Sapir–Whorf hypothesis

Also known as the thesis of linguistic determinism, the view named after the linguists Edward Sapir (1884–1939) and Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1941), that the language people speak determines the way they perceive the world. As such, the view has a long history of adherents, including Aristotle (Rhetoric, Bk. iii). It is a central theme in Vico (The New Science ) and a doctrine of von Humboldt's . Whilst many philosophers accept that perception is ‘theory-laden’, and that the theories we can bring to bear are constrained by the concepts we have available, it is more difficult to read off just which concepts are available from the surface phenomena of language. Whilst Sapir himself thought of linguistic determinism in a relatively a priori way, his pupil Whorf collected evidence of linguistic and conceptual divergence from many Native American languages. Categories that may be very different include those of time, causation, and the self. It should be noted that some superficial examples of diversity that are frequently cited are in fact spurious. It is not true, for example, that the Indo-Aleut languages have a vast number of words for different varieties of snow.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Sapir– Whorf hypothesis — Sapir–Whorf hypothesis …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Sapir–Whorf hypothesis — In linguistics, the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (SWH) (also known as the linguistic relativity hypothesis ) postulates a systematic relationship between the grammatical categories of the language a person speaks and how that person both understands… …   Wikipedia

  • sapir-whorf hypothesis — sə¦pi(ə)rˈ(h)wȯ(ə)rf noun Usage: usually capitalized S&W Etymology: after Edward Sapir died 1939 & Benjamin Lee Whorf died 1941 American linguists : whorfian hypothesis herein * * * Sapir Whorf hypothesis 7 [ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis — /seuh pear hwawrf , hwohrf , wawrf , wohrf / a theory developed by Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf that states that the structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behavior characteristic of the culture… …   Universalium

  • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis — /səpɪə wɔf haɪˈpɒθəsəs/ (say suhpear wawf huy pothuhsuhs) noun a linguistic theory that sets up a connection between the vocabulary and grammatical categories of a particular language and the way in which the native speaker of that language views …   Australian English dictionary

  • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis — This hypothesis a position of linguistic relativity argues that (to quote one of its authors) language ‘is not merely a reproducing instrument for voicing ideas, but is itself a shaper of ideas, the programme and guide for the individual s… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis — гипотеза Сепира Уорфа …   Термины гендерных исследований

  • Sapir–Whorf hypothesis — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sapir-Whorf-Hypothese —   [sə pɪə wɔːf ], linguịstische Relativitätstheorie, linguịstisches Relativitätsprinzip, Sprachwissenschaft: auf E. Sapir und B. L. Whorf zurückgehende, in den 1950er Jahren entstandene und auf der ethnolinguistischen Grundlage der Erforschung… …   Universal-Lexikon

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