chapter
2 Pages

Whorfi an hypothesis

Roberson, Davies, and Davidoff (2000) carried out further research on the Berinmo. In one study, they considered categorical perception, meaning that it is easier to discriminate between stimuli belonging to different categories than stimuli within the same category (see Chapter 9). In the English language, we have categories of green and blue, whereas Berinmo has categor ies of nol (roughly similar to green) and wor (roughly similar to yellow). Roberson et al. presented participants with three coloured stimuli, and asked them to select the two most similar. Suppose two of the stimuli would

normally be described as green in English and the third one as blue. According to the notion of categorical perception, English speakers should regard the two green stimuli as being more similar. However, there is no reason to expect Berinmo speakers to do the same, because their language does not distinguish between blue and green. In similar fashion, Berinmo speakers presented with two nol stimuli and a wor stimulus should select the two nol stimuli but there is no good reason why English-speaking participants should do the same.