I've recently become curious about this area of language/linguistics. I'm thinking about how mental, environmental and societal constructs are encoded within languages. Also about what a language reveals about these things reveal about contexts and mental constructs prevalent while the language emerged.
I'm also curious about the * range * of constructs that are known to have been encoded in language, to get a sense what it might cover.
It was sparked by a fiction story many years ago, by Larry Niven, in which a completely novel language point encoded a quite significant difference of perspective. The alien species in the story had two words for "mine/yours" - an intrinsic "mine" meaning "inherently part of me" and an extrinsic one meaning "associated with me" - and the observation that the use of a common word tended to foster confusion between the two, and tended to encourage or at least not deter considering extrinsic associations ("my" boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse) as being intrinsic parts of their own being ("part of me" in an emotionally equivalent way as "my" body part).
I got wondering about this. Obviously there are well known structures deeply encoded into many languages - gender, for example, or social hierarchy/relationships. Others relate to environment - the classic words for types of snow/ice in the Arctic, or types of sand in the deserts. But what else? And what topic keys would I look up, to find out more?
I'm more interested in linguistic encodings for novel mental perspectives, rather than purely environmental ones, if that helps.