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September 21, 2007

The Whorfian Hypothesis

I'd be interested to get Goldstein's take on the ideas expressed by these fellows.

In linguistics, the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (SWH) postulates a systematic relationship between the grammaticalcategories of the language a person speaks and how that person both understands the world and behaves in it. Although known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, it was an underlying axiom of linguist and anthropologistEdward Sapir and his colleague and student Benjamin Whorf.

The hypothesis postulates that a particular language's nature influences the habitual thought of its speakers. Different language patterns yield different patterns of thought.
Given how much Jeff talks about the use of language to shape a narrative, it could lead to some interesting discussions.

Posted by: Joseph at 01:34 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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The hypothesis postulates that a particular language's nature influences the habitual thought of its speakers. Different language patterns yield different patterns of thought.

I wonder if this isn't backwards.  I would argue that it is the cultural and habitual thought of the speaker that influences any given language.  Consider how culturally influences such as slang eventually becomes a part of our language.


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