How language affects the picture of the world?

Scientists with the help of experiments prove differences in thinking of people thinking in different languages. Human ideas about the time, space, causal relationships, relations with other people are formed from childhood, and if there are no numbers or names of flowers, ideas about the past and future, the landmarks left and right in your language, it is unlikely that these concepts will be included in Your picture of the world.

Perception of Time

In English 12 times, and the word "time" is included in the top of the most frequently used words, but there are people on earth who do not have concepts about time. This, for example, Amondava Indians living in the Amazon jungle. As shown by a recent study of Brazilian and British scientists, Amondava has no words for the designation of days, months, years and other periods. All changes in life – the transition to another social status or their maturity – they denote by changing their own names.

Time can not be caught nor touch, but many nations learned how to make it more specific, connecting with spatial characteristics: as a rule, the future is in front, and the past is behind. During the experiments, scientists have been proven that the English-speaking man at the thought of the future subconsciously leans forward, and in the thoughtless about the past – back. With an accuracy, the representative of the Bolivian Indians Aimara behaves: a speech about the past makes him lean forward, and talk about the future – back. This is due to the fact that the future is unknown, it is invisible, like what is hidden in our back. The past is well visible, like everything in front of our eyes.

Amoneva’s Amazonian researchers were surprised to celebrate the complete absence of spatial ways to designate the current. If in our picture of the world there is Monday, who we are upset, and Friday, who rejoice, then in the painting Amondava time as if it froze, it does not run and does not flow, it just has. Try to Complain Aboriginal on the lack of time, and you will feel what the difference mentality.

In our, there are two words to designate the shades of blue: "Blue" and "blue" – which allows us better than the British, distinguish between these two colors

Perception of space

Most of the languages ​​of the world are egocentric. People constantly use the pronoun "I" and describe the location of items and people regarding yourself using the words "ahead", "behind", "right", "left". A completely different spatial picture of the world from the Australian tribe Guguu Yimitir, who lives in Queensland. They do not know the concepts of "left" and "right", but focus solely on the sides of the world. To the interlocutor you understand you, you need to determine where the north, and where is the south, and say: "Ant crawls on a western leg" or "Plate stands in the south-east of the cup". Instead of greetings, it is necessary to ask: "Where are you going?", And even a five-year-old child with the go can call the direction.

According to linguistic estimates, about a third of the world’s languages ​​are used to designate space Absolute landmarks – lights of light. It can create difficulties for those who are only mastering the language. So, a known case with a small boy on the island of Bali in Indonesia, who gave to study dance to another village. However, a week later, the dancer returned with nothing. Teams of the teacher – "Make a step south" or "raise your western hand" – he simply could not fulfill, as he lost the orientation in an unfamiliar area. Adults, according to scientists, on the ground are much better oriented.

Indians Pirandan costs the concepts of "several" (one to four pieces) and "a lot" (more than five), while it is impossible to clarify what "one" mean, is outside their picture of the world

Time and space

Professor of the psychology of Stanford University, Lera Boroditski, conducted an interesting experiment: requested carriers of different languages ​​to lay out the cards on which any process was portrayed, stretched in time: the eating banana, the growth of the crocodile, the aging of the person. Each participant did the procedure twice while in different positions relative to the parties to the light. Results surprised. So, English media always laid out the cards from left to right, speaking Hebrew – right to left, respectively, how they are accustomed to write or read. In the case of the Australian Aboriginal from Pollpuro, which owns the language of Tiore, there was no value writing. Regardless of its own position in space, they have placed cards in the direction from East to West. At the same time, they were focused on their own: scientists did not give them any tips.

Language without numbers

While progressive mankind has developed a multi-valued system of numbers, there is a language completely devoid of numbers in the world.

The tongue of the Pirandan’s tribe living in Brazil in Amazonas, as surprised by the researcher Daniel Everett that he lived among this people for 30 years and turned from a missionary in Atheist and Professor-Linguist. There are no numbers and numeral languages ​​in the language, the Indians cost the concepts of "several" (one to four pieces) and "a lot" (more than five), while it is impossible to clarify what "one" mean, is outside their picture of the world. Scientists noted that they first encountered a language in which, in principle, there are no accurate quantitative indicators for measuring something.

