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Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, ..

The author first introduces the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, which claims that language has strong influence on culture.

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Sapir-Whorf hypothesis | Define Sapir-Whorf hypothesis …

Seventy years ago, in 1940, a popular science magazine published a short article that set in motion one of the trendiest intellectual fads of the 20th century. At first glance, there seemed little about the article to augur its subsequent celebrity. Neither the title, “Science and Linguistics,” nor the magazine, M.I.T.’s Technology Review, was most people’s idea of glamour. And the author, a chemical engineer who worked for an insurance company and moonlighted as an anthropology lecturer at Yale University, was an unlikely candidate for international superstardom. And yet Benjamin Lee Whorf let loose an alluring idea about language’s power over the mind, and his stirring prose seduced a whole generation into believing that our mother tongue restricts what we are able to think.

Ask A Linguist FAQ: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis


This Radiolab podcast presents several striking examples that suggest the Sapir/Whorf Hypothesis is correct, at least in certain circumstances. Can we generalize from these broadly to language and culture?

27/09/1991 · What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis illustrates the stucture of one language strongly affect the world-view of its speakers....

Whorf, we now know, made many mistakes. The most serious one was to assume that our mother tongue constrains our minds and prevents us from being able to think certain thoughts. The general structure of his arguments was to claim that if a language has no word for a certain concept, then its speakers would not be able to understand this concept. If a language has no future tense, for instance, its speakers would simply not be able to grasp our notion of future time. It seems barely comprehensible that this line of argument could ever have achieved such success, given that so much contrary evidence confronts you wherever you look. When you ask, in perfectly normal English, and in the present tense, “Are you coming tomorrow?” do you feel your grip on the notion of futurity slipping away? Do English speakers who have never heard the German word Schadenfreude find it difficult to understand the concept of relishing someone else’s misfortune? Or think about it this way: If the inventory of ready-made words in your language determined which concepts you were able to understand, how would you ever learn anything new?


In this interview, linguist Dan Everett suggests that the language of Piraha is a result of cultural necessity. If this is true, can the Sapir/Whorf hypothesis still be correct? Here is on the subject. Here is a of that work. And here is Everett's of the critique. These works are technical (tough slogging), but they show just how slippery the reasoning must always be when so little is known about what actually happens in the brain.

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states..

Then he will move on to discuss Sapir-Whorf hypothesisthat states that a cultures language structure dictates howpeople will think and behave.

Another great McWhorter book. This is a rejection of the public understanding of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which (in short) states that the structure of a group’s language has a great influence on their way of viewing the world. McWhorter argues that, in fact, the structure of language is more or less random between groups. A delightful bit of curmudgeonly scholarship, more or less saying “linguistics is really interesting without this bullshit thing everyone in pop science seems to believe!”

adult second language learning), and Inmaculada Zanoguera (“Neuroscience in Linguistics: Rethinking the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis”) — presented papers at the 2017 conference of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States.

Whorf summarizes this view by stating that cultures have theirown, unique concepts of time and matter.
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  • Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis - Conservapedia

    Lee Whorf's hypothesis states that aculture's language structure dictates how the people will thinkand behave.

  • Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Examples and Definition - …

    02/03/2000 · the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis states that there are ..

  • The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis Flashcards | Quizlet

    Start studying Sapir-Whorf. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

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What does the sapir-whorf hypothesis state quizlet

The so-calledWhorfian (sometimes Whorf-Sapir) hypothesis that grammatical structurereflects cognitive structure is not widely accepted among linguists buthas been influential in other social sciences.

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