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Linguistic relativism

216 bytes added, 1 year ago
Clarify distinction between linguistic relativism and UG
'''Linguistic relativism''' refers to speculations about the relationship varied influence of different language to thought, and more specifically, to the role of language in influencing upon thought. So-called "strong" forms of linguistic relativism are known as [[linguistic determinism]]: The [[Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis]] is the best known example, in so far as it proposes that perception and cognition is determined or constrained by characteristics that vary between languages. A "weak" interpretation supposes that linguistic differences may influence "performance", but do not limit "competence".
Linguistic relativism is often contrasted with theories of [[universal grammar]] (UG), notably as elaborated by [[Noam Chomsky]]. UG emphasizes the role of evolution in developing a universal "mental grammar" as a capacity of the human species, which is said to serve as a foundation for all natural languages. The concept of universal grammar does not preclude the notion that language has a role in the formation of thought, but proponents such as Steven Pinker argue that the common biological basis for language is a much stronger determiner than differences between languages.
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