The Philosophical Foundations of Humboldts Linguistic Doctrines


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The method claims therapeutic consequences. Language and thought. German approaches to analytic philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter This thesis has often been treated by anthropologists, linguists, and psychologists as an empirical claim, subject to scientific investigation, and a principal aim of this essay is to assess that general view of Whorf's thesis.

In this first part of the essay, a number of criticisms of Whorf's relativism are considered and are shown to rest on various misconceptions of Whorf's thesis. Crawford T. Davidson Donald, "On the very idea of a conceptual scheme," Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association Reprinted in: D. Davidson - Inquiries into truth and interpretation - Oxford, Clarendon Press, , pp. Duval Roch, "L'hypothse de Whorf s'applique-t-elle la philosophie? Brve rflexion sur les heurs et malheurs du rapport de la langue la culture avec la philosophie comme toile de fond," Horizons Philosophiques If the demise of Whorf's hypothesis, in the early Sixties, was tantamount to an irrevocably condemnation by the philosophical community, then how should philosophers react to the rejuvenation of Whorf's hypothesis?

In my opinion philosophers should take seriously the recent attempts to reformulate that hypothesis in order to avoid oversimplifications. I challenge William Harvey, Philosophy Today, summer , pp. Ellos William J. In his developed system surface language-forms are called phenotypes and depth-elements are termed cryptotypes. Meaning is the interplay between the two.

Penotypes are overt categories and cryptotypes are covert categories. Selective categories may be overt or covert but basically they work along lexemic lines. Modulus categories may be overt or covert but basically they work along grammatical lines. Semantic categories tend to be surface groupings of. Feuer Lewis S. Sapir's mentalism, in contrast to Whorf's associationism, is best understood in the rationalist tradition. His phonology is almost Platonist: "psychological reality" -- i.

His anthropology is also reminiscent of Plato in its insistence on a dialectical relationship with native informants. However his epistemological insight that "syntax modulates understanding" resembles a central theme of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. Fishman Joshua A. Foley William A. Anthropological linguistics. An introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishers The first concerns the relation between colour vision and colour terms, the second some possible differences between China and the West with respect to the linguistic and cognitive use of counterfactuals.

A concluding section will contain some systematic reflections. Goddard Cliff, "Whorf meets Wierzbicka: variation and universals in language and thinking," Language Sciences This paper explores the similarities and differences between her "natural semantic metalanguage" NSM approach and the linguistic theory of Benjamin Lee Whorf. It shows that while some work by Wierzbicka and colleagues can be seen as "neo-Whorfian", other aspects of the NSM program are "counter-Whorfian".

Issues considered include the meaning of linguistic relativity, the nature of conceptual universals and the consequences for semantic methodology, the importance of polysemy, and the scale and locus of semantic variation between languages, particularly in relation to the domain of time. Examples are drawn primarily from English, Russian, and Hopi. German philosophy's idealist, unitary and systematic tendencies are attributed to German's end-verbs, case system, root morphemes and initial qualifiers. French philosophy's dualism and rationalist analysis are ascribed to that language's more abstract signifiers and its description by progressive discrete divisions.

And English philosophy's skeptical materialist empiricism is attributed to English's mixing of French and German syntax and lexicons, and to the higher incidence of passive constructions in English. Haugen Einar. Linguistic relativity: myths and methods. In Language and thought: anthropological issues. Hoijer Harry.

The relation of language to culture. In Anthropology today: an encyclopedic inventory. Edited by Kroeber Alfred Louis. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press Kroeber The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. In Language in culture: Proceedings of a conference on the interrelations of language and other aspects of culture. Edited by Hoijer Harry. Chicago: Chicago University Press Humboldt Wilhelm von. On language: On the diversity of human language construction and its Influence on the. Second edition without Aarsleff's introduction: In its strongest form, the hypothesis states that language controls both thought and perception.

Several experiments have shown that this is false. The weaker form of the hypothesis, which states that language influences thought, has been held to be so vague that it is unprovable. The argument presented herein is that the weaker Whorfian hypothesis can be quantified and thus evaluated. Models of cognition developed after Whorf's day indicate ways in which thought can be influenced by cultural variations in the lexical, syntactical, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of language. Although much research remains to be done, there appears to be a great deal of truth to the linguistic relativity hypothesis.

