Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Whorf? Crosslinguistic Differences in Temporal Language and Thought

  title={Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Whorf? Crosslinguistic Differences in Temporal Language and Thought},
  author={D. Casasanto},
  journal={Language Learning},
The idea that language shapes the way we think, often associated with Benjamin Whorf, has long been decried as not only wrong but also fundamentally wrong-headed. Yet, experimental evidence has reopened debate about the extent to which language influences nonlinguistic cognition, particularly in the domain of time. In this article, I will first analyze an influential argument against the Whorfian hypothesis and show that its anti-Whorfian conclusion is in part an artifact of conflating two… Expand
Neurolinguistic Relativity: How Language Flexes Human Perception and Cognition
  • G. Thierry
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Language learning
  • 2016
On the basis of empirical evidence showing effects of terminology on perception, language‐idiosyncratic relationships in semantic memory, grammatical skewing of event conceptualization, and unconscious modulation of executive functioning by verbal input, a neurofunctional approach is advocated through which the authors can systematically explore how languages shape human thought. Expand
Linguistic relativity.
This work identifies seven categories of hypotheses about the possible effects of language on thought across a wide range of domains, including motion, color, spatial relations, number, and false belief understanding and highlights recent evidence suggesting that language may induce a relatively schematic mode of thinking. Expand
Whorf in the Wild:Naturalistic Evidence from Human Interaction
The past few decades have seen a full resurgence of the question of whether speakers of different languages think differently, also known as the Whorfian question. A characteristic of thisExpand
Linguistic Relativity and Second Language Acquisition
The principle of linguistic relativity was formulated by Benjamin Lee Whorf (1940/1956), but it is also often referred to as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis in reference to Whorf's mentor at YaleExpand
Language may indeed influence thought
It is shown that linguistic influence on thought is clearly possible, and hence in need of further investigations, and that the objection that methodological and empirical problems defeat all but the most trivial version of the thesis of linguistic influence is not the best way to frame the empirical challenges at hand. Expand
How Relevant is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis to Contemporary Psycholinguistic Research?
The paper raises the question of whether the linguistic relativity proposal, also known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, should be used as a frame of reference for modern research into the relationshipExpand
Metalinguistic relativity: Does one's ontology determine one's view on linguistic relativity?
Abstract Linguistic relativity is a notion that has been met with both praise and scorn. We argue that there is correlation between theorists’ general conceptions of the nature of language, and theirExpand
Temporal Language and Temporal Thinking May Not Go Hand in Hand
Do people think about time the way they talk about it? This chapter examinesdissociations between temporal language and temporal thinking in speakers ofEnglish and of Darija, a dialect of MoroccanExpand
Linguistic relativity in SLA:towards a new research programme
The purpose of the current article is to support the investigation of linguistic relativity in second language acquisition and sketch methodological and theoretical prerequisites toward developingExpand
Linguistic Relativity And Its Relation To Analytic Philosophy
The history of so-called ‘linguistic relativity’ is an odd and multifaceted one. After knowing alternate fortunes and being treated by different academic branches, today there are some new ways ofExpand


Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought
The idea that the language we speak influences the way we think has evoked perennial fascination and intense controversy. According to the strong version of this hypothesis, called the Sapir-WhorfExpand
With the Future Behind Them: Convergent Evidence From Aymara Language and Gesture in the Crosslinguistic Comparison of Spatial Construals of Time
Cognitive research on metaphoric concepts of time has focused on differences between moving Ego and moving time models, but even more basic is the contrast between Ego- and temporal-reference-pointExpand
Do Chinese and English speakers think about time differently? Failure of replicating Boroditsky (2001)
It is concluded that Chinese speakers do not think about time in a different way than English speakers just because Chinese also uses the vertical spatial metaphors to express time. Expand
The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language
There will probably be general assent to the proposition that an accepted s of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.pattern of using words is often prior to certain lines ofExpand
Turning the tables: language and spatial reasoning
The present studies reproduce different problem-solving strategies in speakers of a single language (English) by manipulating landmark cues, suggesting that language itself may not be the key causal factor in choice of spatial perspective. Expand
Do we think about time in terms of space
The human capacity for abstract thought poses an unsolved problem for the neural and cognitive sciences. How are people able to think about things that they can never see or touch, like ideas,Expand
Time in the mind: Using space to think about time
Findings provide evidence that the metaphorical relationship between space and time observed in language also exists in their more basic representations of distance and duration, and suggest that their mental representations of things the authors can never see or touch may be built, in part, out of representations of physical experiences in perception and motor action. Expand
Does Language Shape Thought?: Mandarin and English Speakers' Conceptions of Time
It is concluded that (1) language is a powerful tool in shaping thought about abstract domains and (2) one's native language plays an important role in shaping habitual thought but does not entirely determine one's thinking in the strong Whorfian sense. Expand
Whorf hypothesis is supported in the right visual field but not the left.
It appears that people view the right (but not the left) half of their visual world through the lens of their native language, providing an unexpected resolution to the language-and-thought debate. Expand
Semantics and Experience: Universal Metaphors of Time in English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Sesotho
Are there universal as well as culturally particular experiences and expressions of "time"? In "Semantics and Experience", Alverson questions the widely held anthropological assumption that temporalExpand