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I'm particularly interested in works that explore empirical evidence for linguistic relativism and/or discuss implications on the limitations of cognition within a language.

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  • I am interested in the answers to this, but my objective opinion is that this question is purely opinion-based and therefore has no definitive answer. – Jonathan Komar Jan 19 '17 at 15:19
  • agreed, I'm just interested in seeing some interesting discussions :) – lsankar4033 Jan 26 '17 at 18:27
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This list includes both common recommendations and stuff I've actually read:

Deutscher, G. (2010). Through the language glass: Why the world looks different in other languages. Macmillan.

Gumperz, J. J., & Levinson, S. C. (1996). Rethinking Linguistic Relativity: Studies in the social and cultural foundations of language. Cambridge: CUP.

Lakoff, G. (2008). Women, fire, and dangerous things. University of Chicago press. (The chapter on Whorf and relativism)

McWhorter, J. H. (2014). The language hoax: Why the world looks the same in any language. USA: Oxford University Press.

Pinker, S. (2007). The stuff of thought: Language as a window into human nature. Penguin. (The chapter on '50,000 innate concepts')

Whorf, B. L., Carroll, J. B., Levinson, S. C., & Lee, P. (2012). Language, thought, and reality: Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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    Lakoff's 'Women...' is a lot older than that, c 1987, but probably more relevant than some of the longer works. – Mitch Jan 19 '17 at 13:45
  • Eh, I think it's a new edition - I got the citations from Google Scholar. (However, I'm also reading from the old edition). – WavesWashSands Jan 19 '17 at 14:03
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    Your list really hits the recent (past five years) discussion well. There's a constant stream of technical papers about the differences, for example, between English and Spanish speakers in gender ascription to objects and the popularization of stories about some tribe in the jungles of Shangri-La that can tell what all your grandparents died from by how you say "I'm going home". And these refs touch on all that. – Mitch Jan 19 '17 at 14:39
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There is a linguist in Michigan named Susan Goldin-Meadow who wrote a fascinating article contained in this book:

Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought (MIT Press)

https://www.amazon.com.mx/Language-Mind-Advances-Thought-English-ebook/dp/B00LG92I2W

She makes a case against the Whorf hypothesis using modern laser technology to track eye movement. This then shows that ergative thought remains even after a speaker routinely uses a non-ergative language for a long period of time.

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  • Sounds interesting! Are you aware of Bickel et al.'s study on nominative vs ergative systems? Put simply, they attempted to show that nominative systems are more natural to us. Does that conflict with Goldin-Meadow's findings, or are they compatible? – WavesWashSands Jan 19 '17 at 13:08
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    @WavesWashSands I am not familiar with it, but from your description, I'd venture to guess that it is quite incompatible. – Jonathan Komar Jan 19 '17 at 13:09
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Everett, C. 2013a. Linguistic relativity: Evidence across languages and cognitive domains. De Gruyter Mouton. vii +298 pp.

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