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Language in Mind : Advances in the Study of Language and Thought - Dedre Gentner

Language in Mind

Advances in the Study of Language and Thought

By: Dedre Gentner (Editor), Susan Goldin-Meadow (Editor)

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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. The contributors include 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.

"Remember the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis--the idea that the language you speak shapes the way you think? It's been pronounced dead a number of times in the past fifty years, and yet it just won't go away. To understand why not, read Language in Mind. There the leading scholars in the field take a fresh look at Sapir-Whorf and offer intriguing new evidence for it. But they do more than just revive the hypothesis. They rework it and give it a genuinely new shape as they show how it bears on a range of new issues in language and thinking. It is this revised perspective that will inspire the next generation of thinking and research on the way language affects thought." Herbert H. Clark, Department of Psychology, Stanford University "Remember the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis -- the idea that the language you speak shapes the way you think? It's been pronounced dead a number of times in the past fifty years, and yet it just won't go away. To understand why not, read *Language in Mind*. There the leading scholars in the field take a fresh look at Sapir-Whorf and offer intriguing new evidence for it. But they do more than just revive the hypothesis. They rework it and give it a genuinely new shape as they show how it bears on a range of new issues in language and thinking. It is this revised perspective that will inspire the next generation of thinking and research on the way language affects thought."--Herbert H. Clark, Department of Psychology, Stanford University

Contributorsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Whither Whorfp. 3
Position Statementsp. 15
Languages and Representationsp. 17
Language and Mind: Let's Get the Issues Straight!p. 25
The Key Is Social Cognitionp. 47
Language as Lens: Does the Language We Acquire Influence How We See the World?p. 59
Sex, Syntax, and Semanticsp. 61
Speaking versus Thinking about Objects and Actionsp. 81
The Effects of Spatial Language on Spatial Representation: Setting Some Boundariesp. 113
Language and Thought Online: Cognitive Consequences of Linguistic Relativityp. 157
Language as Tool Kit: Does the Language We Acquire Augment Our Capacity for Higher-Order Representation and Reasoning?p. 193
Why We're So Smartp. 195
Does Language Help Animals Think?p. 237
What Makes Us Smart? Core Knowledge and Natural Languagep. 277
Conceptual and Linguistic Factors in Inductive Projection: How Do Young Children Recognize Commonalities between Animals and Plants?p. 313
Language for Thought: Coming to Understand False Beliefsp. 335
Language as Category Maker: Does the Language We Acquire Influence Where We Make Our Category Distinctions?p. 385
Space under Construction: Language-Specific Spatial Categorization in First Language Acquisitionp. 387
Reevaluating Linguistic Relativity: Language-Specific Categories and the Role of Universal Ontological Knowledge in the Construal of Individuationp. 429
Interaction of Language Type and Referent Type in the Development of Nonverbal Classification Preferencesp. 465
Thought before Language: Do We Think Ergative?p. 493
Indexp. 523
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262571630
ISBN-10: 0262571633
Series: A Bradford Book
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 538
Published: 14th March 2003
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 15.0  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.84