Some advocates of Whorfianism have held that if Whorfian hypotheses were true, then meaning would be globally and radically indeterminate. Thus, the truth of Whorfian hypotheses is equated withglobal linguistic relativism—a well known self-undermining formof relativism. But as we have seen, not all Whorfian hypotheses are global hypotheses: they are about what is induced by particular linguistic features. And the associated non-linguistic perceptual andcognitive differences can be quite small, perhaps insignificant. For example, Thierry et al. (2009) provides evidence that an obligatory lexical distinction between light and dark blue affects Greek speakers' color perception in the left hemisphere only. And the question of the degree to which this affects sensuous experience is not addressed.
There are also topics that fall on the borderline between philosophy of language and philosophy of linguistics: of “linguistic relativity” (see the supplement on the linguistic relativity hypothesis in the Summer 2015 archived version of the entry on ), language vs. , (including the distinction between locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary acts), the language of thought, implicature, and the semantics of mental states (see the entries on , , , , and ). In these cases it is often the kind of answer given and not the inherent nature of the topic itself that determines the classification. Topics that we consider to be more in the philosophy of language than the philosophy of linguistics include intensional contexts, direct reference, and empty names (see the entries on , , , , and ).
09.01.2018 · Define Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
From this observation, Sapir and Whorf began to think that words might be more than labels that people attach to things. Eventually, they concluded that language has embedded within it ways of looking at the world. In other words, language not only expresses our thoughts and perceptions but also shapes the way we think and perceive. When we learn a language, we learn not only words but also ways of thinking and perceiving.
Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis - International Encyclopedia of …
Although further empirical studies on Whorfian hypotheses have been completed since Lucy published his 1996 review article, it is hard tofind any that have satisfied the criteria of:
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis - Essay Samples
The fact that Whorfian hypotheses need not be global linguistic relativist hypotheses means that they do not conflict with the claim that there are language universals. Structuralists of the first half of the 20th century tended to disfavor the idea of universals: MartinJoos's characterization of structuralist linguistics as claiming that“languages can differ without limit as to either extent or direction” (Joos 1966, 228) has been much quoted in this connection. If the claim that languages can vary without limit were conjoined with the claim that languages have significant and permanent effects on the concepts and worldview of their speakers, a truly profound global linguistic relativism would result. But neitherconjunct should be accepted. Joos's remark is regarded by nearly all linguists today as overstated (and merely a caricature of the structuralists), and Whorfian hypotheses do not have to take a globalor deterministic form.
Language and Reality: The Sapir/Whorf Hypothesis - Chaz
Slobin's non-Whorfian linguistic relativist hypothesis raises the importance of psychological research on bilinguals or people who currently use two or more languages with a native or near-native facility. This is because one clear way to test Slobin-like hypotheses relative to Whorfian hypotheses would be to find out whether language correlated non-linguistic cognitive differences between speakers hold for bilinguals only when are thinking for speaking in one language, but not when they are thinking for speakingin some other language. If the relevant cognitive differences appeared and disappeared depending on which language speakers were planning to express themselves in, it would go some way to vindicate Slobin-like hypotheses over more traditional Whorfian Hypotheses. Of course, one could alternately accept a broadening of Whorfian hypotheses to include Slobin-like evanescent effects. Either way, attention must be paid to the persistence and revisability of the linguistic effects.