Is It Very Much An Open If Not A Controversial Question?

1456 Words Nov 14th, 2015 6 Pages
That remains, I believe, still very much an open if not a controversial question.
Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf offer two versions of the same hypothesis; one is known as linguistic determinism and the other as linguistic relativism. Linguistic determinism states "that all human thoughts and actions are bound by the restraints of language"( Ask a Linguist FAQ, 2015). In other words Sapir and Whorf argue that language determines how we think, and how we view our world. This version received more criticism than the much 'lighter" version of the same theory known as "linguistic relativism". This version explains that our language affects our thought to some degree. Lara Boroditsky , a proponent of the linguistic determinism version, as supporting argument speaks of a tribe in Australia, using sophisticated special orientation. Instead of using signals such as right or left they the North, South, East and West orientation. Such orientation in our culture today, would be extremely difficult and I suspect many people would get lost. This form of orientation was widely used our predecessors. Stone Age men directed their hunting efforts using special orientation. Caravans in Sahara oriented themselves according to the location of the sun and other stars. Indians used the bark on the tree to decide where North and South was. Sailors at night in the open sea knew how to find their way using North, South, West and East orientation. Modern man abandoned such ways of orienting…
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