The Linguistic Theory Of The Sapir Whorf Hypothesis

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Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Shiza Rathore Lahore School of Economics The linguistic theory is basically that the structure of a language forms or possibly limits the different ways in which an individual speaker devises different ideas of the world. The basic concept that language shapes the thinking of an individual speaker was initially formed by German philosophers J.G Herder and W.V. Humboldt. If languages forms ideas, then it also plays a vital part in moulding the attitudes of individuals. Hence, these individuals who speak different languages must have different wold views. It is the idea that what one perceives is dependent on the language spoken by the individual person. Linguist Edward Sapir and his student Benjamin Lee Whorf are basically known for the popularization of this theory. Therefore it being called the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis also known as the Theory of Linguistic Relativity. Their writings state that there is a clear connection between language and thought. For Sapir, the individual is not entirely aware of this connection and is subject to it without any choice whereas for Whorf, this connection between and language was also not a choice for the individuals but a compulsion. Both, Sapir and Whorf, believed that it is our culture that dictates our language, which in turn influences our thoughts and perceptions about the world and the things we experience in it. In simple words, linguistic relativity, sometimes called Whorfianism, states that the

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