Support of Swh Essay

1075 WordsSep 2, 20145 Pages
Support of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: Example1: Benjamin Whorf, like Sapir studied Native American languages. Whorf sites several examples from the Native American language, Hopi, to support his hypothesis that thought is strongly based on language. According to Whorf the Hopi language does not contain any words, grammatical constructions or expressions that refer to the English concept of ‘time.’ Whorf goes on to explain that it is possible in the Hopi language to express the world or reality in ways other than what many languages refer to as ‘time.’ The Hopi view of reality is specific to the language and can only be best expressed if one is familiar with the language (Carroll, 1956:57). Criticism: Example2: An example Whorf used to support his theory was the number of words the Inuit people have for ‘snow’. He claimed that because snow is a crucial part of their everyday lives and that they have many different uses for snow that they perceive snow differently than someone who lives in a less snow-dependent environment. This modifies the world view of the Inuit, creating a different mode of existence for them than, for instance, a speaker of English. Criticism: Pullum has since dispelled this myth in his book The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax (1991). He shows that while the Inuit use many different terms for snow, other languages transmit the same ideas using phrases instead of single words. Support of Determinism Example 1: Strong determinism refers to a strict view that what is said is directly responsible for what is seen by the mind. The works of John R. Skoyles and Curtis Hayes et al. support an intimate connection between thought and language. Skoyles (4) cites an experiment by two Australian psychologists, Peterson and Siegal, as evidence. Multiple tests are conducted based on a doll named 'Sally.' The experimenter, in the presence of deaf

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