Theory and History of Ontology

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Selected Bibliography on Linguistic Relativity (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis)


  1. Aarsleff, Hans. 1988. "Introduction." In Wilhelm Von Humboldt. On Language: The Diversity of Human Language-Structure and Its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind, VII-LXV. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  2. Alford, Danny H.K. 1978. "The Demise of the Whorf Hypothesis (a Major Revision in the History of Linguistics)." Berkeley Linguistics Society.Proceedings of the Annual Meeting no. 4:485-499.

  3. Basson, A.H., and O'Connor, J. 1947. "Language and Philosophy. Some Suggestions for an Empirical Approach." Philosophy no. 22:49-65.

  4. Berlin, Brent, and Kay, Paul. 1969. Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Reprinted: Stanford, Center for the Study of Language and Information, 1999

  5. Berriman, W.A. 1978. "Alternative Conceptual Schemes." Metaphilosophy no. 9:226-232.

    "Against recent arguments, which define alternative conceptual schemes in terms of failure of translatability and insist that since such schemes cannot be translated, they cannot be made intelligible, I argue that even if Whorf is mistaken about the Hopi, he does describe, using the same grammatical criteria as Strawson, a scheme radically different to that described in "Individual's" (our scheme). It seems appropriate to mark the difference by "alternative conceptual scheme." Further, I claim that not translation but rather a process of substitution of, or addition to, a first language is the key to understanding a radically different second language."

  6. Bertalanffy, Ludwig von. 1955. "An Essay on the Relativity of Categories." Philosophy of Science no. 22:243-263.

  7. Björk, Ingrid. 2008. Relativizing Linguistic Relativity. Investigating Underlying Assumptions About Language in the Neo-Whorfian Literature. Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet.

    "This work concerns the linguistic relativity hypothesis, also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which, in its most general form claims that 'lan-guage' influences 'thought'. Past studies into linguistic relativity have treated various aspects of both thought and language, but a growing body of literature has recently emerged, in this thesis referred to as neo-Whorfian, that empirically investigates thought and language from a cross-linguistic perspective and claims that the grammar or lexicon of a particular language influences the speakers' non-linguistic thought.

    The present thesis examines the assumptions about language that underlie this claim and criticizes the neo-Whorfian arguments from the point of view that they are based on misleading notions of language. The critique focuses on the operationalization of thought, language, and culture as separate vari-ables in the neo-Whorfian empirical investigations. The neo-Whorfian stud-ies explore language primarily as 'particular languages' and investigate its role as a variable standing in a causal relation to the 'thought' variable. Tho-ught is separately examined in non-linguistic tests and found to 'correlate' with language.

    As a contrast to the neo-Whorfian view of language, a few examples of other approaches to language, referred to in the thesis as sociocultural appro-aches, are reviewed. This perspective on language places emphasis on prac-tice and communication rather than on particular languages, which are vie-wed as secondary representations. It is argued that from a sociocultural per-spective, language as an integrated practice cannot be separated from tho-ught and culture. The empirical findings in the neo-Whorfian studies need not be rejected, but they should be interpreted differently. The findings of linguistic and cognitive diversity reflect different communicational practices in which language cannot be separated from non-language."

  8. Black, Max. 1959. "Linguistic Relativity: The Views of Benjamin Lee Whorf." The Philosophical Review no. 68:228-238.

    Reprinted in: Max Black - Models and metaphors. Studies in language and philosophy - Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1962

  9. ———. 1969. "Some Troubles with Whorfianism." In Language and Philosophy. A Symposium, edited by Hook, Sidney, 30-35. New York: New York University Press.

  10. Bloom, Alfred H. 1981. The Linguistic Shaping of Thought: A Study in the Impact of Language on Thinking in China and the West. Hillsdale: Laurence Erlbauim Associates.

  11. Boas, Franz. 1966. Introduction to Handbook of American Indian Languages. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

    The volume, edited by Preston Holder, contains a Preface (V-IX), the Introduction by Franz Boas (1911) pp. 1-79, and the essay by J. W. Powell Indian linguistic families of America North of Mexico (1891) pp. 83-221.

    Reprinted 1991.

  12. Boroditsky, Lera. 2003. "Linguistic Relativity." In Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences, edited by Nadel, Lynn, 917-921. London: Macmillan.

