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Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

[suh-peer-hwawrf, -hwohrf, -wawrf, -wohrf] /səˈpɪərˈʰwɔrf, -ˈʰwoʊrf, -ˈwɔrf, -ˈwoʊrf/
a theory developed by Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf that states that the structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behavior characteristic of the culture in which it is spoken.
Also called Whorfian hypothesis.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sapir whorf hypotheses

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

the theory that human languages determine the structure of the real world as perceived by human beings, rather than vice versa, and that this structure is different and incommensurable from one language to another
Word Origin
named after Edward Sapir (1884–1939), US anthropologist and linguist, and Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1943), US linguist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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