The cultural adaptability of the Athabaskan-speaking peoples is in the strangest contrast to the inaccessibility to foreign influences of the languages themselves.
Psycholinguistic studies explored motion perception, emotion perception, object representation and memory. The Athabaskan languages form as clearly unified, as structurally specialized, a group as any that I know of.
Most of his arguments were in the form of anecdotes and speculations that served as attempts to show how 'exotic' grammatical traits were connected to what were apparently equally exotic worlds of thought. Pinker in The Language Instinct ridiculed this example, claiming that this was a failing of human insight rather than language.
American linguist William Dwight Whitneyfor example, actively strove to eradicate Native American languagesarguing that their speakers were savages and would be better off learning English and adopting a "civilized" way of life. Google Scholar 4.
Sapir: No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The Chomskyan school also holds the belief that linguistic structures are largely innate and that what are perceived as differences between specific languages are surface phenomena that do not affect the brain's universal cognitive processes.
Although Whorf lacked an advanced degree in linguistics, his reputation reflects his acquired competence. Hopi rather distinguishes the "manifest," all that which is accessible to the senses with no distinction between present and past, and the unmanifest" comprising the future as well as what we call mental.
We cut up and organize the spread and flow of events as we do largely because, though our mother tongue, we are partes of an agreement to so so, not because nature itself is segmented in exactly that way for all to see.
He concluded that the use of the word empty in connection to the barrels had led the workers to unconsciously regard them as harmless, although consciously they were probably aware of the risk of explosion. Critics such as Lenneberg, Black and Pinker attribute to Whorf a strong linguistic determinism, while LucySilverstein and Levinson point to Whorf's explicit rejections of determinism, and where he contends that translation and commensuration is possible.