Friday, May 2, 2014

John McWhorter - We've Been Told that Different Languages Create Different Worldviews. They Don't.

There is solid evidence (see this and this), that bilinguals exhibit different personality traits in different languages. However, it is much more accurate to note that it’s not language that makes people different, but the culture associated with the language. We would not argue, for example, that if someone is more jocular in a clown suit than in a tuxedo, the reason is the clothing. Rather, we would say that those clothes are associated with certain emotions and attitudes. Theoretically, one could be quite the party animal in a cummerbund, and quite the downer while wearing face paint, a red nose, and large shoe.

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