Comparison Of The Whorfian Pypothesis: The Perception Of Language

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Register to read the introduction… This radical form of the Whorfian hypothesis has received little support in the psychological community, for lack of evidence; however, a milder form of the hypothesis has been substantiated through methodologically rich experimentation. Language appears to have a biasing effect on a few cognitive functions, such as color naming and memory representations. In the area of color naming, several studies found that language is quite significant in determining the types of color mismatches that people of different languages will make. A deceased color naming vocabulary brings about color ambiguity when colors are very close together; whereas, with languages that have an enumeration of terms for color shades ambiguity is lessened. From these and other studies like them, it is clear that language acts as a sort of filter, preconditioning and categorizing our thoughts and perceptions (Fritz & Fritz, 1985). In the area of memory representations language determines, at least to some extent, what descriptive words we choose to associate with what nouns. If our language emphasizes material over shape, then we might describe a tree as made of wood rather than tall. Moreover, language structure and competency seems to have a substantial impact on cognitive development in children and adolescents (Sevinc & Turner, 1976). For example, similarities in language …show more content…
Above and beyond that, language is a specifically human attribute, predisposed innately from birth, but can only be optimally assimilation during a critical period of development—childhood and adolescence. Language exists on several levels, of which phonemes, words, sentences, and texts are of specific interest. Furthermore, humans overcome different types of language ambiguity, such as the speech stream effect and co-articulation, through phonemic cueing and the laws of grammar and syntax. Lastly, it is clear that language has a biasing effect on a few cognitive functions, such as fine color differentiation and memory representations. In all, language has a significant impact on some very specific cognitive functions, but on the whole language is more of a mediating agent then a causal agent of psychological …show more content…
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Willingham, D.T. (2007). Cognition: The Thinking Animal. New York, NY; Pearson Prentice

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