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Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is concerned with the relationship between language, culture, and thought and was named after Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf. It is sometimes known as the Whorfian hypothesis, since the hypothesis largely owes to Whorf, who wrote on the topic in the 1930s. It should be noted, however, that the term Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has often been criticized as a misnomer, since neither Sapir nor Whorf coauthored any hypothesis for empirical research on language and thought. It is also unclear to what extent Sapir subscribed to the idea of language influencing thought. It was Harry Hoijer, one of Sapir’s students, who introduced the term Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. In addition, it should be noted that Sapir and Whorf were not the first or only scholars ...

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