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Supplemental Readings in QML basement Grammatical categories by Whorf, Benjamin Lee Bobbs-Merrill 1945 Call #: p415 Who g Some verbal categories of Hopi.

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Presentation on theme: "Supplemental Readings in QML basement Grammatical categories by Whorf, Benjamin Lee Bobbs-Merrill 1945 Call #: p415 Who g Some verbal categories of Hopi."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Supplemental Readings in QML basement Grammatical categories by Whorf, Benjamin Lee Bobbs-Merrill 1945 Call #: p415 Who g Some verbal categories of Hopi by Whorf, Benjamin Lee Bobbs-Merrill 1938 Call #: p4974 Who s Also found in Language, Thought, & Reality, edited by J. B. Carroll

3 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis? They never co-authored anything, although Whorf does refer explicitly to his teacher. There is no statement of a hypothesis. Whorf frames his statements as empirical conclusions. principle of linguistic relativity

4 Contradiction? Whorf says that there is no correlation between language and culture (p. 139), but on pages he connects behavioral features to linguistic categories. Is this a contradiction?

5 Contradiction - No P 139: I should be the last to pretend that there is anything so definite as a correlation between culture and language, and especially between ethnological rubrics such as agriculture, hunting, etc., and linguistic ones like inflected, synthetic, or isolating.

6 Contradiction - No P 148-9: … people act about situations in ways which are like the ways they talk about them. The covert categories of language, grammar, are associated with unconscious, cultural assumptions we make about the world, what is natural, how it works.

7 Escaping the Prison of Language Learn other, radically different languages Become conscious of the covert categories and the unconscious assumptions they imply Recognize your own assumptions about what is natural and de-naturalize them.

8 cryptotypes Covert categories marked by types of patterning Avoidance of combinations (syntagmatic relations prohibited) Avoidance of certain affixes/morphemes (paradigms shaped by classes not usually recognized)

9 Overt categories Has a formal mark which is present every time a member of the category appears. Ex. Plural in English Marked by suffix -s Sheep, fish, etc. The sheep is in the pen.verb The sheep are in the field.marked

10 Overt categories - plural Fish appeared out of nowhere. A fish appeared. The fish will be plentiful. The Romans arrived. The Chinese arrived.

11 Covert categories We know an element belongs to a covert category only when encountering problems using it in certain circumstances. Ex. Intransitive verbs - no passive She cooked it.She went home. It was cooked. * She was went

12 Covert category - gender Gender is not marked in English words. Apparent only through pronominal substitution. John met Sally. - He met her.

13 Covert category in Navaho Word classes organized by shape Round(ish), long objects, amorphous objects Different shape-classes require different verb-stems for the same idea (verb) Arbitrary: Sorrow belongs to the round class

14 cryptotype Covert categories are hidden, cryptic. The overt categories are phenotypes.

15 Comparisons We may find patterns of similarity in specific categories in different languages Taxonomic categories - classification of categories Transitivity, case, voice

16 Transitivity Nominative - Accusative The dog bit the man. - It bit him. The dog is sleeping. - He is sleeping He is sleeping. He hit him.

17 Another view of Transitivity Ergative - absolutive relations The dog bit the man. - He bit him. The dog is sleeping. - Him is sleeping Him is sleeping. He hit him.

18 Late assignments Late assignments are accepted but incur a penalty.


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