RE: Debate opens anew on language and its effect on cognition

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 12:41:27 GMT

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: Debate opens anew on language and its effect on cognition"

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Debate opens anew on language and its effect on cognition
    Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 12:41:27 -0000
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    Very interesting, although I note that the article sidesteps the problem of
    English in this gendered-language influencing thought idea. German has
    three genders doesn't it- der, die, das; whereas its close associate English
    has none ('the'). I didn't think, perhaps our Far Eastern experts can
    confirm this, that languages like Japanese had terms equivalent to 'the'?

    I think seeing differences in bridge design based on the gender of the term
    is a bit specious to be honest. It's essentially a form of nominative
    determinism (there's a more correct term for this, I forget what it is
    though- recently in the New Scientist column 'Feedback' people have been
    sending in people with names appropriate to their job- a carpenter on a TV
    show last night was called Robin Wood, for example).

    Does the wobbling millenium bridge in London reflect its confusion at having
    no gender?

    Still, interesting piece.


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