This new article by Yale academic Keith Chen on linguistic structures and future orientation (PDF) is extremely interesting:

The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence fromSavings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets

Languages differ widely in the ways they partition time. In this paper I test the hypothesis thatlanguages which grammatically distinguish between present and future events (what linguists call strongFTR languages) lead their speakers to take fewer future-oriented actions. First, I show how this predictionarises naturally when well-documented effects of language on cognition are merged with models of decisionmaking over time. Then, I show that consistent with this hypothesis, speakers of strong-FTR languagessave less, hold less retirement wealth, smoke more, are more likely to be obese, and suffer worse longrun health. This is true in every major region of the world and holds even when comparing onlydemographically similar individuals born and living in the same country. While not conclusive, theevidence does not seem to support the most obvious forms of common causation. Implications of thesefindings for theories of intertemporal choice are discussed.