In many ways the language people speak is a guide to the language in which they think. Imai Mutsumi and Gentner Dedre.

Linguistic relativity vs. In What we mean and how we say it. Papers from the parasession on the correspondence of conceptual, semantic, and grammatical representations. Edited by Beals J. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society Imai Mutsumi and Gentner Dedre, "A cross-linguistic study of early word meaning: Universal Ontology and linguistic influence," Cognition However, Soja et al. To test whether the distinction between object names and substance names is conceptually or linguistically driven, we repeated Soja et al.

Japanese does not make a count-mass grammatical distinction: all inanimate nouns are treated alike. Thus if young Japanese children made the object-substance distinction in word meaning, this would support the early ontology position over the linguistic influence position. We used three types of standards: substances e. The subjects learned novel nouns in neutral syntax denoting each standard entity. They were then asked which of the two alternatives -- one matching in shape but not material and the other matching in material but not shape--would also be named by the same label. The results suggest the universal use of ontological knowledge in early word learning.

Children in both languages showed differentiation between complex objects and substances as early as 2 years of age. However, there were also early cross-linguistic differences. American and Japanese children generalized the simple object instances and the substance instances differently. We speculate that children universally make a distinction between individuals and non-individuals in word learning but that the nature of the categories and the boundary between them is influenced by language.

Imai Mutsumi. Universal ontological knowledge and a bias toward language-specific categories in the construal of individuation. In Evidence for linguistic relativity. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Imai Mutsumi and Mazuka Reiko, "Language-relative construal of individuation constrained by universal ontology: revisiting language universals and linguistic relativity," Cognitive Science In this article, we examine the relations between language, the ontological distinction with respect to individuation, and the world.

Specifically, in cross-linguistic developmental studies that follow Imai and Gentner , we examine the question of whether language influences our thought in different forms, like 1 whether the language specific construal of entities found in a word extension context Imai and Gentner, is also found in a nonlinguistic classification context; 2 whether the presence of labels per se, independent of the count-mass syntax, fosters ontology-based classification; 3 in what way, if at all, the count-mass syntax that accompanies a label changes English speakers' default construal of a given entity?

On the basis of the results, we argue that the ontological distinction concerning individuation is universally shared and functions as a constraint on early learning of words. At the same time, language influences one's construal of entities cross-linguistically and developmentally, and causes a temporary change of construal within a single language. We provide a detailed discussion of how each of these three ways language may affect the construal of entities, and discuss how our universally possessed knowledge interacts with language both within a single language and in cross-linguistic context.

Imai Mutsumi and Mazuka Reiko. Reevaluating linguistic relativity: language-specific categories and the role of universal ontological knowledge in the construal of individuation. In Language in mind. Advances in the study of language and thought. Cambridge: MIT Press Jedynak Anna.

The philosophical foundations of Humboldt's linguistic doctrines (Book, ) [anacuvebeh.tk]

On linguistic relativism. In The Lvov-Warsaw School. The New Generation. Edited by Jadacki Jacek and Pasniczek Jacek. Amsterdam: Rodopi Joseph John E. Updated and reprinted in: From Whitney to Chomsky: essays in the history of American linguistics - Amsterdam, John Benjamins, , pp. The popular mis interpretations of Whorf and Chomsky: what they have in common, and why they had to happen.

In From Whitney to Chomsky. Essays in the history of American linguistics. An extended and updated version is included as Chapter 10 in E. Koerner - Professing linguistic historiography - Amsterdam, John Benjamins, pp. Koerner Ernst Frideryk Konrad. Towards a 'full pedigree' of the 'Sapir-Whorf hipothesys'. From Locke to Lucy. In Explorations in linguistic relativity. John Benjamins On the sources of the 'Sapir-Whorf hypothesis'. In Toward a history of American linguistics. London: Routledge Immediate and not so immediate sources of the 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis': methodological considerations.

In Linguistic historiography:. Kowal Kristopher H. Rhetorical implications of linguistic relativity. Theory and application to Chinese and Taiwanese interlanguages. New York: Peter Lang Kurzon Dennis. A tale of two remedies. Equity, verb aspect and the Whorfian hypothesis. Liverpool: Deborah Charles Publication Landesman Charles, "Does language embody a philosophical point of view?

