“New cognitive research suggests that language profoundly influences the way people see the world; a different sense of blame in Japanese and Spanish”
Actually, there is nothing new about the theory that language shapes thought, but according to this article, research is starting to support this view. This goes against the prevailing theory for the last 40+ years, which argues that all languages are based on a “universal grammar” and therefore fundamentally the same. I would argue that the latter view has also been supported since the 80’s by a certain reluctance (among the academy) to ascribe “innate” differences to cultural or ethnic groups – which often happen to divide along linguistic lines.
What do you think? Do those of you who are fluent in multiple languages have a sense of “thinking differently” in different languages?
Can we distinguish between the effects of language and culture? Don’t you have to bring up your test subjects in the same environment or culture – but with different native tongues – for these results to have any experimental validity?