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Whorf in the Wild: Naturalistic Evidence from Human Interaction
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism. Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Number of Authors: 22020 (English)In: Applied Linguistics, ISSN 0142-6001, E-ISSN 1477-450X, Vol. 41, no 6, p. 947-970Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The past few decades have seen a full resurgence of the question of whether speakers of different languages think differently, also known as the Whorfian question. A characteristic of this neo-Whorfian enterprise is that the knowledge it has generated stems from psycholinguistic laboratory methods. As a consequence, our knowledge about how Whorfian effects play out in naturally occurring behaviour (i.e. 'in the wild') is severely limited. This study argues that the time is ripe to redeem this evidentiary bias, and advocates a multidisciplinary approach towards the Whorfian question, in which insights from laboratory settings are combined with naturalistic data in order to yield a rounded picture of the influence of language on thought. To showcase the potential of such an approach, the study uses laboratory-generated knowledge on the influence of grammatical categories on cognition to interpret two examples of naturalistic human interaction and action in the domains of spatial navigation and scientific practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 41, no 6, p. 947-970
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-191251DOI: 10.1093/applin/amz050ISI: 000610508600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-191251DiVA, id: diva2:1538958
Available from: 2021-03-22 Created: 2021-03-22 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Bylund, Emanuel

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