Ruling out the Language Relativity Hypothesis?

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Language Relativity is an interesting topic, but I think it may have a few holes. The idea that language has influence over the way we think is partly true, but it may be over estimated.

In my Multicultural Literature in the United States course that I am taking right now, we are studying Native American Literature briefly. Translated into Ojibwe, mother is "Mindimooye." When mindimooye is directly translated back into english, it means "the one who holds things together." This seems to be a supporter for Language Relativity, right? In my opinion, there are many questions left unanswered even still.

There is no doubt that Ojibwe culture is very different from standard American middle-class culture. In the same way, the languages are different. Yet how can we say that the language difference is the sole reason behind the difference between mother and "the one who holds all things together." Wouldn't it be simpler to say that culture shapes our thoughts even more than language? Can language be simplified to how we describe our culture or what is around us? It may for the difference between mother and "the one who holds all things together." Language, by the book definition, is an arbitrary system. Arbitrary means random, which makes it difficult to say that the way we think is completely random. When rather culture is a stronger substitute for how we make our thoughts.

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This page contains a single entry by obrie844 published on October 23, 2011 6:00 PM.

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