[lit-ideas] The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2014 10:57:51 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 1/4/2014 9:52:27 P.M. Eastern  Standard Time, 
rpaul@xxxxxxxx writes:
The so-called Sapir-Whorf (Whorf was  Sapir's student; they did not 
collaborate) [theory] has been around for a long  time, under the name 
'linguistic 
relativity.' Most people think it's been  thoroughly debunked, although a 
'weaker version of it' is still around.  

My favourite treatment of this is by D. E. Cooper, formerly of Durham, in  
his "Philosophy and the nature of language". He thinks it _has_ been  
debunked.
 
It may be good to go back to R. B.'s original source about the switch  
Russian-English in bilingual brains. I don't think the Eskimos that the  
Sapir-Whorfians analysed were 'bilingual' in any sense. 
 
I THINK the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis MAY have influenced Quine in his  
indeterminacy of translation thesis, with his "Gavagai" (original native  
American 
utterance of undeterminate 'rabbit' related meaning).
 
Cheers,
 
Speranza
 
 
 
 
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