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Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis | Cognitive Linguistics | …

, the originator of the , believed that the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis applied to computer languages (without actually mentioning the hypothesis by name). His lecture, "Notation as a tool of thought", was devoted to this theme, arguing that more powerful notations aided thinking about computer algorithms.

if the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis were ..

Vague remarks of the same loosely metaphysical sort have continued tobe a feature of the literature down to the present. The statements made in some recent papers, even in respected refereed journals, contain non-sequiturs echoing some of the remarks of Sapir, Whorf, and Hoijer. And they come from both sides of the debate.

Ask A Linguist FAQ: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

27/09/1991 · What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the that the structure of a shapes or limits the ways in which a speaker forms conceptions of the world. A weaker version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (sometimes called neo-Whorfianism) is that language influences a speaker's view of the world but does not inescapably determine it.

. . appeared to kill the [Sapir-Whorf hypothesis] in the 1990s . . .. But recently it has been resurrected, and 'neo-Whorfianism' is now an active research topic in " (The Stuff of Thought, 2007).

Sapir-Whorf | Linguistics | Cognitive Science - Scribd

02/03/2000 · What is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

A further important consideration concerns the strength of the inducement relationship that a Whorfian hypothesis posits between a speaker's language and their non-linguistic capacities. The claim that your language shapes or influences your cognition is quite different from the claim that your language makes certain kinds of cognition impossible (or obligatory) for you. The strength of any Whorfian hypothesis will vary depending on the kind of relationship being claimed, and the ease of revisability of that relation.

So testing Whorfian hypotheses requires testing two independent hypotheses with the appropriate kinds of data. In consequence, evaluating them requires the expertise of both linguistics and psychology, and is a multidisciplinary enterprise. Clearly, the linguistic hypothesis may hold up where the psychological hypothesis does not, or conversely.

often referred to as the “ Sapir–Whorf hypothesis ”, ..
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Sapir-Whorf Hypotesis | Linguistics | Epistemology

Lucy, who was trained in psychology, linguistics, and anthropology, offered the first major rereading of the work of Edward Sapir, Benjamin Whorf, and their critics in many years. The publication of this book and its companion volume (, cited under ) served to bring questions of linguistic relativity back into the purview of cognitive science.


Proponents of linguistic determinism argue that such differences between languages influence the ways people think—perhaps the ways in which whole cultures are organized. Among the strongest statements of this position are those by Benjamin Lee Whorf and his teacher, Edward Sapir, in the first half of this century—hence the label, 'The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis', for the theory of linguistic relativity and determinism. Whorf proposed: 'We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way—an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language' (Whorf, 1940; in Carroll, 1956, pp. 213-4). And, in the words of Sapir: 'Human beings...are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. ...The fact of the matter is that the "real world" is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group' (Sapir, 1929; in Manlbaum, 1958, p. 162).


O’Neill, Sean. 2013. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and neo-Whorfianism. In Theory in social and cultural anthropology: An encyclopedia. Edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, 745–748. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Sapir on Linguistic Relativity; Whorf and Relativity;

Much more research needs to be done, but it is not likely that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis will be supported in the strong form quoted above. For one, language is only one factor that influences cognition and behavior. For another, if the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis were really true, second language learning and translation would be far harder than they are. However, because language is so pervasive—and because we must always make cognitive decisions while speaking—weaker versions of the hypothesis will continue to attract scientific attention. (For a lively debate on many of these issues, with much new evidence from several fields, read Gumperz and Levinson 1996.)

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis - La Lojban

Now days however, it is thought to be more of a two way street;
Our language affects the way we perceive the world and our communities but our communities also affects what language we use By Jessica Hockley and Samantha Mascari Bibliography What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?

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