A Review of the Language-Thought Debate: Multivariant Perspectives

Parviz Birjandi, Somayyeh Sabah


In recent times, there has been a growing interest in analyzing the relationship between language and thought from a variety of points of view to explore whether language comes before thought or thought precedes language. Accordingly, the present paper attempts at mulling over the current debates on this issue, including Chomsky’s (1975, 1983) Independent Theory, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (1956), Piaget’s Cognitive Determinism (1952, as cited in, Chaput, 2001), Vygotsky’s (1978, 1986) Theory of Interchanging Roles, O’brien and Opie’s (2002) Radical Connectionism, and Slobin’s (1987, 1991, 2003) Thinking for Speaking Hypothesis, which recently have received a great amount of attention, among other positions. Then the pedagogical implications of the Thinking for Speaking Hypothesis for Second Language Acquisition (SLA) are presented.


Language and Thought, Mould and Cloak Theories, Independent Theory, Sapir- Whorf Hypothesis, Cognitive Determinism, Theory of Interchanging Roles, Connectionism, Radical Connectionism, and Thinking for Speaking Hypothesis.

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