Language, Thought, and Reality; Selected Writings PDF/EPUB

Language, Thought, and Reality; Selected Writings ❄ [KINDLE] ✽ Language, Thought, and Reality; Selected Writings By Benjamin Lee Whorf ➝ – Thomashillier.co.uk This is a reproduction of a book published before This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc that were either part of the original This is a reproduction of and Reality; ePUB ☆ a book published beforeThis book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, Language, Thought, PDF/EPUB ² etc that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process We believe this work is culturally important, and despite Thought, and Reality; eBook ✓ the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.


About the Author: Benjamin Lee Whorf

Bejamin Lee Whorf was an and Reality; ePUB ☆ inspector for a fire insurance company who studied and wrote about language with his teacher, a Yale professor named Language, Thought, PDF/EPUB ² Edward Sapir Together they proposed what Whorf called the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis, commonly known as the Sapir Whorf hypothesis.



10 thoughts on “Language, Thought, and Reality; Selected Writings

  1. Bryan "They call me the Doge" Bryan "They call me the Doge" says:

    Dr Louise Banks If you immerse yourself into a foreign language, then you can actually rewire your brain Ian Donnelly Yeah, the Sapir Whorf hypothesis It s the theory that the language you speak determines how you think and Dr Louise Banks Yeah, it affects how you see everything. From the 2016 film ArrivalIt was interesting to run across this book only a few months after I d seen this film I didn t remember the name mentioned in the quote at the time, but after reading through Whorf Dr Louise Banks If you immerse yourself into a foreign language, then you can actually rewire your brain Ian Donnelly Yeah, the Sapir Whorf hypothesis It s the theory that the language you speak determines how you think and Dr Louise Banks Yeah, it affects how you see everything. From the 2016 film ArrivalIt was interesting to run across this book only a few months after I d seen this film I didn t remember the name mentioned in the quote at the time, but after reading through Whorf s writings, it struck me that what he was talking about sounded a lot like what the characters in the film had been talking about A quick search thanks, IMDb proved it so, though the use the film puts it to is firmly in the realm of science fiction Whorf himself would probably have wanted to makemodest claims.I ve given this book five stars, but it comes with caveats or maybe it just isn t your typical five star book To me, I found Whorf s ideas fascinating the absolute truth or falsity of them is immaterial, because thinking about what Whorf was saying really engaged me, kind of fired my imagination and literally opened up another way of viewing the world Unfortunately, in the layout of this book, there are pieces that deal with pure linguistic topics which were completely over my head and, due to the nature of this collection, quite a bit of repetition So by any kind of objective rating, one could easily rate the book 4 or even 3 stars It s got a shaky beat and you really can t dance to it But measuring the book by that kind of objective criteria misses the point entirely, I think What an original thinker It s doubtful I can encapsulate his ideas in a review I don t know I d actually agree with the re wire your brain idea, at least not from the readings in this book It sthat a person is unconsciously predisposed, because of the language that he speaks, to interpret the phenomena that surrounds him in a particular way Because these parameters are so ingrained, the speaker of that language doesn t even recognize he s bound by them, and assumes his interpretation is logical and the only possible way of interpreting the data he receives Yet speakers of another language may have a completely different interpretation This parallels Einstein s relativity theories, though instead of observers in different points, we have observers who speak different languages It isn t that the phenomenon itself is different, just our way of relating to it can differ, if our language has taught us to Realizing that we are bound by our language can open us up to the idea that our way of ordering the world around us, which seems to be based on an intuitive logic, is not necessarily the only way of so ordering things, and that there might beefficient ways Thus, an English speaker, who segments the world in a particular way because of his language, might perceive classical Newtonian physics as simply an extension of common sense, but find quantum physics difficult to wrap his head around Whorf posits that other languages, particularly Hopi, which he studied extensively, could better prepare the speaker for what English speakers might call advanced concepts at least this English speaker , because that language has already taught its users to view the world in a way that dovetails with that picture of reality This book is a compendium of all of Whorf s writing not all of it deals with the concept of how language influences thought There are pieces here on Whorf s coining of the term cryptotype, which describes hidden aspects of a language, his work on Mayan hieroglyphics, and some linguistic work on the Shawnee language These were of varying interest I thought the explanation of crytotypes fascinating, though, as a layman, it took on for me the aspect of a fun fact Other discussions of linguistic investigations were hit or miss, depending on my level of understanding Whorf gets into some highly abstract concepts or at least they were highly abstract to me But a search of Whorf here on Goodreads only returns this single title, so if one is interested in reading his ideas as he presented them, this is your only choice While there may be other books on linguistics that summarize or amplify Whorf s ideas, or seek to dispute them it seems that the debate is still ongoing this is the only collection by him I can find Since it is my first exposure to these ideas, I put a high value on it, though I can imagine that a general survey of the field might be just as illuminating