Mon Apr 9 2001

Then, considering the claimed correlation between grammatical and conceptual categories, he argues that grammar has no metaphysics and does not influence thought. The author concludes that language in use embodies a point of view only in the weak sense that relations and distinctions implicit in necessary concepts constitute a philosophical theory about reality.

A new insistence on accuracy of all instruments and all observations;. A new mental sophistication, expressed as contempt for easy theories of the past, or as taking lightly the theoretical mechanisms and entities of the past;. A new set of conceptual tools: isomaps, graphs, theory of errors; and. Application of these tools not to laboratory isolates but to the immense variety of real phenomena, so as to produce laws dealing with the very complex interrelationships of the physical, the biological, and even the human.

Among the most famous of his achievements was the ascent of Mount Chimborazo m on 23 June together with Bonpland and Montufar. He climbed, with a wounded foot, wearing only simple walking shoes and dragging all their instruments through thick fog, stopping short at about m from the peak because of an impassable ravine. Their barometer recorded a height of nearly 19 feet, a world record at the time Humboldt Humboldt was proud to note that measurements could be made with the magnetic needle at a height which was metres higher than the top of Mont Blanc. It was disillusioning later to find that recorded Himalayan heights exceeded those of Chimborazo.

Actually, if measured from the centre of the earth, Chimborazo juts out further than Everest fig. Figure 4. Because the earth is flattened at the poles, Chimborazo, which is located close to the Equator, extends more than 1 km out from the centre of the earth than Mount Everest, even if measured from sea-level is more than 2 km higher. This figure exaggerates the vertical scale by a factor of 50 near the surface of the earth. Source: Sketch by Bertram Broberg. They surveyed and mapped, listed and classified, sketched and wrote about a vast range of phenomena; not only on the flora, fauna, physiognomy and geophysics of the New World landscapes, but also on their social and economic geography.

Individual volcanoes were presented in terms of volcanic fields; botanical phenomena in terms of altitudinal as well as spatial zonation; human livelihoods in terms of economic base and cultural norms Humboldt c. Figure 5. Alternative locations for the construction for the Panama Canal. Source: Humboldt A. He noticed, for example, the dramatic differences between tropical black and white water rivers. In dry seasons when they were separated by their low water level, the black water rivers were almost free of insects, their banks infertile, and only small fish survived in the waters.

But the area around the white water rivers Orinoco, Rio Blanco, Rio Magdalena was swarming with hostile insects, their banks were rich in vegetation, and all kinds of life forms were found in the water. The reason, he suggested, might lie in the chemical composition of the water. Today in fact it is known that the black water is almost entirely lacking in oxygen, hostile to insects, with pH values of 4. The pH values of the white water rivers are 7. In the Jesuit priest Manuel Roman had actually travelled on this canal, but when this was reported by La Condamine to the French Academy, it was met with disbelief.

Humboldt and Bonpland travelled up the Casiquiare from the Rio Negro and found the place where it enters the Orinoco, mapping this for posterity. It is They imagined that two large hydrographic basins could only be separated by high lands, or that a large river could not change direction except through obstruction by a mountain chain. Cited in Beck and Bonacker, , p. XIII, p. Study of Nature beyond the tensions between Encyclopedisme and Natur-philosophie ;. Transcending the split of subject and object via experiment, trusting human senses rather than instruments;.

Metamorphosis as essential feature of life, emerging from tensions between opposing tendencies Light-dark, Diastole-Systole, Inhalation-exhalation;. Nature study as Bildung , leading to metamorphosis of the scientist;. World as expression of one universal idea Seamon and Zajonc, ; Buttimer, In a letter to Caroline von Wolzogen, Berlin, In the Amazon forests, as on the peaks of the Andes, I had the feeling that the same life infiltrates stones, plants and animals, as well as the swelling breast of humankind, as if animated by a single spirit from pole to pole. While each element demanded specialised analytical attention in order to establish its own specific rules of order and organization, the most important challenge was that of integrating all these knowledges.

