However, some cultural-linguistic systems developed in the opposite direction, that is, from an abstract and subjective vocabulary to a more concrete one. For example, Whorf tells us that in the Hopi language the word heart, a concrete term, can be shown to be a late formation from the abstract terms think or remember. Similarly, although it seems to Westerners, and especially to Americans, that objective, tangible “reality” must precede any subjective or inner experience, in fact many Asian and other non-European cultures view inner experience as the basis for one’s perceptions of physical reality. Thus although Americans are taught to perceive and react to the arrangement of objects in space and to think of space as being “wasted” unless it is filled with objects, the Japanese are trained to give meaning to space itself and to value “empty” space. For example, in many of their arts such as painting, garden design, and floral arrangements, the chief quality of composition is that essence of beauty the Japanese call shibumi. A painting that shows everything instead of leaving something unsaid is without shibumi. The Japanese artist will often represent the entire sky with one brush stroke or a distant mountain with one simple contour line—this is shibumi. To the Western eye, however, the large areas of “empty” space in such paintings make them look incomplete.
然而，有些文化语言系统朝着相反的方向发展，就是从一套抽象、主观的词汇发展到一 套更为具体的词汇。例如，沃尔夫告诉我们，在霍皮语中，“心”这个字，是一个具体的术语， 可它是在先有了“思维”和“记忆”这种抽象术语之后才形成的。同样地，尽管在西方人，特别 是美国人看来，客观的、有形的“实体”一定要先于主观的或者内在经验，但实际上，许多亚洲和非欧洲文化把内在经验看成是对有形的实体感觉的基础。因此，虽然美国人被教导在空 间中感知物体的排列和做出反应，会认为除非空间中充满物体，否则就是“被浪费了”，而日 本人却被训练为对空间本身赋予意义，对“空旷”的空间赋予价值。例如，在许多日本艺术中， 像绘画、园林设计、插花艺术等，布局的主要特性是日本人称之为美的精髓的“素雅(shibumi)”。一幅画包罗万象，而不是留有空间，这体现不出美的精髓。日本艺人常常画笔一刷，就呈现 出一片天空;或者用一条简单的轮廓线条绘出远处的一座山峰。然而，在西方人的眼中，画 中的大片“空旷”的空间使画显得还缺了点什么东西。