Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Language Monster?

We are studying Sapir Whorf Hypotheis these days. Along with it there is another cousrse regarding Literary Theory in which we are studying Strucuralism. Both of these theories regard language as if it were a monster. The quotation from Whorf's writings "Humans beings are at the mercy of their Language" is the most controversial one. And then the strcutulists and post-structuralists say that language is superior to our thought. Every thing is a construct of langauge. What we perceive is due to language and nothing else. I am quite confused here because my personal attitude is towards medial way. I think language influences our thought but not determines it. There are lots of examples when human mind breaks the cage of language and thinks beyond the so-called singnification system. All the scientific discoveries and revolutionary ideas are the product of same process. We create words often to name the concepts which we have thought of or oberverd. I personally do not think that langauge 'determines' our thought. Ok I admit it influences but this influence is a biletral process.