  13. Brown, Roger Langham. 1967. Wilhelm Von Humboldt's Conception of Linguistic Relativity. The Hague: Mouton.

  14. Cloeren, Hermann J. 1975. "The Neglected Analytical Heritage." Journal of the History of Ideas no. 36:513-529.

    "Presented are virtually unknown contributions to analytical philosophy by 18th and 19th century German philosophers with striking anticipations of Wittgenstein and 20th century analytical thought as well as of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity.

    Language is seen in its transcendental function; ordinary language as an indispensable metalanguage. An interdependence theory of language and thought leads to regard philosophy as critique of language and cognition. Its task: the elimination of metaphysics and pseudoproblems, The clarification of concepts and the meaning of propositions. The method claims therapeutic consequences."

  15. ———. 1988. Language and Thought. German Approaches to Analytic Philosophy in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

  16. Cook, John. 1978. "Whorf's Linguistic Relativism (First Part)." Philosophical Investigations no. 1:1-30.

    "This is the first part of a two-part essay on Benjamin Lee Whorf's linguistic relativism: the thesis that the grammatical structure of one's language "shapes" the "form" of one's thoughts. This thesis has often been treated by anthropologists, linguists, and psychologists as an empirical claim, subject to scientific investigation, and a principal aim of this essay is to assess that general view of Whorf's thesis. In this first part of the essay, a number of criticisms of Whorf's relativism are considered and are shown to rest on various misconceptions of Whorf's thesis."

  17. ———. 1979. "Whorf's Linguistic Relativism (Second Part)." Philosophical Investigations no. 2:1-37.

  18. Cooper, Robert L., and Spolsky, Bernard, eds. 1991. The Influence of Language on Culture and Thought. Essays in Honor of Joshua A. Fishman's Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

  19. Crawford, T.D. 1982. "Plato's Reasoning and the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis." Metaphilosophy no. 13:217-227.

    "The works of Plato are examined in the context of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and a number of instances are cited in which the influence of the structure of the Greek language appears to have led him into a faulty line of reasoning."

  20. Davidson, Donald. 1974. "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association no. 47:5-20.

    Reprinted in: D. Davidson, Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984, pp. 183-199.

  21. Duval, Roch. 2001. "L'hypothèse De Whorf S'applique-T-Elle À La Philosophie? Brève Réflexion Sur Les Heurs Et Malheurs Du Rapport De La Langue À La Culture Avec La Philosophie Comme Toile De Fond." Horizons Philosophiques no. 12:28-52.

    "Intended as a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Whorf's death, this paper reviews the revival of the thesis of linguistic relativity (the so-called "Sapir-Whorf hypothesis") in linguistics. If the demise of Whorf's hypothesis, in the early Sixties, was tantamount to an irrevocably condemnation by the philosophical community, then how should philosophers react to the rejuvenation of Whorf's hypothesis?

    In my opinion philosophers should take seriously the recent attempts to reformulate that hypothesis in order to avoid oversimplifications. I challenge William Harvey, ( Philosophy Today, summer 1996, pp. 273-286) by arguing that he is guilty of such an oversimplification."

  22. Ellos, William J. 1982. "Benjamin Lee Whorf and Ultimate Reality and Meaning." Ultimate Reality and Meaning no. 5:140-150.

    "Surface and depth structure forms the central focal point of Whorf's creative work. In his developed system surface language-forms are called phenotypes and depth-elements are termed cryptotypes. Meaning is the interplay between the two. Penotypes are overt categories and cryptotypes are covert categories. Selective categories may be overt or covert but basically they work along lexemic lines. Modulus categories may be overt or covert but basically they work along grammatical lines. Semantic categories tend to be surface groupings of linguistic elements and hence carry no meaning."

  23. Feuer, Lewis S. 1953. "Sociological Aspects of the Relations between Language and Philosophy." Philosophy of Science no. 20:85-100.

  24. Fielding, David. 1986. "L'hypothèse Sapir." Petite Revue de Philosophie no. 7:17-46.

    "There can be no coherent "Sapir-Whorf" hypothesis. Sapir's mentalism, in contrast to Whorf's associationism, is best understood in the rationalist tradition. His phonology is almost Platonist: "psychological reality" -- i.e., patterns of phonemes -- control both production and perception of speech. His anthropology is also reminiscent of Plato in its insistence on a dialectical relationship with native informants. However his epistemological insight that "syntax modulates understanding" resembles a central theme of Wittgenstein's later philosophy."

