Communication and cognition: a post-Whorfian approach
Dr Chiu, Chi Yue (Principal investigator)
Professor Krauss (Co-Investigator)
RGC General Research Fund (GRF)
HKU Project Code
General Research Fund (GRF)
To test the effect of language use on cognitive representation and socially shared cognitions. We posit that: (I) A language's grammatical structure is not sufficient to affect its speakers' ways of thinking. Rather, for it to influence the cognition of a state of affairs, the structure must be activated or used to describe, characterize, or label that state of affairs. (II) Using language to represent a state of affairs may evoke or create an internal representation that differs from the internal representations of the same state of affairs evoked or created by other means of encoding. (III) The internal representations evoked or created by language use may affect the languate user's subsequent cognitions. (IV) The form that the linguistic representation of a particular state of affairs takes will be affected by the contexts of language use, which include ground rules and assumptions that underlie language usage, audience design and the immediate, ongoing and emerging properties of the communication situation, and (V) Through communication, the private cognitions of individuals may be made public and directed toward a shared representation of the referent.