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Linguistic Determinism definition | Psychology Glossary | alleydog.com

Linguistic Determinism

Linguistic Determinism is a concept taken from the narrow field of analytic philosophy and postulates that human language limits and determines human thought patterns and knowledge. This concept makes an assumption that language both reflects and limits human mentality and its ability to make cross-cultural connections.

If you've studied a foreign language, you may have learned that no two languages describe or conceptualize the world in exactly the same way. Each language possesses a hidden history of the culture and place in which it originated and those elements do not precisely translate into another language or mindset, only an approximation. An example of this is that the Eskimo language, because of the frozen environment where it originated, has many different words for snow that describes whether it is wet, dry, blowing, heavy, light, etc. while in English we have only one word for it.

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