Linguistic Determinism - A person’s view of reality comes
from his/her language. Even though languages are similar
they cannot represent the same reality.
Example: Inuit Eskimos (the indigenous people of N North
America) who have over twenty words for different types of
snow. They can visually see the distinction, because they
have words to describe the distinction.
The Inuit had single words to describe snow on
the ground, falling snow, hard packed
snow, etc. The Aztecs had a single word for
cold, snow and ice.
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis – Language shapes a person’s experience.
It’s not just a tool to report experiences.
'we can only perceive and think what our language allows us to
perceive, think and say'
The English language is built on extremes; near and far, hot
and cold, heavy and light, while Portuguese has may words
for the middle area of the extremes.
Can you think of a word or term for water that feels
neither warm or cool to the touch?
The Hopi (North American Indians living in the NE Arizona area)
language shows no evidence of any concept of time seen as a
dimension. Whorf, realizing how vitally important the concept of
time is in Western physics (for, without it, there can be no velocity
or acceleration) developed an idea of what a Hopi physics might
look like. He claimed it would be radically different from English
physics and that it would be virtually impossible for an English
physicist and a Hopi physicist to understand each other.
The Triangle of Meaning, according to Ogden and Richards
Thought (Your Image of Cat)
The Word Cat The actual, live Cat
-The word ‘cat’ is a symbol that refers or ‘stands’ for the creature.
-The thought is your mental image of a cat.
-The referent is the cat itself.
-Problems caused when the referent isn’t concrete like freedom, family, or