Re: Origin and function of language

Richard Foy (
Fri, 5 Jul 1996 14:10:43 GMT

In article <4rcl5r$>, MSCob <> wrote:
>A poster wrote:
>If the German language is a language that is rich in authoritarian
>convepts etc it could increase the probabilty of such things as the
>Holocaust. Also if the English language were a language of love of
>country as contrasted wtih duty to country it could lead to an edge
>in war along with of course a great productive capacity.
> You are assuming that the structure and meanings of words alone can
>influence what people do? There is a literature on that hypothesis, but
>I'm not aware that there has ever been very convincing evidence for it.
>Do you know of some? I should think that beliefs and customs and habits
>and emotional traditions would all be much more powerful than the
>structure of language, which of course would tend, over time, to reflect
>those former forces.

I do not know of any literature that proves that language struture
can influence behavior. However, I think that what you say is true
and another part of the concept.

I think it is a feedback porcess, that is that different cultures
develope different beliefs, customs, habits and emotional traditions
*over time.* These things *over time* influence the struture of
language, and vice versa.

It is to be noted that during war names for the enemy are almost
always used that paint them as less than human, thus making it much
more acceptable to kill them.

"Do you know why Moses wandered in the wilderness for fourty years."(pause)
He was a man and men don't ask directions." --Nun in the play Nunsense

URL Womens Quotations