  25. Fishman, Joshua A. 1960. "A Systematization of the Whorfian Hypothesis." Behavioral Science no. 5:323-329.

  26. ———. 1980. "The Whorfian Hypothesis: Varieties of Valuation, Confirmation and Disconfirmation (First Part)." International Journal of the Sociology of Language no. 26:25-40.

  27. ———. 1982. "Whorfianism of the Third Kind: Ethnolinguistic Diversity as a World-Wide Social Asset (the Whorfian Hypothesis: Varieties of Valuation, Confirmation and Disconfirmation: Second Part)." Language in Society no. 11:1-14.

  28. Foley, William A. 1997. Anthropological Linguistics. An Introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishers.

  29. Franzen, Winfried. 1990. "Die Sprachen Und Das Denken: Klein Bestandsaufnahme Zum Linguistischen Relativismus (Sapir-Whorf-Hypothese)." Conceptus:3-31.

    "After some general remarks both on the problem of language and thought and on the linguistic relativity debate the present state of research and discussion shall be demonstrated by two examples. The first concerns the relation between colour vision and colour terms, the second some possible differences between China and the West with respect to the linguistic and cognitive use of counterfactuals. A concluding section will contain some systematic reflections."

  30. Gentner, Dedre, and Goldin-Meadow, Susan, eds. 2003. Language in Mind. Advances in the Study of Language and Cognition. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

  31. Goddard, Cliff. 2008. "Whorf Meets Wierzbicka: Variation and Universals in Language and Thinking." Language Sciences no. 25:393-432.

    "Probably no contemporary linguist has published as profusely on the connections between semantics, culture, and cognition as Anna Wierzbicka. This paper explores the similarities and differences between her "natural semantic metalanguage" (NSM) approach and the linguistic theory of Benjamin Lee Whorf. It shows that while some work by Wierzbicka and colleagues can be seen as "neo-Whorfian", other aspects of the NSM program are "counter-Whorfian". Issues considered include the meaning of linguistic relativity, the nature of conceptual universals and the consequences for semantic methodology, the importance of polysemy, and the scale and locus of semantic variation between languages, particularly in relation to the domain of time. Examples are drawn primarily from English, Russian, and Hopi."

  32. Gumperz, John J., and Levinson, Stephen C., eds. 1996. Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Contents: List of contributors VII; Acknowledgements VIII; 1. Introduction: linguistic relativity re-examined by John J. Gumperz and Stephen C. Levinson 1;

    Part I. Linguistic determinism: the interface between language and thought

    Introduction to Part I by John J. Gumperz and Stephen C. Levinson 21; 2. The scope of linguistic relativity: an analysis and review of empirical research 37; 3. From "thought and language" to "thinking for speaking" by Dan I. Slobin 70; 4. Intra-speaker relativity by Paul Kay 97; 5. Imaging in iron, or thought is not inner speech by Charles M. Keller and James Dixon Keller 115;

    Part II. Universals and variation in language and culture

    Introduction to Part II by Stephen C. Levinson 133; 6. The origins of children's spatial semantic categories: cognitive versus linguistic determinants by Melissa Bowerman 145; 7. Relativity in spatial conception and description by Stephen C. Levinson 177; 8. Cognitive limits to conceptual relativity: the limiting-case of religious ontologies by Pascal Boyer 203;

    Part III. Interpretation in cultural context

    Introduction to Part III by John J. Gumperz and Stephen C. Levinson 225; 9. Language form and communicative practices by William F. Hanks 232; Projections, transpositions, and relativity by John B. Haviland 271; 11. Communities, commonalities, and communication by Herbert H. Clarck 324;

    Part IV. The social matrix: culture, praxis, and discourse

    Introduction to Part IV by John Gumperz 359; 12. The linguistic and cultural relativity of inference by John J. Gumperz 374; 13. Linguistic resources for socializing humanity by Elinor Ochs 407; 14. When animals become "rounded" and "feminine": conceptual categories and linguistic classification in a multilingual setting by Elsa Gomez-Imbert 438; Index 470-488.

  33. Harvey, William. 1996. "Linguistic Relativity in French, English, and German Philosophy." Philosophy Today no. 40:273-288.