  2. Liam Liam says:

    Whorf is attacked mercilessly for covert racism, essentialism and all other sorts of double plus non good intellectual sins But go back to what he wrote You will find a mind who stood in awe at the power of language to frame experience and construct models of reality He encouraged his peers to look beyond the indoeuropean horizons at languages which challenged the presumptions of what a language could be like Language and culture clearly interact Whorf would say that language makes channel Whorf is attacked mercilessly for covert racism, essentialism and all other sorts of double plus non good intellectual sins But go back to what he wrote You will find a mind who stood in awe at the power of language to frame experience and construct models of reality He encouraged his peers to look beyond the indoeuropean horizons at languages which challenged the presumptions of what a language could be like Language and culture clearly interact Whorf would say that language makes channels of thought customary They allow spontaneous creativity within one generation, but it takes generations to set into structural rules How does such a network of language, culture, and behaviour come about historically Which was first the language patterns or the cultural norms In main they have grown up together, constantly influencing each other But in this partnership the nature of the language is the factor that limts free plasticity and rigidifies channels of development in theautocratic way This is so because a language is a system, not just an assemblage of norms Large systematic outlines can change to something new only very slowly, while many other cultural innovations are made with comparative quickness Language thus represents the mass mind it is affected by inventions and innovations, but affected little and slowly, whereas to inventors and innovators it legislates with the decree immediate. p.165Here, Whorf compares how explicit word order and the discrimination of verbs of movement provides the raw material for scientific inquiry Despite claims that he was a covert white supremicist, Whorf claims that the Hopi languae would actually have a good chance of adapting to complex laws of physics, since their verbs of motion contain complicated discriminations between types of movement We are inclined to think of language simply as a technique of expression, and not to realize that language first of all is a classification and arrangement of the stream of sensory experience which results in a certain word order, a certain segment of the world that is easily expressible by the type of symbolic means that language employs In other words, language does in a cruder but also in a broader andversatile way the same thing that science does We have just seen how the Hopi language maps out a certain terrain of what might be termed primitive physics We have observed how, with very thorough consistency and not a little true scientific precision, all sorts of vibratile phenomena in nature are classified by being referred to various elementary types of deformation process could be made with great appropriateness to a multiplicity of phenomena belonging entirely to the modern scientific and technical world movements of machinery and mechanism, wave processes and vibrations, electrical and chemical phenomena things that the Hopi have never known or imagined, and for which we ourselves lack definite names. p 64An interesting grammatical subject raised in the book is that of the exact logic behind phrasal verbs in English Clearly finish up clean up and beat up contain some shared sense of finality But how can these be codified and taught Whorf raises the examples as much to demonstrate our complacency in the face of our own language s complexity as to investiage the question A covert linguistic class may not deal with any grand dichotomy of objects, it may have a very subtle meaning, and it may have no overt mark other than certain distinctive reactances with certain overtly marked forms It is then what I call a CRYPTOTYPE It is a submerged, subtle, and elusive meaning, corresponding to no actual word, yet shown by linguistic analysis to be functionally important in the grammar For example, the English particple UP meaning completely, to a finish, as in break it up, cover it up, eat it up, twist it up, open it up can be applied to any verb of one or two syllables initially accented, EXCEPTING verbs belonging to four special cryptotypes One is the cryptotype of dispersion without a boundary hence one does not say spread it up, waste it us, spend it up, scatter it up, drain it up, or filter it up Another is the cryptotype of oscillation without agitation of parts we don t say rock up a cradle, wave up a flag, wiggle up a finger, nod up one s head etc The third is the cryptotype of nondurative impact whihc also includes psychological reaction kill, fight, etc., hence wje don t say whack it up, tap it up, slam it up, wrestle him up, hate him up The fourth is the verbs of directed motion, move lift pull push put, etc., with which UP has the directional sense, upward or derived senses, even though the sense may be contradicted by the verb and hence produce an effect of absurdity, as in drip it upp.80Whorf s appeals for the study of language to inform a study of the mind is quite hard to argue with in the terms he uses In spite of the fact that there is great conformity for words like sky and apple , we cannot expect the same for the division of nature into forces and movements That languages can contain labels for things that others don t strongly implies that these semantic discriminations glowbrightly in the mind Byor less distinct terms we ascribe a semificticious isolation to parts of experience English terms, like sky, hill, swamp, persuade us to regard some elusive aspect of nature s endless variety as a distinct THING, almost like a table or chair Thus English and similar tongues lead us to think of the universe as a collection of rather distinct objects and events corresponding to word Indeed this is the implicit picutre of classical physics and astronomy that the universe is essentially a collection of detached objects of different sizes The examples used by older logicians in dealing with this point are usually unfortunately chosen They tend to pick out tables and chairs usually unfortunately chosen They tend to pick out tables and chairs and apples on tables as test objects to demonstrate the object like nature of reality and its one to one correspondence with logic Man s artifacts and the agricultural products he severs from living plants have a unique degree of isolation we may expect that all languages will have fairly isolated terms for them The real question is What do different languages do, not with these artificially isolated objects but with the flowing face of nature in its motion, color and changing form with clouds, beaches, and yonder flight of birds For, as goes our segmentation of the face of nature, so goes our physics of the cosmosp.240 1The book stands as a classic Whorf thought adventurously and modestly, always drawing attention to the things he knew nothing about, and making no dogmas to conceal his, and our, ignorance He is an example to be followed by linguists, and it s a shame that since Chomsky he s been nothingthan a punching bag


