TOEFL ibt 対策!無料のリーディング対策問題46(解説付き)

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Passage: Linguistic Relativity and the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, is a concept in linguistics that explores the relationship between language, thought, and culture. It suggests that the structure and vocabulary of a language shape and influence the way individuals perceive and think about the world around them.

According to the strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, language determines and constrains our cognitive abilities and the way we understand reality. It proposes that different languages encode and prioritize different aspects of the world, leading to variations in how speakers of different languages perceive and interpret the same phenomena.

For example, some languages have specific words for concepts that may be more nuanced or less prominent in other languages. This can influence the way speakers of those languages think about and categorize the world. Studies have shown that speakers of languages with grammatical gender, such as Spanish or German, tend to associate gender-specific attributes to inanimate objects, whereas speakers of languages without grammatical gender, such as English, do not make such associations.

The weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis suggests that language influences thought and perception to a lesser extent. It acknowledges that while language can shape certain cognitive processes, it does not entirely determine them. Instead, it proposes that language can influence the salience or attention given to certain aspects of the world, thus influencing perception and interpretation.

Research on linguistic relativity has explored various aspects of language and cognition, including color perception, spatial reasoning, and the concept of time. For example, studies have shown that different languages may divide the color spectrum differently, leading speakers of those languages to perceive and categorize colors differently.

While the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has generated much debate and controversy among linguists and cognitive scientists, there is evidence to support the idea that language can influence thought. However, the extent and nature of this influence remain topics of ongoing research and investigation.



  1. What is linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
    A. The idea that language shapes and influences thought and culture
    B. The concept of language diversity across different cultures
    C. The study of the origins and evolution of languages
    D. The process of language acquisition in children
  2. According to the strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, language _.
    A. determines and constrains our cognitive abilities
    B. has no influence on thought and perception
    C. is influenced by culture and society
    D. is unrelated to the way individuals perceive reality
  3. What does the weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis propose?
    A. Language entirely determines thought and perception
    B. Language has no influence on thought and perception
    C. Language can influence certain cognitive processes
    D. Language is unrelated to culture and society
  4. How do languages with grammatical gender differ in perception compared to languages without grammatical gender?
    A. They associate gender-specific attributes to inanimate objects
    B. They have a wider vocabulary for describing colors
    C. They prioritize spatial reasoning over other cognitive processes
    D. They do not influence perception in any significant way
  5. What does research on linguistic relativity explore?
    A. The influence of culture on language development
    B. The relationship between language and cognitive processes
    C. The similarities between different languages
    D. The process of language acquisition in infants
  6. What aspect of color perception is influenced by language, according to studies?
    A. The way colors are categorized and perceived
    B. The ability to differentiate between primary and secondary colors
    C. The preference for warm or cool color tones
    D. The role of color in cultural symbolism
  7. What is the current status of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis among linguists and cognitive scientists?
    A. It is widely accepted as an accurate explanation of language and thought
    B. It is heavily criticized and considered irrelevant in the field of linguistics
    C. It remains a topic of ongoing research and investigation
    D. It has been disproven by recent experimental studies
  8. Which of the following best describes the relationship between language and thought, according to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
    A. Language determines and constrains thought entirely
    B. Language has no influence on thought and perception
    C. Language influences thought to a certain extent
    D. Language and thought are unrelated processes
  9. What is the main difference between the strong and weak versions of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
    A. The strong version claims that language influences perception, while the weak version denies any influence
    B. The strong version proposes that language entirely determines thought, while the weak version suggests a lesser influence
    C. The strong version focuses on the influence of culture on language, while the weak version focuses on grammar
    D. The strong version is widely accepted, while the weak version is heavily criticized
  10. How has research supported the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
    A. By demonstrating that language has no influence on perception or cognition
    B. By providing concrete evidence of language determining all aspects of thought
    C. By revealing correlations between language structure and variations in perception
    D. By disproving alternative theories of language and cognition


  1. 問題:言語相対性、またはサピア・ウォーフ仮説とは何ですか?
    正解:A. 言語が思考と文化に影響を与えるという考え方
  2. 問題:サピア・ウォーフ仮説の強いバージョンによると、言語は__です。
    正解:A. 思考能力を決定し制約する
  3. 問題:サピア・ウォーフ仮説の弱いバージョンは何を主張していますか?
    正解:C. 言語は一部の認知プロセスに影響を与えることができる
  4. 問題:文法的な性別のある言語と文法的な性別のない言語とでは、認識においてどのように異なるでしょうか?
    正解:A. 無生物の対象に対して性別固有の属性を結び付けます
  5. 問題:言語相対性の研究は何を探求していますか?
    正解:B. 言語と認知プロセスの関係
  6. 問題:研究によれば、言語は色の知覚のどの側面に影響を与えますか?
    正解:A. 色を分類し知覚する方法
  7. 問題:サピア・ウォーフ仮説は、現在の言語学者や認知科学者の間でどのような状況ですか?
    正解:C. 現在も研究と調査の対象である
  8. 問題:サピア・ウォーフ仮説によれば、言語と思考の関係はどのように説明されますか?
    正解:C. 言語は一定の程度で思考に影響を与える
  9. 問題:サピア・ウォーフ仮説の強いバージョンと弱いバージョンの主な違いは何ですか?
    正解:B. 強いバージョンは言語が思考を完全に決定すると主張し、弱いバージョンはより少ない影響を示唆する
  10. 問題:研究はどのようにサピア・ウォーフ仮説を支持していますか?
    正解:C. 言語の構造と認識の変動の間に相関関係を明らかにすることによって