Guy Deutscher's Through the Language Glass is a fascinating book that deals with the age-old debate on the relationship between language and thought. His arguments lean towards the camp of culture-based theories, casting doubts over "the fundaments of language are coded in our genes and are the same across the human race".
Does our mother tongue then shapes the way we think? Deutscher argues that "languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not what they may convey. The crucial difference between languages, in other words, are not in what each language allows its speakers to express - for in theory any language could express anything - but in what information each language obliges its speakers to express." The intriguing chapter on Guugu Yimithirr, a language that has only words for geocentric coordinates and no words for egocentric coordinates (yes, they have no words for left and right) serves to prove his point.