Linguistic Relativity

Fargo - Chit Chat

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Having experiences traveling around the country, many people find Minnesotan accents to be a novelty. In this clip from the movie "Fargo", two Minnesotan men are discussing a recent homicide in the town. The example does a great job of portraying the conversational mannerisms and (overwhelmingly polite, questioning, not all that descriptive, and full of town references) and linguistic relativity that one finds in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Posted by Brighid Hegarty on June 29, 2018

Tags:
Northern Cities;
Variation;
Accent;
Linguistic Relativity

Patterns behind color names around the world

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Berlin and Kay did a study in 1969 comparing the ways people of different native languages recognized and categorized colors. Some, like russian had words for as many as 12 color categories, while some had as few as 4. They came up with the hypothesis that they are derived in a certain order across languages, Black and white, red, green/yellow, blue, brown, then the rest. There are criticisms in this study as the sample size was small and all participants, while native speakers of a variety of languages, were bilingual english speakers. Sometimes words for color categories can come as a noun resembling the color, eg tree sap-like, ocean like. We also do this in english to describe more specific colors like the entire pantone spectrum; seafoam green, lava orange, blood red. Upon review the same researchers re-checked their methodology with more languages including unwritten ones, and a larger sample size.

Posted by Andrew Hutchens on June 29, 2018

Tags:
Language Shift;
Communities of Practice;
Linguistic Relativity

Linguistic Identity

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This talk delivers that language help people establish a linguistic identity, and a writing system is important for people to become literate. The language reflects who you are. The speaker treats her belonging to the Canada language community, not the USA region. The speech communities express the social identities and relations.

Posted by Song Du on January 12, 2018

Tags:
Linguistic Relativity

Spanish Words "White" People Can't Say

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A comedic take on "white" people trying to pronounce Spanish words and their struggle in the performance of a basic Spanish lexicon—even in words that share a striking spelling resemblance to its English cognate. Some noteworthy examples appear when the participants are asked to pronounce “refrigerador” and “negar,” with some subjects showing visible apprehension to merely attempt the latter.

Relatively speaking: do our words influence how we think?

The author of this 2014 article found in The Guardian dives into Linguistic Relativity. At the start of the article the author describes overhearing a conversation at the Berlin Airport where one of the individuals states, "They sound like they're angry all the time, don't they? Speaking that language all day must do something to your brain." bringing the author to question how language shapes ones thoughts. From there the author begins to explore the origins of linguistic relativity with the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis and it's relevance in todays society. [Published on 01-29-2014]

Posted by Jenna on August 17, 2017

Tags:
Linguistic Relativity

Mark Zuckerberg speaks fluent Mandarin during Q&A in Beijing

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Mark Zuckerberg, the creator and owner of Facebook, speaking fluent Mandarin in a Question and Answer forum. This clip shows how the ability to communicate with people from other parts of the world, in their native tongue can go along way and make a powerful connection.

Posted by Chandler Butler on July 25, 2017

Tags:
Performativity;
Contact;
Linguistic Relativity;
Multilingualism

Maz Jobrani: Comedy TedTalk in Qatar

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Maz Jobrani is an Iranian-American who does a lot of comedy to bridge Americans with the Middle East, and to bring awareness of Middle Easterners.

Why Germans Can Say Things No One Else Can

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This video talks about language and it's ability to allow for thought, emotion, and the expression of feelings. It talks specifically about the German language and how they have a wide variety of words they can use to better describe a situation or feeling other languages might not be able to do as effectively. It explains many examples of this, along with the appropriate meaning in English. Having a different set of words to think with and use allows for a wide variety of unique knowledge one can obtain. This video just scratches the surface of the importance of language, and how language in our lives can change the way we think and interpret the world around us.

People Around The World Try An American Accent

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After completing a assignment over #hispandering, I was curious about the flip side, mock English. In this video, individuals from around the world give their impression of an American accent, typically using common phrases and terms associated with the particular accent. I personally have a midwestern accent and use y'all more than I probably should, however, I did not take offense to the individuals in the video who attempted a midwestern accent.