  3. Sibyl Sibyl says:

    One cannot speak of the influence of language on thoughts without mentioning the Sapir Whorf hypothesis It is the intriguing idea of linguistic relativity, largely attributed to Sapir Whorf, which central theme is that culture , affects the thinking of humans through the language This should be due to the fact that fundamental categories of our thoughts space, time, object subject, etc are not the same in all the different languages The idea itself was of Franz Boas , an eminent ant One cannot speak of the influence of language on thoughts without mentioning the Sapir Whorf hypothesis It is the intriguing idea of linguistic relativity, largely attributed to Sapir Whorf, which central theme is that culture , affects the thinking of humans through the language This should be due to the fact that fundamental categories of our thoughts space, time, object subject, etc are not the same in all the different languages The idea itself was of Franz Boas , an eminent anthropologist , in a period in which he actively researched on linguistic differences in grammatical and cultural terms , of some indigenous American , concluding that the language has the power to shape the world Sapir was one of the best students of Boas and has pursued this vision Benjamin Lee Worf , a chemical engineer, was a student of Sapir at Yale when , in the last decade of his life, he became one of the most influential linguists of his time Whorf connects the idea of relativity to the term used in mathematical physics that aims to demonstrate how different starting points lead to different conceptions of the cosmos and world views In this sense he called principle of linguistic relativity its finding that different grammars lead the users towards different types of observations and different evaluations of acts, although externally similar, thus coming to different views of the world Whorf connects the true freedom of the human mind to a wide knowledge of many linguistic systems and believes that those who see the usefulness of a monolingual world , whether English, French, Russian or any other language , they have a bad ideal because the universal monolingualism would be a disservice to the evolution of the human mind What Whorf actually wrote appears to be unknown to most people, especially to those who ascribe to him a hypothesis he had never formulated What this author actually wrote was , essentially, that the constancy of our language makes us think of a fist or a lightning strike as a thing a slight elevation of the earth is felt as a thing different than the surrounding land a hill , or the slightly higher water content of the soil leads it to be conceived as a thing different than the surrounding terrain a quagmire What this author wanted to point out, is the difference between conception and perception The findings of Benjamin Lee Whorf have been the core of my studies on multilingualism in a psychological perspective I only can recommend this book although I think that only a small part of it is really interesting


  4. Jennifer B. Jennifer B. says:

    Although the Sapir Whorf hypothesis has been seriously discredited, it still makes some valid points and raises some interesting questions This book is heavy going and best for academics and or serious nerds, though.