And wherein might lie secrets of such integration? The most succinct expression of these convictions, and in fact a microcosm of his entire oeuvre , is found in his work on the geography of plants. One of the very first products of the American observations, and allegedly the basis for Cosmos , Naturgemalde der Tropenwelt: Geographie der Pflanzen in den Tropen-Landern, ein Naturgemalder der Anden , published in Tubingen, was dedicated to Goethe Biermann, , p. Goethe was thrilled. In a letter dated 3 April Geiger, , p. I have read through the volume several times with great attention and I have begun, even without the promised cross-sectional diagram, to imagine a landscape myself where, at a scale of toises approx.

I enclose a copy of this sketch, partly for fun, partly seriously, and I ask you to make corrections on it with feather pen and with colours if you like, and also to make some notes on the page and return it to me as soon as possible. Figure 6. Source: A. Later, however, when the eventual map showing the global distribution of vegetation types was finalised, it was accompanied by succinct diagrams which model altitudinal variations in plant distribution and a wide range of other patterns. Tableau physique des Andes et pays voisins , he summarised lessons on the interconnectedness of terrestrial phenomena.

One central mountain, presumably modelled on Chimborazo, with two others — perhaps Cotopaxi and Pichincha - nearby show the altitudinal zonation of vegetation forms fig. Figure 7: Geography of plants in tropical lands. A tableau of the Andes and neighbouring regions. Table 2.

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Geo-physical Tableau of Equinoctial Regions. Vertical Columns showing altitudinal variations in:. Chemical composition of air oxygen, hydrogen, carbon. In these immense chains of cause and effect, nothing can be regarded in isolation. The overall equilibrium which exists throughout major perturbations is the result of an infinite range of mechanical forces and chemical reactions all of which balance each other. While each series of facts needs to be studied separately in order to discover its own rules of order, the general study of nature demands that all knowledge about transformations of matter be then combined cited in Sorre, , p.

Beyond all scientific ambitions, too, Humboldt daringly insisted on the value of nature study as Bildung , and the geography of plants as a basis for philosophical reflection. I might even have hoped that this would evoke widespread public interest: indeed many have already shown a marked interest in not only my own personal well-being but also in the success of the expedition itself. But before speaking about myself and the obstacles I had to overcome on these journeys, I should rather draw scholarly attention to the major natural phenomena encountered in these regions. This essay offers an overall view of observations which are treated in greater detail in other works, currently under preparation for public readership.

The physical scientist who is already aware of the current state of science, especially in meteorology, will not be too surprised to see such a large range of topics treated in so few pages. If I had spent more time on drafting this essay, it would even be shorter; a tableau should contain only those major physical features and results which are certain and amenable to precise quantitative measure.

Already in I sent a first outline of a Geography of plants to M. Georges Forster, famous companion of Cook and one with whom I had close ties of friendship and gratitude. Subsequent studies in several branches of physical science have helped me to gain a wider understanding of these initial ideas. My voyage to the tropics supplied me with precious materials for a physical history of the globe. And it was there, in full view of these marvellous phenomena which I wanted to describe, at the foot of Chimborazo, on the South Pacific shores, that I wrote most of this text.

I thought I should maintain the title An Essay on the Geography of Plants because any less modest title might have revealed its imperfections and rendered it less worthy of the indulgence of the general public. I therefore could not hope to express myself with the same purity of style that could be expected for a book written in my own language.

Working together for six years, being kinked with the closest of friendships, sharing the pains of travel in hitherto uncultivated lands, we agreed that both of our names would be associated with whatever results would ensue from our expeditions. The greatly renowned M.

Language & Meaning: Crash Course Philosophy #26

Laplace has gratified me through his interest in not only the materials I brought with me, but also in those offered since my return to Europe. His genius illumines and enlivens, as it were, everything about him so that his generosity has become as valuable to me as it has to all young people who approach him.

Biot has graciously honoured me with his advice in the writing of this essay. Decandolle has supplied me with interesting data relating to the geography of plants on the high Alps; M. It was important to compare equinoctial vegetation with that found in Europe. Delambre agreed to enhance my tableau with several hitherto unpublished altitudinal measures. A good number of my barometric observations were calculated by M. Prony, following the Laplace formula, but taking account of the influence of gravity. This respected scholar has kindly agreed to check with his own eyes over of my own measures of altitude.

