Whorf in the Wild : Naturalistic Evidence from Human Interaction

Athanasopoulos, Panos and Bylund, Emanuel (2020) Whorf in the Wild : Naturalistic Evidence from Human Interaction. Applied Linguistics, 41 (6). 947–970. ISSN 0142-6001

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The past few decades have seen a full resurgence of the question of whether speakers of different languages think differently, also known as the Whorfian question. A characteristic of this neo-Whorfian enterprise is that the knowledge it has generated stems from psycholinguistic laboratory methods. As a consequence, our knowledge about how Whorfian effects play out in naturally occurring behaviour (i.e. ‘in the wild’) is severely limited. This study argues that the time is ripe to redeem this evidentiary bias, and advocates a multidisciplinary approach towards the Whorfian question, in which insights from laboratory settings are combined with naturalistic data in order to yield a rounded picture of the influence of language on thought. To showcase the potential of such an approach, the study uses laboratory-generated knowledge on the influence of grammatical categories on cognition to interpret two examples of naturalistic human interaction and action in the domains of spatial navigation and scientific practice.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Applied Linguistics
Additional Information:
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Applied Linguistics following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Panos Athanasopoulos, Emanuel Bylund, Whorf in the Wild: Naturalistic Evidence from Human Interaction, Applied Linguistics, 41 (6), https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amz050 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/applij/article-abstract/41/6/947/5626203
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? linguistics and languagelanguage and linguisticscommunication ??
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Deposited On:
12 May 2020 08:45
Last Modified:
08 Mar 2024 00:54