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Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought / Edition 1
     

Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought / Edition 1

by Dedre Gentner, Susan Goldin-Meadow
 

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ISBN-10: 0262571633

ISBN-13: 9780262571630

Pub. Date: 04/01/2003

Publisher: MIT Press

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-Whorf hypothesis after the American linguists who propounded it, languages vary in their semantic partitioning of the world, and the structure of one's language influences how

Overview

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-Whorf hypothesis after the American linguists who propounded it, languages vary in their semantic partitioning of the world, and the structure of one's language influences how one understands the world. Thus speakers of different languages perceive the world differently.

Although the last two decades have been marked by extreme skepticism concerning the possible effects of language on thought, recent theoretical and methodological advances in cognitive science have given the question new life. Research in linguistics and linguistic anthropology has revealed striking differences in cross-linguistic semantic patterns, and cognitive psychology has developed subtle techniques for studying how people represent and remember experience. It is now possible to test predictions about how a given language influences the thinking of its speakers.

Language in Mind includes contributions from both skeptics and believers and from a range of fields. It contains work in cognitive psychology, cognitive development, linguistics, anthropology, and animal cognition. The topics discussed include space, number, motion, gender, theory of mind, thematic roles, and the ontological distinction between objects and substances.

Contributors:

Melissa Bowerman, Eve Clark, Jill de Villiers, Peter de Villiers, Giyoo Hatano, Stan Kuczaj, Barbara Landau, Stephen Levinson, John Lucy, Barbara Malt, Dan Slobin, Steven Sloman, Elizabeth Spelke, and Michael Tomasello.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262571630
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
04/01/2003
Series:
Bradford Books Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
538
Sales rank:
1,082,382
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Contributorsvii
Acknowledgmentsix
IIntroduction1
Whither Whorf3
IIPosition Statements15
1Languages and Representations17
2Language and Mind: Let's Get the Issues Straight!25
3The Key Is Social Cognition47
IIILanguage as Lens: Does the Language We Acquire Influence How We See the World?59
4Sex, Syntax, and Semantics61
5Speaking versus Thinking about Objects and Actions81
6The Effects of Spatial Language on Spatial Representation: Setting Some Boundaries113
7Language and Thought Online: Cognitive Consequences of Linguistic Relativity157
IVLanguage as Tool Kit: Does the Language We Acquire Augment Our Capacity for Higher-Order Representation and Reasoning?193
8Why We're So Smart195
9Does Language Help Animals Think?237
10What Makes Us Smart? Core Knowledge and Natural Language277
11Conceptual and Linguistic Factors in Inductive Projection: How Do Young Children Recognize Commonalities between Animals and Plants?313
12Language for Thought: Coming to Understand False Beliefs335
VLanguage as Category Maker: Does the Language We Acquire Influence Where We Make Our Category Distinctions?385
13Space under Construction: Language-Specific Spatial Categorization in First Language Acquisition387
14Reevaluating Linguistic Relativity: Language-Specific Categories and the Role of Universal Ontological Knowledge in the Construal of Individuation429
15Interaction of Language Type and Referent Type in the Development of Nonverbal Classification Preferences465
16Thought before Language: Do We Think Ergative?493
Index523

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