Linguistic Relativity Thesis

Whorf believed that cross-linguistically there is “divergence in the analysis of the world”, and that “languages dissect nature in many different ways” (194), allocating objects and actions to sets of categories which may be different to other varieties. Spatial Language Facilitates Spatial Cognition: Evidence from Children Who Lack Language Input.

Setting out to test this claim, Choi and Bowerman (1991) asked both Korean and English-speaking children to separate a set of actions, including “joining two Lego pieces”, and “putting toys in container” (19), into two groups.

The ability of people to learn and to speak multiple languages casts doubt on the strong version of the theory, since a person may learn many different languages, but this does not change the way he/she thinks.

Therefore, the strong version of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is refuted by the greater majority of linguists and anthropologists. Berlin & Kay, 1969) who argue that all languages share the same structure (hence, all people view the world identically, according to formalists), the weak Sapir-Whorf hypothesis still continues to interest scholars across many fields and disciplines including linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and psychology.

I will discuss how languages divide up nature differently, and the cognitive repercussions of doing so, before identifying contrasting methods of thinking about space and location, and then will finish by looking at how grammatical differences have the power to predispose a particular vision of reality.

Categorisation varies across different language groups One noticeable difference between some languages is the different ways in which they categorise the various aspects of their environment.

The agreement is, of course, an implicit and unstated one, but its terms are absolutely obligatory; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organization and classification of data which the agreement decrees." -Whorf (193-14) While linguists generally agree that the weaker Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, also known as linguistic relativism, can be shown to be true to some extent, there are criticisms of the stronger form of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, also known as linguistic determinism.

Introduction: Linguistic relativity is the notion that language can affect our thought processes, and is often referred to as the ‘Sapir-Whorf hypothesis’, after the two linguists who brought the idea into the spotlight.

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the theory that an individual's thoughts and actions are determined by the language or languages that individual speaks.

The strong version of the hypothesis states that all human thoughts and actions are bound by the restraints of language, and is generally less accepted than the weaker version, which says that language only somewhat shapes our thinking and behavior.


Comments Linguistic Relativity Thesis

  • Wilhelm von Humboldt Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    Wilhelm Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt, German man of letters extraordinary, close friend of the poets Goethe and Schiller, whose life’s work encompasses the areas of philosophy, literature, linguistics, anthropology, education, and political thought as well statesmanship was born in Potsdam on June 23, 1767 and died at Tegel near Berlin on April 8, 1835.…

  • Pinker’s Dilemma Why linguistic relativity is neither false in.

    Linguistic relativity is the thesis that the syntactic structure and lexicon of one's language systematically influence how one perceives and conceptualizes the world Swoyer 2003. For…


    Outline of the disposition of the thesis. Finally, a description of the aim and purpose of the thesis, along with the questions of interest, are included. 1.1 Disposition of the Study The linguistic relativity hypothesis LRH has generated a great amount of interest and controversy since its conception Lucy, 1997.…

  • Mid-term Flashcards Quizlet

    A. developed the linguistic relativity hypothesis. b. proposed that people view the world differently depending on the nature of the concepts available in their language. Incorrect c. argued that language has a powerful influence on thoughts. d. All of the choices are correct.…

  • The Sapir Whorf Hypothesis - YouTube

    A brief presentation about "Sapir -Whorf Hypothesis" or "Linguistic Relativism.". Share your thoughts, leave comments below! I appreciate your feedback If You Like This Video, Give It a.…

  • Relationships Between Language And Culture English Language Essay

    There are two forms of linguistic relativity according to their interpretation of the power of language, linguistic determinism and linguistic relativism, while universalism is an opposite idea to linguistic relativity. These concepts will lead to the main argument of this thesis. Determinism is the strongest form of linguistic relativity.…

  • What is the strongest evidence for and against the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?

    The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which states that a person's native language influences how that person thinks, is impossible to prove or to disprove. EDIT For clarity, there are two versions.…

  • What Is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?

    The linguistic variable has come in two forms, “codability” and “communication accuracy.” The nonlinguistic variable has been “memorability.” Support for the Sapir- Whorf hypothesis was claimed when a correlation was found between the memorability of a color arid its value on one of the linguistic variables.…

  • Relations Between Language and Th ought -

    Relativity, which holds that all observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same picture of the universe, unless their linguistic backgrounds are similar, or can in some way be calibrated. Whorf, 1956, p. 214 Th is linguistic-relativistic view entails that lin-guistic categories will be the “program and guide for…

  • Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

    Linguist Edward Sapir and his student Benjamin Lee Whorf are known for their part in the popularization of this very principle. Their collective theory, know as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis or more commonly the Theory of Linguistic Relativity, holds great significance in the scope of all communication theory.…

The Latest from ©