Language may shape human thought [New Scientist]

Hunter-gatherers from the PirahÑ tribe, whose language only contains
words for the numbers one and two, were unable to reliably tell the
difference between four objects placed in a row and five in the same
configuration, revealed the study.

‘In the beginning was the word,’ of course. Ancient Jewish sages have
long said and modern quantum physicists more recently confirm that
creation is renewed in every moment.

This resonates too with the world of linguistic action, as invented by Austin & Searle
(who noted that certain verbs — like ‘request’ and ‘promise’ — are in
themselves the very actions they describe, in contrast to most verbs —
like ‘walk’ and ‘run’ — which are only descriptions) and developed by Fernando Flores, Chauncey Bell and others — working in very concrete, not at all mystical terms, with how we bring worlds into being through our speech acts.

Spread the love