Before this was done, It would have been imprudent to publish the maps which I sketched on the continental interior, or even in the narration of my journey earlier; since the location and actual altitude of the sites influence everything in those regions which I traversed. I dare to take pride in the fact that I am especially hopeful that those longitudinal observations made while navigating the Orinoco, the Casiquiare and the Rio Negro will be of interest to all those involved in the geography of South America.

From my work in the field, on the actual site itself, I did not expect such a bitter response 6 to my discovery that river courses and mountain directions were quite different from those indicated in the La Cruz map; but this is the fate of travellers: they displease others when they reveal facts that are contrary to taken-for-granted views. I lived for five years in the midst of an honest and loyal nation and never encountered in the Spanish colonies any other obstacle to overcome except those presented by the physical environment.

The memory of this official benevolence, as well as the expressions of affection and interest shown by all classes of people in both the Americas, will remain forever engraved in my soul. Botanists concentrate almost exclusively on identifying new plant species, the study of their external structures, the characters that distinguish them and the correspondences that unify them in classes and families. It must be regarded as indispensable for progress in scientific knowledge concerning the medical properties of plants, their cultivation, or their salience in practices of the arts; though it is worth capturing the exclusive attention of many botanists, and even being studied according to philosophical points of views, it is equally important to identify the Geography of plants, a science which has still only a nominal existence but one which constitutes an essential component of the general physical description of the earth.

We do not know how far down plants can exist: but some precise observations made on subterranean vegetation in both hemispheres prove that the interior of the earth is animated throughout every corner wherever organic seeds have found a suitable space and appropriate nourishment for them to develop. On those rocky frozen summits which the eye can scarcely distinguish above the clouds there are only mosses and lichenous plants. Similar cryptogams, some atrophied, some coloured, ramify on the roofs of mines and subterranean caves.

Thus at these two opposite limits of vegetation, there are creations of similar structure; the physiology of each is equally unknown. Others assemble in societies like ants and bees, covering vast expanses and excluding all heterogeneous plants. Such plants are strawberry plants Fragaria vesca , bilberry plants Vaccinium myrtillus , Polygonum aviculare, Cyperus fuscus, Aira canescens, Pinus sylvestris, Sesuvium portulacastrum, Rhizophora mangle, Croton argenteum, Convolvulus brasiliensis,.

Brathys juniperina, Escallonia myrtilloides, Bromelia karatas, Sphagnum palustre, Polytrichum commune, Fucus natans, Sphoeria digitata, the lichen Haematomma, Cladonia paschalis,Thelephora hirsuta. From the banks of the Orinoco to those of the Amazon and the Ucayale, over expanses of more than five hundreds leagues, the entire surface is covered with thick forests; and if these were not interrupted by rivers, the monkeys - virtually the only inhabitants of these tracts - could leap from northern to southern hemispheres simply by jumping from one branch to another.

But these vast forests do not give the same impression of uniformity as the social plants. Each part has a different appearance. In one place, for example, one finds mimosas, Psychotria or melastomes and in another place laurel, Caesalpines, Ficus, Carolinea and Hevea , which interlace their branches: none of these is dominant.

But this is not the case in the tropical regions bordering New Mexico and Canada. From the latitudes of the 17th to the 22nd degrees N, the entire country of Anahuac, this entire plateau of - m above sea-level, is covered with oak and a variety of fir which is similar to Pinus strobus. On the eastern slopes of the Cordillera, in the valleys of Jalapa, a vast forest of liquidambars can be found : the characteristics of soil, vegetation and climate resemble those of temperate lands; a case which one could not find anywhere else in South America at this latitude.

This continent widens out toward the North pole and continues northwards much more than the European continent; this makes the climate of Mexico much cooler than it should be, given its latitude and elevation above sea-level. The vegetation of Canada and of regions located even further north diffuses toward the South and the volcanic mountains of Mexico are covered with the same firs which should theoretically only be found at the headwaters of the Gila and Missouri.

But the oaks that crown the heights of the Tenochtitlan valley are of the same species as those which grow at the 45th parallel, and if a painter travelled through the lands located in the tropics to study the character of its vegetation, he would not find here the beauty and diversity of shapes displayed by equinoctial plants. He would find, on the same parallel as Jamaica, forests of oaks, firs, C upressus disticha and Arbutus madronno ; forests which display the features and the monotonous character of the social plants of Canada, Europe and northern Asia.

