In short, language determines or shapes our perceptions of reality. The most famous commonly cited examples in social science are probably those of the Hanunoo, who have 92 names for rice, each conveying a different reality, and the Eskimo, who have over a hundred words for snow. Such fine differentiation permits these cultures to see important facets of their culture more clearly. This is an important theory and there is broad truth in the argument that language plays a role in shaping reality. But it should not be overstated and collapse into extreme relativism : there seem also to be linguistic universals, or features common to every language; and words are often invented to reflect, rather than construct new phenomena in reality.
The evidence for and against the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Sample of Essays
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the linguistic theory that the semantic structure of a language shapes or limits the ways in which a speaker forms conceptions of the world. It came about in The theory is named after the American anthropological linguist Edward Sapir — and his student Benjamin Whorf — It is also known as the theory of linguistic relativity, linguistic relativism, linguistic determinism, Whorfian hypothesis , and Whorfianism. The idea that a person's native language determines how he or she thinks was popular among behaviorists of the s and on until cognitive psychology theories came about, beginning in the s and increasing in influence in the s. Behaviorism taught that behavior is a result of external conditioning and doesn't take feelings, emotions, and thoughts into account as affecting behavior.
The evidence for and against the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis meant the comprehension of the world for an individual determines by the background linguistics system or grammar. In other words, language which use in his or her culture influence his or her thought, idea, view of the world. Explanation of this hypothesis will be more apprehensible by examples.
In linguistics , the Sapir—Whorf hypothesis SWH also known as the "linguistic relativity hypothesis" postulates a systematic relationship between the grammatical categories 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 anthropologist Edward 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.