Language and Linguistic Relativity: The Power of Words C. D. Schallhorn

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  • Language and Linguistic Relativity: The Power of WordsC. D. Schallhorn

  • LanguageThe limits of your language mean the limits of your world.Ludwig Wittgenstein

  • How Do Language and Thinking Interact?GrammarVocabularyOxymoronsEuphemismsLanguage as a Cognitive Map

  • GrammarRomance LanguagesFormal/Informal (tu/usted) (tu/vous)Masculine and Feminine Forms of NounsIn French, victim is feminineProfessions are masculine

  • More GrammarSpanishSingle is el and laPlural is los regardless of male-female ratio e.g. one male and 1000 females=losSame with French

  • VocabularyThe Inuit (aka Eskimos)20+ words for snowFiji IslandersNo words for snowMany words for coconuts

  • More VocabularyArabic (not using adjectives, but different words)700 words to describe camelsheight, weight, age, color, smell, etc.Side notein German, but not English schadenfreude

  • More VocabularyHawaiians25-30 different words for tides and wavesSurfers-glassy, macking, etc.Wauroni (S. American tribal people)No word for workNew Guinea tribal groupsNo words for war

  • More VocabularyHopi IndiansA single noun to refer to all flying things and beings (except for birds)Insects=planes=aviators=superman (bermeisch-in German)

  • More VocabularyAmericans and their love of carsTypes of non-commercial vehicles/transportatione.g. sedan, convertible, 4WD, hatchback, notchback, truck, pickup truck, SUV, mini-SUV, mini-van, Hummer, single and double-cab pickup, etc.

  • More VocabularyEpithetsslang terms for people/groups we do not likeNotice trends with thiswe tend to associate them with other things we do not like.e.g. epithets for males are female-based, e.g. gurly-man

  • PunsClick here

  • OxymoronsClick Here

  • Euphemistic LanguageWords that disguise the truthAttempt to alter reality by changing/cleansing the language.Associated with lies and deceit. It takes the life out of life.

  • Euphemism ExampleWWIwhen a soldiers body could no longer take the stresses of war and it shut down, it was calledSHELL SHOCK

  • In WWII, it was renamed to:BATTLE FATIGUEIn the Korean War, they called it:OPERATIONAL EXHAUSTION

  • By the end of the Vietnam war, it had been changed to:POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

  • Examples of double-speakBlind = visually impairedDeaf = hearing impairedCIA kills off a group of people = depopulate an areaA parachute = vertical decelerator

  • More examplesBombing = air supportA pet = animal companion or household non-human animalUnemployed = non-wagedMessy = organizationally impaired

  • More examplesEnergetic disassembly = an explosion at a nuclear power plantUsed car = previously owned vehicleA television with non-multicolor capability = a black/white television

  • Suffice to say that there are many more examples of this disturbing trend.

  • Periphrastics

  • The End