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Does Language Shape Thought Essay

Free Essay Example On Language

The article “Does Language Shape Thought?: Mandarin and English Speakers’ Conceptions of Time” discusses rational thinking and reasoning in terms of linguistics, philosophy and cognitive psychology. The author states that language has a great impact on the structure of thinking and thought shaping. To say that general thought depends on executive control, thinking, and the allocation of resources, may have a certain air of plausibility. Thus coding of the relevant attributes of each language term of an analogy will almost certainly be influenced by the detection of the relationships between the various meanings since those relationships define the relevant attributes. In order to illustrate the argument, Boroditsky uses the case of English-Mandarin speakers and analyses their of thoughts and thought shaping methods. Boroditsky discusses that solving problems requires such operations as coding of the items, and searching for the rules that describe the transformation of one item into another. A very simple componential model of analogical reasoning, although undoubtedly specifying many of the operations that must be performed in order to solve analogies, failed to acknowledge the interdependence of the various components. The article discusses limitations and weaknesses of comparative study. Using examples of time and seasons, Boroditsky questions what precisely do people mean when they say this, and what would count as disproof of such a hypothesis? Such ideas may mark a slight advance over the notion of general intelligence as mental energy or speed of information processing, dependent on the efficiency of the brain. Factor analysis implied that distinctions could be drawn between a number of different types of language means, for example, verbal, spatial, and reasoning ability, as well as a few others such as tests of perceptual speed and memory retrieval. The author concludes that bilingual people thing differently from monolingual because monitoring goals and evaluating the consequences of alternative actions are all, presumably, ingredients of the sort of reasoning and problem-solving.