    "The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (that grammar influences world view) is employed to explain the differences between German, French and English philosophical traditions. German philosophy's idealist, unitary and systematic tendencies are attributed to German's end-verbs, case system, root morphemes and initial qualifiers. French philosophy's dualism and rationalist analysis are ascribed to that language's more abstract signifiers and its description by progressive discrete divisions. And English philosophy's skeptical materialist empiricism is attributed to English's mixing of French and German syntax and lexicons, and to the higher incidence of passive constructions in English."

  34. Haugen, Einar. 1977. "Linguistic Relativity: Myths and Methods." In Language and Thought: Anthropological Issues, edited by McCormack, William and Wurm, Stephen, 11-28. The Hague: Mouton.

  35. Hennigfeld, Jochem. 1976. "Sprache Als Weltansicht: Humboldt, Nietzsche, Whorf." Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung no. 30:435-451.

  36. Hoijer, Harry. 1953. "The Relation of Language to Culture." In Anthropology Today: An Encyclopedic Inventory, edited by Kroeber, Alfred Louis, 554-573. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    International Symposium on anthropology prepared under the chairmanship of A. L. Kroeber

  37. ———. 1954. "The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis." In Language in Culture: Proceedings of a Conference on the Interrelations of Language and Other Aspects of Culture, edited by Hoijer, Harry, 92-105. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

  38. Humboldt, Wilhelm von. 1988. On Language: On the Diversity of Human Language Construction and Its Influence on the Mental Development of the Human Species. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Edited by Michael Losonsky, translated by Peter Heath and with an introduction by Hans Aarsleff.

    Second edition without Aarsleff's introduction: 1999.

  39. Hunt, Earl, and Agnoli, Franca. 1991. "The Whorfian Hypothesis: A Cognitive Psychology Perspective." Psychological Review no. 98:377-389.

    "The linguistic relativity (Whorfian) hypothesis states that language influences thought. In its strongest form, the hypothesis states that language controls both thought and perception. Several experiments have shown that this is false. The weaker form of the hypothesis, which states that language influences thought, has been held to be so vague that it is unprovable. The argument presented herein is that the weaker Whorfian hypothesis can be quantified and thus evaluated. Models of cognition developed after Whorf's day indicate ways in which thought can be influenced by cultural variations in the lexical, syntactical, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of language. Although much research remains to be done, there appears to be a great deal of truth to the linguistic relativity hypothesis. In many ways the language people speak is a guide to the language in which they think."

  40. Imai, Mutsumi. 2000. "Universal Ontological Knowledge and a Bias toward Language-Specific Categories in the Construal of Individuation." In Evidence for Linguistic Relativity, edited by Niemeier, Susanne and Dirven, René, 139-160. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

  41. Imai, Mutsumi, and Gentner, Dedre. 1993. "Linguistic Relativity Vs. Universal Ontology. Cross-Linguistic Studies of the Object/Substance Distinction." In What We Mean and How We Say It. Papers from the Parasession on the Correspondence of Conceptual, Semantic, and Grammatical Representations, edited by Beals, J., Cooke, G., Kathman, D., McCullough, K.-E., Kita, S. and Testen, D., 171-186. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.

    Proceedings of the 29th Chicago Linguistic Society

  42. ———. 1997. "A Cross-Linguistic Study of Early Word Meaning: Universal Ontology and Linguistic Influence." Cognition no. 62:169-200.

    "This research concerns how children learn the distinction between substance names and object names. Quine (1969) proposed that children learn the distinction through learning the syntactic distinctions inherent in count/mass grammar. However, Soja et al. (1991) found that English-speaking 2-year-olds, who did not seem to have acquired count/mass grammar, distinguished objects from substances in a word extension task, suggesting a pre-linguistic ontological distinction. To test whether the distinction between object names and substance names is conceptually or linguistically driven, we repeated Soja et al.'s study with English- and Japanese-speaking 2-, 2.5-, and 4-year-olds and adults. Japanese does not make a count-mass grammatical distinction: all inanimate nouns are treated alike. Thus if young Japanese children made the object-substance distinction in word meaning, this would support the early ontology position over the linguistic influence position. We used three types of standards: substances (e.g., sand in an S-shape), simple objects (e.g., a kidney-shaped piece of paraffin) and complex objects (e.g., a wood whisk). The subjects learned novel nouns in neutral syntax denoting each standard entity. They were then asked which of the two alternatives -- one matching in shape but not material and the other matching in material but not shape--would also be named by the same label. The results suggest the universal use of ontological knowledge in early word learning. Children in both languages showed differentiation between (complex) objects and substances as early as 2 years of age. However, there were also early cross-linguistic differences. American and Japanese children generalized the simple object instances and the substance instances differently. We speculate that children universally make a distinction between individuals and non-individuals in word learning but that the nature of the categories and the boundary between them is influenced by language."