They would appear as broad swathes of vegetation whose irresistible extension restrict the human population of states, separating neighbouring nations and posing obstacles to communication and trade even more serious than do mountains or oceans. Take the case of heather - that combination of Erica vulgaris, Erica tetralix, the Lichen icmadophila and Haematomma which stretch from the most northerly tip of Jutland, across Holstein and Luneburg, to the 52nd parallel of latitude.

From there it extends westwards through the granitic sands of Munster and Breda all the way to the ocean shores. Those arable patches - the only results of activity which are beneficial for mankind - appear like little islands amidst the heath; visitors could imagine them like those Lybian oases whose fresh greenery offer such a contrast to the desert sands.


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This very moss rendered vast territories uninhabitable by those nomadic peoples whose folkways were described by Tacitus. A geological fact encourages this phenomenon. The most ancient peatlands, those which are a mixture of muriate of soda and marine shells originate from ulvae and Fucus , whereas the most recent and the most widespread, on the contrary, arose from Sphagnum and Mnium serpillifolium; their existence thus proves how these cryptogams abounded on the earth in earlier times.

By cutting down the forests, agricultural peoples have lowered the humidity of the earth climate; marshes were drained and useful plants diffused gradually over the plains previously occupied by cryptogams which make farming impossible. All along the Andean heights, at elevations of m, one finds Brathis juniperina, Jarava a genus of grasses akin to Papporophorum , Escallonia myrtilloides , several species of Molina , and especially Tourettia , whose sap provides nutrition for which poor Indians had to wrestle with bears.

On lowlands separating the Amazon River from the Chinchipe, one finds Croton argentum , Bougainvillea and Godoya together; just as in the Orinoco savannas one finds the palm tree Mauritia together with sensitive herbaceous plants and Kyllingia. In the kingdom of New Granada, the Bambusa and the Heliconia form uniform swathes, uninterrupted by other plants: but instances of the close association of the same species of plants are fewer and usually less extensive than in temperate climates.

The geography of plants provides precious data for this research field: it can show, with some degree of certainty, how islands which were once united are now separated; it can document the fact that the separation of Africa from South America occurred before the development of organized life forms.


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This science can also determine which plants are common to east Asia and to the coasts of Mexico and California; whether there are plants which live in all zones and at all elevations above sea-level. Diacranum scoparium , Polytrichum commune , Verrucaria sanguinea and the Verrucaria limitata of Scopoli occur in all latitudes, in Europe as at the equator, and not only on high mountain chains, but also at sea level, wherever there is shade and humidity.

Others explorers have asserted that cryptogams are rare in the tropics, but this may be because they have only visited the dry coastlines or small islands of cultivation, without going sufficiently far into the interior parts of continents. Lichenous plants of the same species can be found at all latitudes: their form seems as independent of influences of climate as of the nature of underlying rock on which they dwell.

Claims that Alcine media, Fragaria vesca , and Solanium nigrum have this advantage which only humans and a few accompanying mammals have, are vain. North American strawberries are different from those of Europe. Bonpland and I believed to have found some of the later on the Andean Cordilleras, travelling from Magdalena to Cauca valleys across the snows of Quindiu.

The solitude of these forests of styrax, tree-high passiflores and wax palm trees, the absence of any crop cultivation or other evidence nearby and other circumstances, all dispel any suspicion that this strawberry plant was brought here by humans or by birds; but if we had had the opportunity to observe this plant in bloom, we might have found it different from Fragaria vesca , just as Fragaria elatior differs only slightly from Fragaria virginiana: at any rate, over the five years of our observations of vegetation on both hemispheres, we did not collect any European plant which has been spontaneously produced on South American soil.

One must confidently believe that plants such as Alsine media, Solanum nigrum, Sonchus aleraceus, Apium graveolens and Portulaca oleracea, are plants which, indeed like peoples of the Caucasian race, are found widely in northern regions of the Old Continent. This science can find petrified fruits of India, palm trees, bracken, scitaminales and tropical bamboo, buried in the frozen ground of the north; it can explore the issue of whether these equinoctial products, as well as the bones of elephants, tapirs, crocodiles and didelphis which have recently been found in Europe, could have been carried to these temperate zones by currents in a submerged world, or whether these climates already themselves once nourished palm trees, tapir, crocodiles and bamboo?

One is more inclined to accept the latter opinion, when one considers the local circumstances surrounding petrifications in India. But could such increases in local temperature have endured sufficiently long as would explain these phenomena? Could an increase in solar radiation at certain periods have spread tropical warmth to polar regions? Are these variations which would render Lapland habitable for equatorial plants, elephants, tapirs periodic? Or are they due to some passing perturbations in our planetary system? Shedding light on the very primitive history of our planet, it opens a richly interesting field for the imagination.

Most animals do not leave their mothers until they reach adulthood. Plants, on the other hand, once anchored in the earth after their development, can move only while still contained in the egg whose structure facilitates mobility. But the migration of plant seeds is due to not only wind, oceanic currents and birds; humans especially play a major role.

This transition from nomadism to agriculture comes quite late for northern peoples. In the equinoctial regions between the Orinoco and the Amazon, the density of forests prevents the native from living solely on hunting; he is obligated to raise a few plants, some Jatropha , banana, and Solanum , for subsistence. Fishing, the fruit of palm, trees, and some small cultivated lands if the assemblage of such a small number of plants could be called cultivation , these are the sources of nutrition for South American Indians. The state of primitive people is everywhere modified by conditions of climate and soil.

These are the only sources of differences which distinguish early Greeks and Bedouin herders, and distinguish these from Indians in Canada. Thus in Europe, the vine followed the Greeks, the wheat the Romans, and the cotton the Arabs. In America the Tultecs brought maize with them; potatoes and quinoa are found everywhere traversed by inhabitants of the ancient Condinamarca. These plants have obviously migrated, but their origin is as little known as that of different human races found all over the earth in remote times, as recorded in traditional accounts. South and east of the Caspian Sea, in ancient Colchis, on the banks of the Oxus, and especially in the province of Kurdistan where perpetual snow covers mountain tops at m.

We do not know if this is their original land or whether, once cultivated there, they later became wild, thereby proving their very ancient culture in these regions. These fertile lands situated between the Euphrates and the Indus, between the Pont Euxin and the Persian Gulf, have furnished Europe with its most precious products. Modulus categories may be overt or covert but basically they work along grammatical lines. Semantic categories tend to be surface groupings of linguistic elements and hence carry no meaning.

Feuer, Lewis S. Fielding, David. Sapir's mentalism, in contrast to Whorf's associationism, is best understood in the rationalist tradition. His phonology is almost Platonist: "psychological reality" -- i. His anthropology is also reminiscent of Plato in its insistence on a dialectical relationship with native informants. However his epistemological insight that "syntax modulates understanding" resembles a central theme of Wittgenstein's later philosophy.

Fishman, Joshua A. Foley, William A. Anthropological Linguistics. An Introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishers. Franzen, Winfried. The first concerns the relation between colour vision and colour terms, the second some possible differences between China and the West with respect to the linguistic and cognitive use of counterfactuals.

A concluding section will contain some systematic reflections. Gentner, Dedre, and Goldin-Meadow, Susan, eds. Language in Mind. Advances in the Study of Language and Cognition. Goddard, Cliff. This paper explores the similarities and differences between her "natural semantic metalanguage" NSM approach and the linguistic theory of Benjamin Lee Whorf.

It shows that while some work by Wierzbicka and colleagues can be seen as "neo-Whorfian", other aspects of the NSM program are "counter-Whorfian". Issues considered include the meaning of linguistic relativity, the nature of conceptual universals and the consequences for semantic methodology, the importance of polysemy, and the scale and locus of semantic variation between languages, particularly in relation to the domain of time.

Examples are drawn primarily from English, Russian, and Hopi. Gumperz, John J. Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Introduction: linguistic relativity re-examined by John J. Gumperz and Stephen C. Levinson 1;. Introduction to Part I by John J. Levinson 21; 2. The scope of linguistic relativity: an analysis and review of empirical research 37; 3.

From "thought and language" to "thinking for speaking" by Dan I. Slobin 70; 4. Intra-speaker relativity by Paul Kay 97; 5. Imaging in iron, or thought is not inner speech by Charles M. Keller and James Dixon Keller ;. Levinson ; 6. The origins of children's spatial semantic categories: cognitive versus linguistic determinants by Melissa Bowerman ; 7.

Relativity in spatial conception and description by Stephen C. Levinson ; 8. Cognitive limits to conceptual relativity: the limiting-case of religious ontologies by Pascal Boyer ;. Levinson ; 9. Language form and communicative practices by William F. Hanks ; Projections, transpositions, and relativity by John B. Haviland ; Communities, commonalities, and communication by Herbert H. Clarck ;. The linguistic and cultural relativity of inference by John J. Gumperz ; Linguistic resources for socializing humanity by Elinor Ochs ; When animals become "rounded" and "feminine": conceptual categories and linguistic classification in a multilingual setting by Elsa Gomez-Imbert ; Index Harvey, William.

German philosophy's idealist, unitary and systematic tendencies are attributed to German's end-verbs, case system, root morphemes and initial qualifiers. French philosophy's dualism and rationalist analysis are ascribed to that language's more abstract signifiers and its description by progressive discrete divisions. And English philosophy's skeptical materialist empiricism is attributed to English's mixing of French and German syntax and lexicons, and to the higher incidence of passive constructions in English.

Haugen, Einar. Hennigfeld, Jochem. Hoijer, Harry. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. International Symposium on anthropology prepared under the chairmanship of A. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Humboldt, Wilhelm von. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hunt, Earl, and Agnoli, Franca. In its strongest form, the hypothesis states that language controls both thought and perception.

Several experiments have shown that this is false. The weaker form of the hypothesis, which states that language influences thought, has been held to be so vague that it is unprovable. The argument presented herein is that the weaker Whorfian hypothesis can be quantified and thus evaluated. Models of cognition developed after Whorf's day indicate ways in which thought can be influenced by cultural variations in the lexical, syntactical, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of language. Although much research remains to be done, there appears to be a great deal of truth to the linguistic relativity hypothesis.

In many ways the language people speak is a guide to the language in which they think. Imai, Mutsumi. Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Imai, Mutsumi, and Gentner, Dedre. Universal Ontology. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society. However, Soja et al. To test whether the distinction between object names and substance names is conceptually or linguistically driven, we repeated Soja et al.

Japanese does not make a count-mass grammatical distinction: all inanimate nouns are treated alike. Thus if young Japanese children made the object-substance distinction in word meaning, this would support the early ontology position over the linguistic influence position. We used three types of standards: substances e. The subjects learned novel nouns in neutral syntax denoting each standard entity. They were then asked which of the two alternatives -- one matching in shape but not material and the other matching in material but not shape--would also be named by the same label.

The results suggest the universal use of ontological knowledge in early word learning. Children in both languages showed differentiation between complex objects and substances as early as 2 years of age. However, there were also early cross-linguistic differences. American and Japanese children generalized the simple object instances and the substance instances differently.

We speculate that children universally make a distinction between individuals and non-individuals in word learning but that the nature of the categories and the boundary between them is influenced by language. Imai, Mutsumi, and Mazuka, Reiko. In this article, we examine the relations between language, the ontological distinction with respect to individuation, and the world.

Specifically, in cross-linguistic developmental studies that follow Imai and Gentner , we examine the question of whether language influences our thought in different forms, like 1 whether the language specific construal of entities found in a word extension context Imai and Gentner, is also found in a nonlinguistic classification context; 2 whether the presence of labels per se , independent of the count-mass syntax, fosters ontology-based classification; 3 in what way, if at all, the count-mass syntax that accompanies a label changes English speakers' default construal of a given entity?

On the basis of the results, we argue that the ontological distinction concerning individuation is universally shared and functions as a constraint on early learning of words. At the same time, language influences one's construal of entities cross-linguistically and developmentally, and causes a temporary change of construal within a single language. We provide a detailed discussion of how each of these three ways language may affect the construal of entities, and discuss how our universally possessed knowledge interacts with language both within a single language and in cross-linguistic context.

Cambridge: MIT Press. Jedynak, Anna. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

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Joseph, John E. Updated and reprinted in: From Whitney to Chomsky: essays in the history of American linguistics - Amsterdam, John Benjamins, , pp. Essays in the History of American Linguistics , Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Kay, Paul, and Kempton, Willett. Koerner, Ernst Frideryk Konrad.

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