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Re: Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

From:Grandsire, C.A. <grandsir@...>
Date:Thursday, October 21, 1999, 8:43
Nik Taylor wrote:
> > "Thomas R. Wier" wrote: > > I think part of the problem with understanding the Sapir-Whorf > > dilemma is that culture and language are so often interconnected > > Which is why I said a while back that they aren't really separable. > Indeed, changes often are both linguistic and cultural at the same > time. If a foreign people bring new ideas to a group, say a new > religion, then even if the foreigners attempt to learn the language, > they will inevitably be influenced by their native language. And if > they are successful in introducing these new ideas, they may be highly > respected, and therefore have a good deal of influence on the language, > and the new ideas will obviously affect the culture. In addition, > internal changes to culture often involve deliberate changes in > language. The Quakers deliberately abandoned the "ye/you" forms in > favor of "thou/thee" to everyone, to underscore their extreme > egalitarianism. In modern times, complex pronouns like "he/she" are > appearing. Is this a change in language to reflect cultural change, or > a language change attempting to effect cultural change? A little of > both, I think. >
I think it's even more complicated thatn that. What about the Russian Revolution? The structure and even the culture of a country changed in less than a generation, but as far as I know, The rate of change of the Russian language stayed the same, not quickened at all by the change in ideas. The culture-language connection is still very mysterious I think. -- Christophe Grandsire Philips Research Laboratories -- Building WB 145 Prof. Holstlaan 4 5656 AA Eindhoven The Netherlands Phone: +31-40-27-45006 E-mail: