Linguistic Determinism – Essay Example
The paper "Linguistic Determinism" is a great example of a humanitarian essay. The idea of language determinism implicates with the concept that language determines thought. People of different languages have different ways of thinking about issues. Language holds great importance in shaping how we conceive different ideas and express ourselves. This mini-paper argues that language influences and shapes people’s worldview. Different languages have different words for the same thing (Henderson & Scott, 2015, p.1). For example, in English language, green and blue are two different colors; but, in some languages, they are the two shades of the same color. Vietnamese, for instance, use the word xanh both for the green tree leaves and for the sky. This example highlights how different languages conceive colors in different ways, which influences people’s views about the world in a broader sense. Let’s look upon another interesting example. Guugu Yimithir is a language spoken by an indigenous group in Australia. In this language, people use cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) instead of simple directions (left, right, etc.) as spoken in the English language. For instance, to describe a direction, an Englishman would say, “Go to the right, then walk straight, and then turn left to reach the library.” Guugu Yimithirr would say, “Go north, then walk straight in the north and then turn west to reach the library.” This change in lexis changes the whole attitude of the speaker toward the world (Weiler, 2015). To conclude, language influences an individual’s worldview to a significant extent. Learning a new language which is very different from one’s own may provide one with the chance to learn about the new culture and new vocabulary which may give his worldview an entirely different shape.