The Limits of Language-Thought Influences Can Be Set by the Constraints of Embodiment
Prakash Mondal
May 2021

Language and thought are intimately related to one another, but the level or degree of connectedness between language and thought is not clear due to the fact that the influence of language over thought can be more context-specific or general (see Zlatev and Blomberg, 2015). This reflects general assumptions from the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis (Whorf, 1956). If the influence of language over thought, thinking, and reasoning is very context-specific in being applicable to specific modes/modalities of cognition, such as color, space, visual motion, etc., this may suggest that the constraints of embodiment determine how modal linguistic symbols come to be grounded in neurally instantiated modality-specific systems (Barsalou, 2008). Many cognitive consequences are said to ensue from the language-specific conceptualizations of number, color categories, motion, space, and other categories (see Gentner and Goldin-Meadow, 2003; Levinson, 2003; Casasanto, 2004; Majid et al., 2004; Casasanto and Boroditsky, 2008; Wolff and Holmes, 2011; Lupyan, 2012) and can in fact be traced to the properties of our cognitive organization.
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Reference: lingbuzz/005976
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Published in: Frontiers in Psychology 12: 593137 doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.593137
keywords: language, thought, linguistic relativity, cognition, meaning, semantics, syntax
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