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Unformatted text preview: Linguistic Relativity F ranz Boas (18581942) Father of American Anthropology reaction to 19th century view that unwritten languages were primitive: these are actually as systematic and as logically r ich as any European language Edward Sapir (18841939) student of Boas: Both simple and complex types of language of an indefinite number of varieties may be found spoken at any desired level of cultural advance. When it comes to linguistic form, Plato walks with the Macedonian swineherd, Confucius with the headhunting savage of Assam. Linguistic Determinism Benjamin Whorf (18971941) student of Sapir: We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which have to be organized in our mindsand this means, largely, by the linguistic systems in our minds. We cut nature up, means, largely, by the linguistic systems in our minds....
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2011 for the course CJUS 310 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Indiana.
- Fall '09