Does Language Shape the Way We Think?

Does The Language We Speak Affect our Ability to Think?

This topic was posted here last September.  Evidently an interesting thought has a life of its own.  On December 13, 2010 the Economist Magazine online offered the following proposition for debate.  An example of this is the observattion by Lucy and Gaskins(2001) that the Yucatec Maya sort things more often by substance rather than shape.  Elsewhere in this site we see how cultural groups orient themselves while dancing (left,right or East, West). Step left, step East…

Also, in the J. Experimeetal Psychology: General 2010, Vol. 139, No, 4, 638-653, “English Speakers Attend More Strongly Than Spanish Speakers to Manner and Motion…”

Economist Online Debate: This house believes that the language we speak shapes how we think.

Benjamin Lee Whorf wrote that Hopi had no words for time (like days and months), and therefore perceived time far differently than European-language speakers do.

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About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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