Posted by Cooper Seely on June 23, 2017

Tags:
Mock Spanish;
Accent;
Linguistic Relativity

Intertextuality: Panic! At the Disco

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The song Victorious by Panic has lyrics which mention "50 words for murder, and I am every one of them" in reference to the belief started that there are 50 (or more) words in the Eskimo language for snow.

Posted by Tamara Tyner on May 12, 2017

Tags:
Linguistic Relativity

The Italian Man Who went to Malta.

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Warning: explicit language This hilarious video exhibits people who have different accents and ways of saying the same words in English. Because of this, there is a lot of miscommunication. There is also linguistic relativity happening in that these people speaking the same language have different meanings for the same words pronounced differently. All in all, quite a funny predicament.

Posted by John Agulia on May 11, 2017

Tags:
Accent;
Linguistic Relativity

Alice Walker: Fear of Being Feminine

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Alice Walker is an American novelist, poet, and civil and women’s rights activist. She is best known for her critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. In this video, she talks about the negative repercussions of referring to women as ‘guys’. The type of situation she is referencing are when someone, say a server at a restaurant, walks up to a group of women and addresses them by saying “Hi guys, how are you doing today?” Men and women both do this in America and it only perpetuates the fear of being feminine, or a female in general. With so many women still fighting for equal rights, it is crucial to be proud of being a woman and for women to not label themselves or other women as ‘guys’. This way of speaking stems from the fact that the English language is a “masculine default” language. This means that masculinity, along with masculine terms, are the default in English and other feminine terms have been unnecessarily created in order to differentiate between a male and female performing the same role. A good example of this sociolinguistic model is actor vs. actress and waiter vs. waitress. The original words are changed when talking about a woman when really, the word itself is just supposed to describe the job someone is doing. Although feminine words are added, many people still use the masculine terms by default, creating an alienation and feeling of unimportance or lack of superiority for women. Unfortunately, the aforementioned linguistic features, along with calling a group of women “guys”, are innate in most people’s vocabulary and using them can be a very difficult habit to break. Walker suggests women coming together to change the way that they label themselves and other women in order to first separate women from men and then empower those women. Although it may seem like a small step on the way to equality, it is an extremely vital one.

Perfomativity of language in different speech communities

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The video is a speech made by Donald Trump. Trump used to be a host in a famous show. It would be difficult to connect the image of a host with a candidate of president. It is obvious that the different speech communities that Donald Trump are in contribute to the different styles of speaking.

Language Learning and Transitions

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Trevor Noah explains how his native language and his father's native language collide and how he tries to learn the tones, pitches and language of German and how each sound in each word can come across differently.

Posted by Melissa Clair on July 28, 2016

Tags:
German;
Linguistic Relativity;
Multilingualism

African-American ASL

Variations that have developed and been maintained by White and Black signers of ASL are examined to reveal surprising cultural implications [Published on 09-07-2012]

Facebook Wants to Build a Glossary of New Slang

With the rise of social media in our everyday lives where traditional language conventions are not always used, there have been new forms of slang and internet slang coming about daily. This article shows how Facebook wants to detect the uses of slang on their website and create a dictionary to give meaning to all of these new words. This technology will attempt to predict cool slang words before they are “cool”.

Posted by Matt McLaughlin on March 11, 2016

Tags:
Standard Language Ideology;
Accommodation;
Linguistic Relativity;
Slang

Modern Educayshun

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This short video written and directed by Neel Kolhatkar is very satirical, but also very effective in proving his point. This video suggests that the political correctness and hypersensitivity of today’s society actually might have some harmful effects. This video shows how the dangers of this type of language may occur in a very exaggerated way.

Posted by Matt McLaughlin on March 11, 2016

Tags:
Grammaticalization;
Language Shift;
Education;
Linguistic Relativity

A Remote Amazonian tribe could fundamentally change our understanding of language

This article talks about the recent discovery of the language of a remote tribe in the Amazon that may be drastically different from any other known languages. A researcher from MIT teamed up with one of the few non-native Piraha speakers in the world to try to analyze the differences. This research may change our understanding of how language works and how it developed.

What is Hispandering?