  43. Imai, Mutsumi, and Mazuka, Reiko. 2007. "Language-Relative Construal of Individuation Constrained by Universal Ontology: Revisiting Language Universals and Linguistic Relativity." Cognitive Science no. 31:385-413.

    "Objects and substances bear fundamentally different ontologies. In this article, we examine the relations between language, the ontological distinction with respect to individuation, and the world.

    Specifically, in cross-linguistic developmental studies that follow Imai and Gentner (1997), we examine the question of whether language influences our thought in different forms, like (1) whether the language specific construal of entities found in a word extension context (Imai and Gentner, 1997) is also found in a nonlinguistic classification context; (2) whether the presence of labels per se, independent of the count-mass syntax, fosters ontology-based classification; (3) in what way, if at all, the count-mass syntax that accompanies a label changes English speakers' default construal of a given entity?

    On the basis of the results, we argue that the ontological distinction concerning individuation is universally shared and functions as a constraint on early learning of words. At the same time, language influences one's construal of entities cross-linguistically and developmentally, and causes a temporary change of construal within a single language. We provide a detailed discussion of how each of these three ways language may affect the construal of entities, and discuss how our universally possessed knowledge interacts with language both within a single language and in cross-linguistic context."

  44. ———. 2008. "Reevaluating Linguistic Relativity: Language-Specific Categories and the Role of Universal Ontological Knowledge in the Construal of Individuation." In Language in Mind. Advances in the Study of Language and Thought, edited by Gentner, Dedre and Goldin-Meadow, Susan, 429-464. Cambridge: MIT Press.

  45. Jedynak, Anna. 2008. "On Linguistic Relativism." In The Lvov-Warsaw School. The New Generation, edited by Jadacki, Jacek and Pasniczek, Jacek, 325-344. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of Sciences and the Humanities, Vol. 89.

  46. Joseph, John E. 1996. "The Immediate Sources of the 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis'." Historiographia Linguistica no. 23:365-404.

    Updated and reprinted in: From Whitney to Chomsky: essays in the history of American linguistics - Amsterdam, John Benjamins, 2002, pp. 71-105

  47. ———. 2002. "The Popular (Mis)Interpretations of Whorf and Chomsky: What They Have in Common, and Why They Had to Happen." In From Whitney to Chomsky. Essays in the History of American Linguistics, 197-221. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  48. Kay, Paul, and Kempton, Willett. 1984. "What Is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?" American Anthropologist no. 86:65-79.

  49. Koerner, Ernst Frideryk Konrad. 1992. "The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: A Preliminary History and a Bibliographical Essay." Journal of Linguistic Anthropology no. 2:173-198.

    An extended and updated version is included as Chapter 10 in E. F. K. Koerner - Professing linguistic historiography - Amsterdam, John Benjamins, 1995 pp. 203-240.

  50. ———. 2000. "Towards a 'Full Pedigree' of the 'Sapir-Whorf Hipothesys'. From Locke to Lucy." In Explorations in Linguistic Relativity, edited by Pütz, Martin and Verspoor, Marjolijn H., 1-24. John Benjamins.

  51. ———. 2002. "On the Sources of the 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis'." In Toward a History of American Linguistics, 39-62. London: Routledge.

    Revised version of: The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: a preliminary history and a bibliographical essay - Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 2, 1992, pp. 173-198.

  52. ———. 2008. "Immediate and Not So Immediate Sources of the 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis': Methodological Considerations." In Linguistic Historiography:. Projects & Prospects, 61-84. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

  53. Kowal, Kristopher H. 1998. Rhetorical Implications of Linguistic Relativity. Theory and Application to Chinese and Taiwanese Interlanguages. New York: Peter Lang.

  54. Kurzon, Dennis. 1998. A Tale of Two Remedies. Equity, Verb Aspect and the Whorfian Hypothesis. Liverpool: Deborah Charles Publication.

  55. