Critical Analysis on Definition of Language by Edward Sapir

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CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF EDWARD SAPIR’S DEFINITION OF LANGUAGE Presented by Fatima shahid LAHORE UNIVERSITY OF FUTURE EDUCATION LAHORE UNIVERSITY OF FUTURE EDUCATION The relationship between thought, reality and language has seized philosophers, linguists, anthropologists and psychologists for centuries. Mostly thinkers argue one of the following three positions in relation to the Sapir Hypothesis 1. Language heavily influences thought (strong interpretation) 2. Language does not influence thought 3. Language partially influences thought (weak interpretation). Support to Sapir Concept: Sapir starts by making his first claim and explaining it: "Walking is essentially innate. Language is not. It is learned and cultural"(My view rather than actual quote….). Language is obviously one of the cognitive skills that humans boast, and one of the most apparent differences between the human and other species. No surprise, then, that language is often considered the main hint to the secrets of the mind. After all, it is language through which our mind demonstrates itself and we can study the mind through language. Edward’s view on language is one that takes into account not only cultural studies but the whole range of human sciences, among them sociology, philosophy, and psychology. He thought language as a cultural product and considers linguistics to be a fruitful possibility of a scientific study of society. Sapir characterizes language as purely human and non-instinctive. He believes that language affects the human thought’ “The fact of the matter is that the 'real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group” (Edward Sapir) Sapir’s hypothesis is supported by some research findings, especially to study human population. One anthropologist writes "language differences are related to the emotive activity”. Like, two

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