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Re: [ontolog-forum] language and thinking

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2010 11:14:47 -0400
Message-id: <4C7E6DE7.2010406@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ed,    (01)

> So, what is the relevance of feral children to the Whorf thesis?    (02)

I would emphasize that neither Benjamin Lee Whorf nor his
teacher, Edward Sapir, had actually stated the so-called
"Sapir-Whorf hypothesis."  (See excerpt below.)    (03)

A better way to approach the issue about feral children is to
compare the difference in behavior between chimps and bonobos
who have been taught some form of sign language with a control
group of apes who had not received such training.    (04)

For such a study and a detailed analysis of related issues, see
_Apes, Language, and the Human Mind_ :    (05)

http://books.google.com/books?id=L_q0bIifluQC&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=shanker+bonobos&source=bl&ots=iEja7ZkY14&sig=gROFzhihnRaW4yMJjVPZ5uMQcw8&hl=en&ei=VGN-TLufPIKC8gbq1qjfAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCUQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false    (06)

For a podcast by Stuart Shanker, the second author of that book,    (07)

http://brainsciencpodcast.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/podcast-7-bonobos-with-stuart-shanker-phd/    (08)

In this podcast, Shanker talks about issues related to child
development, neuroscience, and research on apes.    (09)

I highly recommend the podcast to anyone who may be interested
in this (admittedly off topic) issue.    (010)

John    (011)

PS:  Stuart Shanker was originally a Wittgensteinian philosopher,
and he got into this field because Ludwig W. had done some studies
of child language development and had commented on the research
on chimpanzees by Wolfgang Köhler.
__________________________________________________________________    (012)

Source: http://www.angelfire.com/journal/worldtour99/sapirwhorf.html    (013)

Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf brought attention to the 
relationship between language, thought, and culture. Neither of them 
formally wrote the hypothesis nor supported it with empirical evidence, 
but through a thorough study of their writings about linguistics, 
researchers have found two main ideas. First, a theory of linguistic 
determinism that states that the language you speak determines the way 
that you will interpret the world around you. Second, a weaker theory of 
linguistic relativism that states that language merely influences your 
thoughts about the real world.    (014)

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