“To Have a Second Lanuage is to Have a Second Soul”


How much does language shape our thinking capabilities?  Does it exist only as a tool to reproduce/translate thought or does it take an active role the production of thought?

Lera Boroditsky, a professor of psychology at Stanford, examines the dialectic by which language both reflects and shapes thought. At the end of the article Boroditsky says that the next step in research should be an investigation of “the mechanisms through which languages help us construct the incredibly complex knowledge systems we have.”  Isn’t that what linguists (and later on, semioticians) have been doing since the beginning of the 20th Century?

Daniel Gumbiner is a student at UC Berkeley. He has lived in Chile and Argentina. He blogs with his brother, David, at smartwool.tumblr.com More from this author →