The Sapir-Whorf Exphesis: The Influence Of Language On Human Language

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Commonly confused, the Linguistic relativity and linguistic determinism theories represent different points on a range of intensity regarding the influence of language on human thought. In order to understand the latter, the relativity theory must be understood, since it is a simpler form of determinism. Relativity, similar to the scientific uses of relativity theories, provides psychologist with a two sided phenomenon, often leaving people with varying positions; Simply put, language we are born to has a direct effect upon how we conceptualize, think, interact, and express—a direct relationship between human language and human thinking (Fantini). Relativity implies that language influences thought, including perception in general; however, …show more content…
Once explained in this manner, an individual can begin to understand the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. To further extent, the function of speech, consisting of inflection and tone, demonstrate varying values, and goals. Different cultures express feelings differently, therefore, the translations between two languages result in serious miscommunication when function of speech is considered (Aries 387). The speech accommodation theory supports this majorly, and directs into the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Developed by Howard Giles, a social psychologist from England, the accommodation theory accounts for the shifts people make in speech styles towards or away from the person they are speaking to, depending on motives for social approval and distinctiveness. The strategy is used in order to evoke a specific reaction, and the reactions differ depending on the pronunciation and vocabulary used. The thought process that followed a specific sequence of words can change dramatically, depending on the order. Languages shape and constrain the way one experiences, categorizes, and understands (Aries

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