sapir-whorf hypo thesis

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

[suh-peer-hwawrf, -hwohrf, -wawrf, -wohrf]
noun
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.


Origin:
1950–55

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World English Dictionary
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
 
n
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
 
[named after Edward Sapir (1884--1939), US anthropologist and linguist, and Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897--1943), US linguist]

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