The relation between language, culture and thought: the classical question - The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: language controls or influences thought

4 important questions on The relation between language, culture and thought: the classical question - The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: language controls or influences thought

What is the linguistic relativity principle (Whorf)?

Users of markedly different grammars are pointed by their grammars toward different types of observations and different evaluations of externally similar acts of observation, and hence are not equivalent as observers but must arrive at somewhat different views of the world.
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Which myths and controversies are associated with the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?

  1. the rigour of the linguistic examples used by Whorf in his argument is called into question
  2. different interpretations of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis exist in the literature, centring on the strength of the relation between language, culture and thought, partly due to ambiguity that emerged from both Sapir and Whorf's own arguments.
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What is linguistic relativity?

Language influences thought and worldviews.
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For which three research should linguistic determinism be discarded?

  1. it is possible to translate the essence of meaning from one language to another
  2. bi/multilingual speakers can speak two or more languages and sometimes code-switch among languages in ways not dictated by the habits of any one speech community
  3. growing sociolinguistic variation and diversity within one language makes it implausible to maintain that all the speakers of one language think the same way
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