Grammatical Categories and Cognition: A Case Study of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 4, 1996 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 211 pages
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John Lucy uses original, empirical data to examine the Sapir-Whorf linguistic relativity hypothesis: the proposal that the grammar of the particular language that we speak affects the way we think about reality. The author compares the grammar of American English with that of the Yucatec Maya, an indigenous language spoken in Southeastern Mexico, focusing on differences in the number marking patterns of the two languages. He then identifies distinctive patterns of thought relating to these differences by means of a systematic assessment of memory and classification preferences among speakers of both languages.
 

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Contents

Background of the comparative research in Yucatan Mexico
7
Information on fieldwork and task administration
16
Comparison of grammatical categories nominal number in English and Yucatec
23
Description of English
24
Description of Yucatec
40
Comparison of Yucatec and English
56
General summary
83
Cognitive assessment
85
Object task
136
General discussion
147
Construction of picture stimuli
162
Administration of task series
179
Scoring conventions and summary data for verbal tasks
185
Notes
198
References
204
Index
208

Picture task series
93

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Page 2 - the languages of the communities being studied must be contrasted as to how they differently construe a common reality. This will involve a formal analysis of the morphosyntactic categories of the language with special attention to their referential values, that is, their relationship to the contextual surround.

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