . `In Korean, seting an orange in a bowl uses a different term ( nehta ) from seting a missive in an envelope ( kitta ) . Additionally, seting a missive in envelops and seting spine on the icebox is both expressed by Kitta because both involves near suiting.

McDonough et Al. ( 2000 ) conducted a research to prove whether the lingual differences between English and Korean talker affects the representation of spacial dealingss. He showed scenes incorporating illustrations of tight and loose tantrum to Korean and English grownups. The Korean grownups looked longer at the illustration scenes compared to English grownups. After that they were shown tight tantrum on one screen and loose tantrum on another and were asked to separate between them. The Korean grownups were speedy to place between the tight tantrum and lose tantrum, whereas, the English grownups were unable to separate between the tight tantrum and the lose tantrum, and they took comparatively longer clip than the Korean grownups. Further, when these talkers were given several illustration of tight battle and one illustration of lose battle ( or frailty versa ) . The Korean grownups could easy pick out the uneven 1s, but the English grownups could non. This survey concluded that the differentiations of scenes reinforced by the peculiar linguistic communications remained cardinal in the representation of their spacial scenes.


Languages are besides different from one another because of the difference in the descriptions of clip. In English linguistic communication, the construct of clip is represented in horizontal footings. For illustration, pupils may inquire the instructor to travel the trial forward, or the instructor may force the trial back for the pupils. Similarly, the talkers of Mandarin linguistic communication besides use footings qian ( front ) and hou ( back ) to stand for clip in horizontal footings. However, the talkers of Mandarin besides uses perpendicular footings such as Shang ( up ) and xia ( down ) to depict clip which in English signifies last and following respecitively. The usage of the perpendicular footings of clip in Mandarin is more common in than the horizontal footings of clip.

In a survey conducted by Borodistsky ( 2001 ) , it was found that the Mandarin talkers think about clip vertically even when they are believing for English. The Mandarin talkers were speedy to reply inquiries such as March comes before April when they were shown objects in a perpendicular order before oppugning compared to the English talkers. Similarly, the English talkers gave speedy response to this reply when they were showed objects arranged in a horizontal order before the inquiry compared to the Mandarin talkers.

The research worker in another effort gave English and Hebrew talking grownups sets of images that showed some sort of temporal patterned advance such as, images of a adult male aging, or a works growth, or an apple being eaten. They were asked to set up the shuffled exposure on the land to demo the right temporal order. They were tested in two separate posings, each clip confronting a different way. The English talkers arranged the cards in a manner that clip progresses from left to compensate. The Hebrew talkers arranged the cards in a manner that clip progresses from right to go forth, demoing that the way of composing dramas a function in the patterned advance of time.A A


Language besides differs in the manner the names of the objects are arranged into grammatical classs. Unlike English, many linguistic communications assign gender to all the nouns. A recent set of surveies suggested that grammatical gender given to objects by the linguistic communication influence the mental representation of these objects by the people ( Boroditsky et al. , in imperativeness ) .

The research worker gave images of people ( male and female ) and besides images of objects ( holding opposite genders in German and Spanish ) to two groups of German and Spanish talkers. They were asked to rate similarities between the images of objects and images of people. Both groups rated grammatically feminine objects to be more similar to females and grammatically masculine objects more similar to males as described by their linguistic communications. This trial was a complete nonlinguistic trial.

In Spanish, the word for “ cardinal ” is feminine, while the German word for ” key ” is masculine. The Spanish and German talkers were asked to supply descriptive adjectives for different objects. German talkers described keys as difficult, heavy, jaggy, metal, and utile, while Spanish talkers described them as aureate, intricate, small, lovely, and shiny. For the word “ span, ” which is feminine in German and masculine in Spanish, the antonym happened. Germans described Bridgess as beautiful, elegant, delicate, and peaceable, while Spanish talkers said they were large, unsafe, long, and strong.A


Languages appear to act upon many facets of human knowledge: grounds sing infinite, clip, objects, has been reviewed in this assignment. Further surveies have besides found effects of linguistic communication on people ‘s apprehension of Numberss, colourss, and forms, events, and other heads. Sing the many ways in which languages differ, the findings reviewed here suggest that the mental lives of people who speak different linguistic communications may differ much more than antecedently thought

Beyond demoing that talkers of different linguistic communications think otherwise, these consequences suggest that lingual procedures are permeant in most cardinal spheres of idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *