Sapir-Whorf hypothesis


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Sa·pir-Whorf hypothesis

 (sə-pîr′wôrf′, -hwôrf′)
n.
A hypothesis holding that the structure of a language affects the perceptions of reality of its speakers and thus influences their thought patterns and worldviews.

[After Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf.]

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

n
(Linguistics) the theory that human languages determine the structure of the real world as perceived by human beings, rather than vice versa, and that this structure is different and incommensurable from one language to another
[named after Edward Sapir (1884–1939), US anthropologist and linguist, and Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1943), US linguist]
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References in periodicals archive ?
Arrival explores the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the idea that the language you speak determines how you perceive the world and the thoughts you have.
His topics include designative and constitutive views, the Hobbes-Locke-Condillac theory, the figuring dimension of language, how narrative makes meaning, and the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.
The principle of linguistic relativity, Whorfianism, or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, as it is commonly called, is one the most criticized and yet one of the most inspiring ideas in the field of linguistics.
He refutes the notion put forth by Guy Deutscher- that our native language determines a particular world view in the brain-as well as linguistic relativity, known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.
Shifting from culture to language, Chapter 4 establishes the importance of the principle of linguistic relativity, rooted in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, in acknowledging unfamiliar worldviews, "encoded" in languages other than one's own.
In Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922), Malinowski presages the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis when he explains why he ceased using direct translation to chronicle his data: It "robbed the text of all its significant characteristics--rubbed off all its points--so that gradually I was led to note down certain important phrases just as they were spoken, in the native tongue" (p.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, as their separate relativity theses are called, has found many supporters from a variety of disciplines; in spite of the interest displayed in the hypothesis, however, it has remained a vague and ambiguously articulated collection of knowledge, and a "higher reality" reflected by language patterns.
A century after the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis was formulated, there is no conclusive proof supporting either point of view.
Therefore, going by the assumptions of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, if the indigenous Kalabari speaker is able to evolve an indigenous term that will permit him to visualize, in a vivid manner, the effects of the concept of technology, he would be in a position to participate fully in the inventions of the technological age in which he finds himself.
According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the language we speak colors the way we interpret the world around us.
Taking cue from the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, it is not out of place to mention that it is language which determines the limits of our world, which constructs our reality.