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As I have come into contact with different languages in life I began to wonder whether some languages are more geared toward science, efficiency, literature or whatever.

It seems like certain countries are consistently good at certain things such as science, math, literature, innovation, creativity. It may be based on stereotype, but let's accept that in general the 'stereotypical' view is based on fairly accurate data. For instance, English certainly seems more limited in it's descriptive ability than Spanish - bad for English literature. Conversely, English seems more succinct than Spanish - good for giving instructions/commands.

I'll stop there because I am not interested in specific anecdotal instances but whether there are any studies or research on this general concept.

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    "For instance, English certainly seems more limited in it's descriptive ability than Spanish - bad for English literature." Hahaha whatever. Generalisations such as these are universally worthless. – curiousdannii Feb 12 '16 at 13:35
  • curiousdannii - speaking of worthlessness, thanks for the comment. – Martin Fawls Feb 14 '16 at 13:27
  • As far as I know, natural languages don't vary much when it comes to their ability to describe whatever their speakers have on their minds. The idea that "English certainly seems more limited in its descriptive ability than Spanish is untrue. – James Grossmann Jul 27 at 23:41
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The answer to your question is most likely "no." It may seem reasonable at first blush to imagine that the differences among languages' grammatical features reflect the differences among the cognitive styles of the populations that speak the languages. However, this is simply not the case. Take a look at John McWhorter's fine book, "The Language Hoax" for further information.

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  • thanks. I will look for that book, it sounds interesting. – Martin Fawls Feb 14 '16 at 21:10
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The answer is definitely No. However, not everyone agrees. You can read Keith Chen's article on the subject. He basically claims that the way languages use or not use future markers affects the way they deal with money. But also see the replies here and here.

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