Pirandan, like Amondava, no concept of time. The past does not matter for them, as well as the future: they do not make any food reserves, they live "here and now" and all ways are avoided sleep, as they believe that the dream is harmful, changes man and makes it weak. Their language is very primitive, it is distinguished by a limited vocabulary, in it only seven consonants and three vowels. Research of Everett his colleague Stephen Pinker called the "bomb abandoned at a party": for the first time found the language that completely contradicts the generally accepted theory of Noam Homsky on universal grammar of the world’s languages.

If the vase crashed, the Englishman will say: "John broke the vase," and the Japanese and Spaniard most likely formulate otherwise: "Vase crashed"


In the language of Pirants there are no designations for colors. They say about the red color "like blood", about black – "blood dirty", and instead of "green" and "blue" – "while immature". On the island of Rossel in Papua – New Guinea preserved an isolated Papasky yel tongue. It does not have the concept of "color" and the specific names of the shades, people talk about colors with the help of metaphors. Red is denoted by the word "Mitytier", from the breed of red parrots – "Miste". Black – Mgidimgidi, from the word "night" – Mgidi. About the White Man Papuas will say: "This man’s skin is white, like a parrot".

It has been established that people in the language of which are the names of flowers and shades, it is better to catch the differences in the color scheme. So, Zuni, the Indian people of the Pueblo group in the south-west of the United States, does not have certain names for orange and yellow, so Zunic makes it difficult to talk about these colors as different. In our, there are two words to designate the shades of blue: "Blue" and "blue" – which allows us better than the British, distinguish between these two colors.

How language affects the picture of the world

By the way, Zuni has a color cosmological model of the world: each direction of light for them is painted into a certain shade. North – Yellow, South – Red, West – Blue, East – White, Zenit (direction "Up", and over him four upper worlds) – Multicolor, and Nadir (direction "down" and under it four lower world) – black.

Who is guilty?

If the vase crashed, the Englishman will say: "John broke the vase," and the Japanese and Spaniard most likely formulate otherwise: "Vase crashed". In 2010, Boroditskaya and her colleagues carried out experience: the carriers of English, Spanish and Japanese showed video phrases, where two people pierced balloons, broke the eggs and shed liquids: in some cases accidentally, in others – on purpose. Respondents asked to remember who exactly the culprit of the incident. The carriers of all three languages ​​described the intentional events using the "accusatory" structures ("It is punctured the ball") and the perpetrators of the incident were equally well remembered. However, permeability of random incidents, Spaniards and the Japanese less often than the British, called the culprit.

What picture of the world develops in native speakers with such a structure? Boroditskaya argues that there is a connection between the focusing of English on the current person and the desire of law enforcement agencies of the United States to raise offenders rather than helping victims.

Paul and Rod

The language affects not only on the picture of the world, but also to the perception of man himself. Researcher from Michigan University Alexander Gira in 1983 led to observing groups of children speaking Hebrew, English and Finnish. It turned out that Jewish children realize their sexuality for a whole year earlier than Finnish (the British were somewhere in the middle). The scientist explains this features of linguistics: in Hebrew, the genus is denoted by many ways, and even the word "you" differs depending on the floor, and in Finnish the category of the region is absent in principle. English occupies an intermediate position.

Words also have a genus, and we used to think about them, having certain associations in my head. So, the bridge in our male genus, and we associate it with male qualities: strong, durable, massive. And in German, he is a female – Die Brücke, and native speakers are accustomed to to give him other associations: elegant, virtuoso, elegant and t. D.

In German, every word is indicated by the articles of the male, female or medium kind, and the naughters of the language is extremely difficult to understand why the turnip is, and a girl or a girl – it is. This language paradox rose Mark Twain in the article "On the terrifying difficulty of German":

Gretchen. Wilhelm, where turnip?

William. She went to the kitchen.

Gretchen. And where is the beautiful and educated English virgin?

William. It went to theater.

For the Germans, a brand of brand TV is – a practically intactive game of words, because they exist in their language picture of the world, where a girl, a horse, a woman (Weib) is all it, and no clarification here.

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