“Kay and Kempton  interpret Whorf  as follows:
“‘Whorf [. . .] suggests that he conceives of experience as having two tiers: one, a kind of rock bottom, inescapable seeing-things-as-they-are (or at least as human beings cannot help but [page break] see them), and a second, in which [the specific structures of a given language] cause us to classify things in ways that could be otherwise (and are otherwise for speakers of a different language).'” (p 14-15)
“Kay and Kempton argue that color cognition involves an interaction between these two tiers. The existence of a universal groundwork for color cognition helps to explain why there are constraints on color naming systems across languages [3–5, 37]. At the same time, Kay and Kempton acknowledge a role for the language-specific tier in cognition, such that ‘there do appear to be incursions of linguistic categorization into apparently nonlinguistic processes of thinking’ (p. 77). … Thus, this general approach, and our model as an instance of it, offer a possible resolution of one source of controversy surrounding the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: taking that hypothesis seriously need not entail a wholesale rejection of important universal components of human cognition.” (p 15)
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