SSP Distinguished Speaker Lecture: Lera Boroditsky on Language and Thought
Symbolic Systems Program
The Annual Symbolic Systems Distinguished Speaker Lecture for 2021
How Language Shapes Thinking
Cognitive Science Department, University of California, San Diego
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Language allows us a myriad of ways to construe everything from basic physical features like colors and shapes to complex societal issues like crime or immigration. I will review the ways in which both the languages we speak, and the particular constructions we’re exposed to within those languages shape the ways we think. Linguistic frames create pathways for thinking, making some elements of an issue seem obvious while obscuring others. I’ll highlight some powerful ways that language shapes thinking, showing that sometimes even a single word imbedded in a narrative can covertly shape the way we construe situations and reason about events.
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