English and Chinese Culture Differences from Linguistic Viewpoint

Fen XIAO

Abstract



According to the idea of some Anthropologists, i.e., Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf, Sapir’s student, the unique organization of universe that is embodied in each language might act as a determining fact or in the individual’s habits of perception and of thought, thus forming and maintaining particular tendencies in the associated nonlinguistic culture. The idea provides us with a refreshing angle in understanding one of the important underlying causes for the difference between English and Chinese people in their ways of thinking, and thus induced ways of behavior toward their surroundings and some linguistic light on the historical myth mentioned by the famous British sinologist Joseph Needham and on why Chinese science ceased its development after Middle Ages.
Key words: Whorfian hypothesis, language, culture difference
Résumé: D’après certains anthrologues comme Edward Sapir et son étudiant, Benjamin Lee Whorf, l’organization unique de l’univers implanté dans chaque langage peut être servie comme un déterminant sur l’habititude individuelle d’observation et de la pensée, qui détermine et maintient une tendance particulière dans la culture non-linguistique. L’idée nous permet de comprendre une des raisons implicites des différences dans la pensée entre les chinois et les français, et induit des mainières de comportement envers leur environnement et donne une lumière sur le mythe histoire mentioné par le fameux sinologist Joseph Needham et explique pourquoi le développement de la science chinoise a arrêté après le Moyen age.
Mots-Clés: Hypothèse de Whorf, langage, différence culturelle

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.css.1923669720070305.018

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