Presentation on theme: "Context and Reference 3.1 Linguistic relativity Jamila Zawger Samar Terengganu * Weaam Radi."— Presentation transcript:
Context and Reference 3.1 Linguistic relativity Jamila Zawger Samar Terengganu * Weaam Radi
Linguistic Relativity : Difficulty in relating language to the external world may arise from fact that the way in which we see the world is to some degree dependent on the language we use.
Since we categories the objects of our experience with the aid of language, it may be the case that learning about the world and about language are activities that cannot be separated and that therefore our world is partly determined by our language.
Malinowski Argued that primitive people have names only for those things that stand out for them from an otherwise “undifferentiated world”. From a confused mass of experience, so to speak, they pick out by words those parts that are relevant to them.
Sapir suggested that the world in which we live is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group.
This view was expanded and explained by Whorf He argued that we are unaware of the background character of our language, if we look at other language we come to realize that a language does not merely voice ideas, but that it is the shaper of ideas and that we ‘ dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language.
In the article, "Science and linguistic", Whorf produces evidence of several kinds for this view. First, he suggests that there is no division in reality corresponding to English nouns and verbs. - For example, lightening, spark and emotion. Secondly, Hopi has one word for insects, pilot and plane while Eskimo has four words for snow. Thirdly, Whorf argued, their language shows that the Hopi have no notion of time. The only distinction they make is between what is subjective and what objective.
Sapir _ Whorf hypothesis serves a useful purpose in reminding us that the categories we employ do not simply ‘exist’ in the world of experience.