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Supporting and Refuting Whorf An Analysis of Selected Evidences of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Abstract

The significant role language occupies in human lives has led to the question whether language is merely a tool for expressing human thoughts or does it actually shape human thoughts. Over the years many scholars have attempted to find answers for this question. One such influential study led to SapirWhorf hypothesis. This paper seeks to answer the question why the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, also known as linguistic relativity proposal, still popular in academia even after numerous criticisms against it. The paper incorporates the methodology of a textual analysis of study books and scholarly work based on the topic. Further the paper discusses Whorf’s writings and a selection of studies that support and refute the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. This study is an attempt to shed light on this heavily discussed area of human language and to add in to the existing knowledge on the subject.

Keywords— language, Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, linguistic relativity, cognition, human thought

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