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ProtoSociology

Volume 30, 2013

Concepts - Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Agustin Vicente, Fernando Martinez-Manrique
Pages 89-106
DOI: 10.5840/protosociology2013305

The Influence of Language on Conceptualization
Three Views

Different languages carve the world in different categories. They also encode events in differ­ent ways, conventionalize different metaphorical mappings, and differ in their rule-based metonymies and patterns of meaning extensions. A long-standing, and controversial, ques­tion is whether this variability in the languages generates a corresponding variability in the conceptual structure of the speakers of those languages. Here we will present and discuss three interesting general proposals by focusing on representative authors of such proposals. The proposals are the following: first, that the effect of language in conceptualization is general and deep; second, that the effect is local, transient, shallow and easily revisable; and third, that there is no proper effect of language on conceptualization, although there is surely some cognitive impact of language: many conceptual tasks engage language one way or another.

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