How Language Shapes our World

An enlightening post on Language, enjoy!

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books by

Noam Chomsky is famous for his suggestion that language shapes the way we think. Put very simply, we have no concept of anything we can’t describe with words. He also believes there is a universal grammar that all humans instinctively adhere to.

Although I personally think he overstates his case, there’s no doubt in my mind that language does influence our perception of the world. Perhaps this is because I’m a non-native speaker, so I can see subtly changes in me when I switch from Greek to English. Friends have even claimed that my very voice sounds different. As Sue Vincent put it in her comment, there is a subtle and unspoken shading in words. A native speaker has an emotional attachment to words that never makes it into the dictionary and which can convey far more than just a grammatically correct combination of words alone can ever do.


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