Known as the “Sapir-Whorf hypothesis,” this theory states that language doesn’t just give people a way to express their thoughts—it influences. Sorry, this document isn’t available for viewing at this time. In the meantime, you can download the document by clicking the ‘Download’ button above. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, long considered a factor in intercultural communication, is discussed. Empirical studies that have tended to validate the hypothesis.

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Constructed languages and Experimental languages. Lakoff also argued that metaphor plays an important part in political debates such as the “right to life” hipohesis the “right to choose”; or “illegal aliens” or “undocumented workers”. Language and Cognition12 1: His work ” Thought and Language ” [25] has been compared to Whorf’s and taken as mutually supportive evidence of language’s influence on cognition.

The defining example is Whorf’s observation of discrepancies between the grammar of time expressions in Hopi and English.

Linguistic relativity – Wikipedia

Georgetown University Press, pp. Their Universality and EvolutionBerkeley: In their first experiment, they investigated whether it was easier for speakers of English to remember color shades for which they had a specific name than to remember colors that were not as easily definable by words.

Speakers rely on the linguistic conceptualization of space hhipotesis performing many ordinary tasks. Currently, a balanced view of whrf relativity is espoused by most linguists holding that language influences certain kinds of cognitive processes in non-trivial ways, but that other processes are better seen as arising from connectionist factors.

Color and Cognition in Mesoamerica: Researchers such as BoroditskyLucy and Levinson believe that language influences thought in more limited ways than sapiir broadest early claims. The researchers asked the participants to estimate how much time had passed while watching a line growing across a screen, or a container being filled, or both. Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. University of California Press.

APL programming language originator Kenneth E. Plato argued against sophist thinkers such as Gorgias of Leontiniwho held that the physical world cannot be experienced except through language; this made the question of truth dependent on aesthetic preferences or functional consequences.


Sapir also thought because language represented reality differently, it followed that the speakers of different languages would perceive reality differently. Swedish speakers describe time using distance terms like “long” or “short” while Spanish speakers do it using volume related terms like “big” or “small”.

Boas’ student Edward Sapir reached back to the Humboldtian idea that languages contained the key to understanding the world views of peoples. Cambridge University Press, pp. General semantics and Neurolinguistic Programming. Wittgenstein, QuineSearle, Foucault argue that categorization and conceptualization is subjective and arbitrary.

Examples of such languages designed to explore the human mind include Loglanexplicitly designed by James Cooke Brown to test the linguistic relativity hypothesis, by experimenting whether it would make its speakers think more logically. The strong version says that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories. These, Slobin argues, are the kinds of cognitive process that are at the root of linguistic relativity. Gentner, Dedre, and Susan Goldin-Meadow, eds.

Researchers attributed this to focal colors having higher codability than less focal colors, and not with linguistic relativity effects.

Handbook of American Indian languages. The “structure-centered” approach starts with a language’s structural peculiarity and examines its possible ramifications for thought and behavior. He argued that language is often used metaphorically and that languages use different cultural metaphors that reveal something about how speakers of that language think.

Slobin described another kind of cognitive process that he named “thinking for speaking” — the kind of process in which perceptional data and other kinds of prelinguistic cognition are translated into linguistic terms for communication.

La hipotesis Sapir-Whorf | yorely quiguantar –

In a later experiment, speakers of two languages that categorize colors differently English and Zuni were asked to recognize colors. Separate studies by Bowerman and Slobin treated the role of language in cognitive processes. Examples of universalist influence in the s are the studies by Berlin and Kay who continued Lenneberg’s color research. The case of Greek blues”, Bilingualism: How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions.

Boas saw language as an inseparable part of culture and he was among the first to require of ethnographers to learn the native language of the culture under study and to document verbal culture such as myths and legends in the original language. The Chomskyan school also holds the belief that linguistic structures are largely innate and that what are perceived as differences between specific languages are surface phenomena that do not affect the brain’s universal cognitive processes.


Speakers define a location as “north of the house”, while an English speaker may use relative positions, saying “in front of the house” or “to the left of the house”. For example, they found that even though languages have different color terminologies, they generally recognize certain hues as more focal than others.

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates CS1 maint: Language Acquisition and Conceptual Development.

Linguistic relativity

The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscope flux of impressions which has dhorf be organized by our minds—and this means largely by the linguistic systems of our minds.

On the basis of their writings, however, two proposals emerged, hipotesid decades of controversy among anthropologists, linguists, philosophers, and psychologists. Other universalist researchers dedicated themselves to dispelling other aspects of linguistic relativity, often attacking Whorf’s specific points and examples.

In Melissa Bowerman and Stephen Levinson. Cognitive Science Society CS1 maint: Another debate considers whether thought is a form of internal speech or is independent of and prior to language. Whorf’s point was that while English speakers may be able to understand how a Hopi speaker thinks, they do not think in that way. Ivry”Support for lateralization of the Whorf effect beyond the realm of color discrimination” PDFBrain and Language2: In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the idea of the existence of different national characters, or ” Volksgeister “, of different ethnic groups was the moving force behind the German romantics school and the beginning ideologies of ethnic nationalism.

Hayakawa was a follower and popularizer of Korzybski’s work, writing Language in Thought and Action.