Image Schemas and Linguistic Relativity

Wallace Chafe chafe at
Sat May 8 00:08:36 UTC 2004

I also was very puzzled by your statement "It follows that image schemas
are the same for everyone, regardless of the language a person speaks." It
doesn't follow at all. It's tricky to separate thought from language, since
thought is so influenced by language, but thought also involves imagery and
emotions, at least. While there may be substantial universals in those
areas, there's no reason to believe that there aren't substantial
differences too. Sorry to butt in, but I kept being disturbed each time I
read the many postings I got of your message.

--Wally Chafe

> Hello Funknet Members,
> I have received several emails arguing "against' the position supposedly
> taken in the call for abstracts. I think that unfortunately the wording
> may have been been misleading. The purpose of the workshop is to question
> the general assumptions about the universality of image schemas in
> relation to the assumptions about linguistic relativity. We want to put
> all the cards on the table and figure out what's what, according to what
> we know would be consistent with the rest of cognition. As such, if any
> Funknet members would like to join the discussion, we will welcome your
> abstracts until Sunday night at midnight at the latest.

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