Flashcards in Does the language you speak influence how you think? Deck (16)
What are untranslatable words?
Words than don't have a good parallel with English, nothing is ever fully translatable but can get there with success by talking
e.g. the piece of shame - the last bit that no one wants to take (American problem not a British one)
What does it mean if two languages have different features?
The speakers of these languages might think differently
Sapir - looked at relationship between cultural worldview and language
Whorf - proposed idea of linguistic relativity
What are the two versions of the Sapir whorf hypothesis?
Linguistic relativity - features of language influence/bias patterns of thought
Linguistic determinism - features of language determine/constrain patterns of thought
What happens if your language doesn't have a word for a particular idea concept?
You can't conceive of or understand it - untranslatable words
What does it mean to have a word for something?
Rainbow - single word for it in some countries but we have a compound made up of two words - French have a phrase
Limitation of untranslatable words
We know what people are talking about, we just don't have a particular word for it
Whorf - Hopi
Claimed that Hopi has no words, grammar or expressions that refer directly to what we call time, so they have no notion of time as a smooth flowing continuum in which everything proceeds at an equal rate out of future, through present and into the past
Who questioned Whorf?
Malotki - wrote a 600 page discourse on the grammar of time in Hopi
Do people think differently from different languages?
Yes - we know this because their languages are different
Ways of testing linguistic relativity
Colour categories - categorical perception: continuous quantities divided categories. the boundaries between colours depends on the language
Colour categories - Robertson et al
Berinmo has 5 basic colour terms vs English 11
across tasks - categorical perception of colour was aligned with colour terms, better in the categories used by their own language. perception and thought is guided by language categories
Who dunnit? Study 1
Intentional act vs an accidental act
ways of talking about acts:
agentive - she broke
non-agentive - it broke
Watched a video, what happened? who did it?
Differences in language
For intentional acts: no difference
For accidental acts: English speakers used more agentive descriptions than Spanish - say she broke even if accidental
Who dunnit? Study 2
Differences in memory
intentional acts: no difference
accidental acts: English speakers remembered the correct actor more frequently than Spanish
object orientation - no baseline language differences in memory ability
Conclusion of who Dunn it?
Differences in language influenced the encoding/memory of the event