I have an intuition, and Hypothesis, that the native language we speak is responsible for our cognition and thinking skills.

e.g. Hebrew speaking people would have poor spatial ability compared to Sanskrit speakers because Hebrew has a simple morpho-spatial structure compared to Sanskrit.

If we come to the mathematics language domain, then it's very clear that different representations are comprehended differently by the human mind, and that we are better able to think in, say, the "geometrical domain". Hence transforming a problem to different domain is a common practice in mathematics to ease understanding of the problem and solve it efficiently.

e.g: It's easier to prove a certain theorem geometrically than algebraically

Also, it could be the other way round: our cognitive abilities could determine the language that would fit our ability, making language dependent on the innate cognition of the human mind.

  • 2
    I think your question is too vague to be answered with a yes or no. Also, this topic is considered extrememly controversial. You'll have many academics, mainly psychologists (not Pinker) and anthropologists, saying that language does determine/influence thought. On the other hand, many linguists and philosophers would probably say that it doesn't. My suggestion is this: go and check some references on pro and anti-whorfian literature and then you can start your own way.
    – edominic
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 16:08
  • 1
    Are you asking whether native language influences your intelligence? In that case, this question would be a duplicate. Let me know if I misunderstood your intention. :)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 16:18
  • not necessarily intelligence but cognition is much more then that, it may even include motor skills
    – lingo101
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 16:41
  • @Ali Ok :) I was asking just to be sure.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 9:44
  • I remember reading somewhere that native speakers of languages with shorter numerals tend to remember more numbers in average. I can not provide any evidence unfortunately.
    – shabunc
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Your idea is a variant of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which is generally not highly regarded anymore. However, it is widely recognized that people do construct categories that correspond to their language's words for plants, animals, body parts, etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.