/阅读理解 Section C
The intimate relationship between speakers and their speech has led some scholars to suggest that language determines the view we have of the world around us. Different languages segment natural phenomena differently. We name seven colors in the rainbow: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red in this order or the reverse. Speakers of other languages may see only four, as did Turkish before our system was introduced, or even as few as two, roughly the lighter shades versus the darker. There is nothing in nature to demonstrate how we should chop up the spectrum of the rainbow, which is made up of a scale of various wavelengths. But when we have learned a given language, we distinguish the shades it designates, both in the rainbow and elsewhere. Many students of language assume from such a situation and other similar situations that language determines much of the shapes and patterns we see in the world around us, that it directs our concepts and actions.
Changes in the choice of language, then, might modify behavior. Today gasoline tracks are generally labeled "flammable (易燃的)". The in- prefix was often taken as equivalent, to that of words like"inanimate" and"inaccurate", where in- means "not". It is actually the in- of words like"intense" and, "inflect", where it strengthens the meaning. The word "inflammable", then, means "highly flammable". The faulty interpretation of language, however, determined the attitudes of many speakers, who thereupon adjusted their behavior in relation to the language. Prudent truck owners have taken notice and changed the warning to "flammable".
Such observations led Whorf to a concern with deeper patterns of language, such as the use of tenses in the languages of Europe. Tense is the linguistic expression of time. English and other European languages generally require their speakers to identify the time of an event, whether present: It's raining; past: It rained; or future: It will rain. By contrast, many languages, such as the Hopi language of New Mexico, lack expression for tense. Nor do such languages objectify (使具体化.time. In Hopi one cannot count day, minutes, years as though they were objects like stones or bottles. Everyday expressions like "I'11 wait two days" or "Three years went by" are impossible in Hopi.
Comparing such languages Whorf proposed that our use of tense, "our objectified view of time is favorable to historicity ( 史实性 .and to everything connected with the keeping of records. " That is to say, because of the patterns for referring to time in English and other languages, their speakers maintain records and emphasize bookkeeping, accounting, and the like. Further, we are interested in calendars, clocks, and time graphs as well as in history and archaeology (考古学). In accordance with it one's conceptions of the world is relative to the language one learns.
While the relativity hypothesis has attracted considerable attention, it has never been experimentally demonstrated to the valid. A large scale attempt to test the outlook of Hopi-speaking children versus English-speaking children turned out to be inconclusive ( 不确定性). It remains a task of future scholars to determine whether the hypothesis is valid and also whether one should assume a weak or strong position with regard to it. Clearly we are deeply tied to our native language. But whether it regulates our perceptions or our view of the world is still an open question.
1.[单选题]The purpose of the experiment which compares Hopi and English is to
A.prove that people are deeply influenced by their native language
B.find out whether language is closely related to the view of the word
C.support the idea that language is closely related to the outlook of the world
D.see how superior English-speaking children are in the outlook of the world
2.[单选题] According to some language students, what is the consequence of learning a new language?
A.We can learn different expressions of the same thing.
B.It can influence our concepts and actions.
C.It contributes to a creation of new language systems.
D.It becomes possible to distinguish differences between languages.
3.[单选题]The case of the label "flammable" proves that
A.language can indeed affect our choices of actions
B.prefixes if used incorrectly may lead to disaster
C.some truck drivers are potential experts of languages
D.misunderstanding can happen even among workers
4.[单选题]Based on Whorf's conclusion, the author thinks that different languages
A.result from different ideas on time and space
B.result in different accounting systems
C.have different approaches to history recording
D.lead to different views towards the world
5.[单选题]It can be inferred that the use of tense
A.is completely unnecessary in some local languages
B.converts abstract ideas into objective things
C.helps avoid certain ambiguity in concepts or ideas
D.makes it possible to modernize Hopi language