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Advances in Culture and PsychologyVolume 3$
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Michele J. Gelfand, Chi-yue Chiu, and Ying-yi Hong

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199930449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199930449.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 April 2021

The Role of Language and Culture in Universality and Diversity of Human Concepts

The Role of Language and Culture in Universality and Diversity of Human Concepts

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Role of Language and Culture in Universality and Diversity of Human Concepts
Advances in Culture and Psychology

Mutsumi Imai

Takahiko Masuda

Oxford University Press

The influence of language and culture has been investigated across different research disciplines such as anthropology, cognitive psychology, and cultural psychology, but such research all tends to ask whether language (or culture) influences cognition in general, without clearly specifying what is meant by “language” or “culture.” This chapter proposes an alternative approach, whose aim is to specify a complex interplay among various factors—including universal cognitive constraints, perceptual affordances provided from the world, task-specific constraints, language-specific biases, and culture-specific cognitive styles—to account for people’s behavior in a given cognitive task and the developmental trajectory of that behavior. To establish this point, four research programs examining the roles of language and culture in terms of construal and organization of objects, relations among objects, and actions are reviewed.

Keywords:   whorfian hypothesis, conceptual development, lexical development, conceptual universals, object categorization, count-mass, taxonomic relations, thematic relations, classifiers, lexicalization patterns, verb learning

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