The article explains what Hispandering is and how politicians are exposing it. It provides evidence to the strong relationship that culture and language have. It also shows how culture identification is a large factor to how language is interpreted. [Published on 03-10-2016]

Posted by Steven Goldstein on March 11, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Code-switching;
Linguistic Relativity

Does language shape how we think? Linguistic relativity & linguistic determinism

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This video explains and simplifies what linguistic relativity and linguistic determinism is.

Posted by Brittany Weinlood on March 9, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Standard Language Ideology;
Linguistic Relativity

Sapir-Worf

This video displays an example of the Sapir-Worf hypothesis by giving the example of a male nurse versus a female nurse. The video is only a sample.

Posted by Zana Pascoe on March 9, 2016

Tags:
Femininity;
Masculinity;
Gender;
Linguistic Relativity;
Sexism

Cinco de Mayo at the White House

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In this video President Barack Obama describes the history of Cinco de Mayo and the United States stance on the day and the celebration that occurs.

Posted by Katherine Helms on March 9, 2016

Tags:
Linguistic Relativity;
Multilingualism

Parents confused by children's use of internet slang

This article describes the difficulties parents have understanding the language being used by their children on the internet. As the new generation grows up and more generations begin we start to see a change in linguistic tendencies and cultures catch on. And with the ever-growing world of the internet, we can expect these changes in slang to come as frequent as every month. [Published on 05-01-2015]

Posted by Ainise Havili on March 7, 2016

Tags:
Youth;
Internet Language;
Linguistic Relativity;
Slang

How to understand the differences between British and American English

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The video does a great job at comparing words and the differences in meanings they can portray whether being interpreted from someone from the U.S OR U.K. It shows the power of the interpretation of language and how it can cause an interaction to be positive or negative. It shows the importance of linguistic relativity and the social context individuals are a part of.

If Asians said the Stuff White People Say

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The video is a complete spoof but it does a great job of identifying how the Asian population can be categorized into one giant category. It illustrated linguistic discrimination and shows how the social context you live in cam influence a cultures way of thought.

Posted by Steven Goldstein on March 6, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice;
Linguistic Relativity

17 Reasons Americans Should Be Embarrassed They Only Speak English

This article gives insight onto why only being able to speak English, as is common to a majority of American's, is not a good thing. This article expresses how, as American's we should strive to learn other languages instead of expecting others to know ours. [Published on 03-19-2014]

Meet the Man Who Speaks 15 Languages

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Alex Rawlings speaks 15 different languages, and he explains how speaking another language can provide a different perspective on life. "Languages open doors that you never knew were there."

Posted by Kristi Sparks on March 5, 2016

Tags:
Code-switching;
Linguistic Relativity;
Multilingualism

Emotions that have no names in English

A chart of how emotions that have no names in English relate to emotions that have names in English.

Posted by Brian Pener on March 5, 2016

Tags:
English;
Globalization;
Linguistic Relativity

Words that sound dirty in other languages

The article details how a word that is innocuous in one Language is very offensive in another. [Published on 01-02-2015]

Posted by Brian Pener on March 5, 2016

Tags:
Contact;
Globalization;
Linguistic Relativity

Racialism, Ebonics, and Style

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This video addresses common racial discrepancies in America through how "black" and "white" people talk. It also touches on style of speech being construed differently among races. It is a nice viewpoint on why people talk certain ways.

Debunking Whorfianism

This powerful message about identifying with Veganism principles shows a correlation between the discrimination of diversity in relation to language and Whorfianism. Marla Rose supports some core ideas from John McWhorter's book "The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language". [Published on 02-11-2015]

Posted by Tricia Roberson on February 5, 2016

Tags:
Communities of Practice;
Linguistic Relativity

Radiolab: Why isn't the sky blue?

A 2013 Radiolab episode that begins with a study demonstrating that Homer had no word for blue, and goes to discuss research on the ordering of cross-linguistic color terminology, a classic area of study in early theories of linguistic relativity.

Posted by Kara Becker on April 4, 2013

Tags:
Linguistic Relativity

NY TImes: Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

A 2010 article on the recent resurgence of attention and research on Linguistic Relativity.

Posted on September 25, 2012

Tags:
Linguistic Relativity