Beeinflusst Mehrsprachigkeit die Persönlichkeit?

Im Oxford Dictionaries-Blog stellt sich Jennifer Walker die Frage, ob Mehrsprachigkeit die eigene Persönlichkeit beeinflusst. Präziser: Wechselt die Persönlichkeit mit dem Wechsel der Sprache mit?

Blom and Gumperz’s study on the “Social meaning in linguistic structure: Code-switching in Norway” […] supports the argument about language and context, finding that speakers use alternate languages in conversation depending on their social situation. […] While context certainly played a role in the choice of language, it also demonstrated a link between language and identity. Blom and Gumperz’s paper revealed an effect known as Situational Code-Switching, which is the tendency for bilinguals or bilingual communities to use a different language in different situations or to mark a different situation. […] “Different languages do shape the way we think, they perhaps cause a change in emotion, cognition or even affect memories, but I rather [think] language shifts identity more than personality,” says Fogle.

Damit eng verbunden ist die Sapir-Whorf-Hypothese, die nicht nur die Frage nach der Identität stellt, sondern die gesamte Wahrnehmung und deren intellektuelle Verarbeitung unter den Einfluss einer Sprache stellt.

The controversial Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis states that the available words in a given language guide one’s thinking, sometimes leading to thoughts in one language that cannot be articulated or understood in another, as well as postulating that the structure of the language can strongly influence one’s world view. […] Languages provide a window into our thoughts, offering a medium in which we communicate and articulate them. But when it comes to emotion, or even words with emotional connotations in certain languages, the perspective in a given language also forms certain concepts and emotional expression.

Sprache beeinflusst unser Denken und das Beherrschen von Fremdsprachen reduziert Befangenheit. Wie anders als mit einem lauten „Ja!“ kann man dann die im Beitragstitel gestellte Frage beantworten?

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