Sapir and Whorf by Melissa Mesku

speakers of different languages
think differently
even inner speech
geniuses throughout history
thought outside the grooves
learning a new language
learning new modes of thought
adjust to the new lens
switch between thought-modes
Sapir
and
Whorf
gave the idea of linguistic relativity
leavened
cosmovisionary musings
from
dramatically different conceptual worlds
by
languages like Nootka, Shawnee, and Hopi.
fieldwork
Hopi reservation
Arizona
on this
Whorf declared
“the Hopi language contains no reference to “time,” either explicit or implicit.”
imputing
a concept of “eventuating”
roughly comparable to
“hoping”
used for mental projections of the future.
lamentably
leaving you sensing
there is some tantalizing alternative cosmology out there
beyond your grasp
a
hallucinatory feeling
there may well exist a completely different
internally coherent
physical universe
down to the base ontologies of space and time.

Source: A chapter in Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have To Tell Us, by Nicholas Evans (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
Method: Each new line represents a break in the text where erasure occurred. Punctuation and capitalization are faithful to the source.
Melissa Mesku is a writer and editor in New York.