De Anza College Experiential Information Discussion

After you finish the assigned reading for the week, submit a written response here.

The article provides a detailed analysis of how language, thoughts, and reality are related.
Through this, the authors note that they have been significant progress in research and literature
on the relationship. Two main approaches are provided in indicating the progress. The first
approach entails significant progress that has been influenced by Benjamin Lee Whorf, a famous
linguistic anthropologist. In his research, he raised several questions which other researchers
have used as research questions in their line of work. The second approach is based on Whorf’s
scope and definition of language, thoughts, and reality. The article provides great insights into
the ideas and results of Ne-Whorfian work. This is important since it creates a foundation and
ensures that the audience is well-informed about previous work leading to a higher rhetorical
appeal (Enfield, 2015). The article focuses on heuristic decision-making and the role of linguistic
categorization. When linguistic relativity is used generally to refer to how the viewpoint
provided by a particular language might influence cognition and reality, it then analyzes new and
possible paths in research in this area. By examining the various possible meanings of the
fundamental terms, new lines of research must reevaluate the notion of linguistic relativity.
Whorf happened to characterize these components in a specific way, and as a result, other
understandings of these components are now largely ignored in linguistic relativity research.
There are many different ways to understand each of the three main components of linguistic
relativity: language, mind, and reality. Language is more than a reference, the mind is more than
perception and logic, and reality is more than the physical universe.
According to the article, there are several ways in which linguistic variety is directly
connected to cognitive and cultural diversity. According to the hypothesis created, a particular
language one speaks influences how one thinks. There are some actual consequences of language
on the mind; it is now universally accepted. However, nothing is known about their potential
relationships with the actual variety of human languages. This creates a limitation on current
research and a key question on whether the effects are common among all members of languageusing species.
Research indicates that not all of the effects on cognition are as serious, potentially putting
people’s lives in jeopardy. Furthermore, not all language impacts are as harmless as many NeoWhorfian results suggest. Inanimate things like keys or bridges, for instance, maybe
unconsciously stereotyped as sexually attractive based on the grammatical gender of the words
they are connected with. Color vocabulary can also induce a mild disruption in one eye but not
the other. Those who accept just linguistic relativity’s weak version occasionally criticize the
weak form for being dull or foolish. The problem with doing so is that we don’t have a
trustworthy indicator of what ought to pique our attention.
Other important questions include how language might make some distinctions hard to avoid
and whether the idea that language can enhance certain sorts of thinking is true. An assessment
of current literature claims language might cause people to think more schematically. The idea
that language significantly impacts cognition is gaining credence, despite the fact that the
literature on linguistic relativity is still debatable. Whorfian arguments that reality might be
different for various languages are particularly startling. Another kind of reality affects human
affairs just as much: social or institutional reality. Social reality is especially open to the inquiry
as a location of linguistic relativity since it is arguably a product of language.
Enfield, N. J. (2015). Linguistic relativity from reference to agency. Annual Review of
Anthropology, 44, 207-224.

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