  5. Bruce Langley Bruce Langley says:

    In the book, Whorf offers his concepts on the way languages see the world and the effects of those perspectives upon the spoken language An interesting chapter in the book to me is where he examines the unique approach of Native American Shawnee thinking as expressed through the stem composition of that language According to Samantha Holland, known student and author of the Shawnee language, one word may be seen rather as a phrase than a single thought and a variety of contextual consideration In the book, Whorf offers his concepts on the way languages see the world and the effects of those perspectives upon the spoken language An interesting chapter in the book to me is where he examines the unique approach of Native American Shawnee thinking as expressed through the stem composition of that language According to Samantha Holland, known student and author of the Shawnee language, one word may be seen rather as a phrase than a single thought and a variety of contextual considerations may be considered by the simple affixes attached to basic roots


  6. seanchiswell seanchiswell says:

    English not being my native language, this book was a bit hard to read and took me longer than it usually takes me to read a book with this amount of pages It s a good, mind opening and we ll written book that contains many linguistic technicalities, other than that, it s a super interesting book that will make you think about language and perspective in a different way I ll read it again in the future for better understanding.


  7. Jackson Dame Jackson Dame says:

    I really enjoyed parts of this book It s a collection of his writings though and some of them were extremely technical I had to skip and skim some parts.


  8. Sunny Sunny says:

    i must admit to have left out large chunks of this book where it goes into the analysis of some the well known aztacan and maya languages and another native indian language called Hopi which he uses a great deal for juxtaposition with english the book is about linguistics and language and how whorf believes that the words we use and the language that words are threaded with help or promote a certain understanding of the reality around us and how this reality could have been findamentally difffe i must admit to have left out large chunks of this book where it goes into the analysis of some the well known aztacan and maya languages and another native indian language called Hopi which he uses a great deal for juxtaposition with english the book is about linguistics and language and how whorf believes that the words we use and the language that words are threaded with help or promote a certain understanding of the reality around us and how this reality could have been findamentally diffferent if the laguage strucutres were different on of the big differences with the Hopi language is based aroudn teh concept of time in Hopi while they are conscious of time it doesnt come to play as much in their day to day language tenses dont really exist in those languages they dont see time as linear but histroy is seen as a reconfirmation of original princples and the future is almost an extension of this its hard to exaplin to be honest end result is that the present is given a great dealvalue and acts as the main pivot theres tonnes of other god stuff and examples like the coeur d alene language spoken by a small indian tribe in idaho instead of using a simple cocept of cause their language splits this three ways into 1 cause which is essentially organiccally caused, 2 cause which occurred due to addition and 3 cause that occured due to a process change fascinating whorf argues taht the sciences and arts of this world may have been fundamentally different had the langauges we used been differenrt as tey woudl have determined the way we view the world aroudn us fascinating book but in parts very coimpleicaed and perhaps too detailed for a nonlinguist


  9. Bob Bob says:

    I don t feel qualified to wade into the quagmire of debate about the Sapir Whorf hypothesis, Wilhelm von Humboldt s linguistic relativity etc, but I particularly like the specific analyses of the complex and other worldly grammar of American Indian languages and the notion of cryptotypes , widely applicable and of which he gives lots of fascinating examples in English so you re not so much taking his word for it, as you have to with the American languages.I think of The punctual and segmentati I don t feel qualified to wade into the quagmire of debate about the Sapir Whorf hypothesis, Wilhelm von Humboldt s linguistic relativity etc, but I particularly like the specific analyses of the complex and other worldly grammar of American Indian languages and the notion of cryptotypes , widely applicable and of which he gives lots of fascinating examples in English so you re not so much taking his word for it, as you have to with the American languages.I think of The punctual and segmentative aspects of verbs in Hopi as one of the star turns, which passes from grammatical analysis to suggesting the language issuited than many others to comprehend particle physics, but that is probably through its having been featured in George Steiner s After Babel which highly impressed me as a youngster, a book which is appealing in that you get a variety of linguistic theory with a lot of literary flair


  10. Kathy Kathy says:

    A ground breaking book that became important in the understanding of language and cultural differences in world view.


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