The influence of language in conceptualization: three views

ProtoSociology 20:89-106 (2013)
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Different languages carve the world in different categories. They also encode events in different ways, conventionalize different metaphorical mappings, and differ in their rule-based metonymies and patterns of meaning extensions. A long-standing, and controversial, question is whether this variability in the languages generates a corresponding variability in the conceptual structure of the speakers of those languages. Here we will present and discuss three interesting general proposals by focusing on representative authors of such proposals. The proposals are the following: first, that the effect of language in conceptualization is general and deep; second, that the effect is local, transient, shallow and easily revisable; and third, that there is no proper effect of language on conceptualization, although there is surely some cognitive impact of language: many conceptual tasks engage language one way or another.
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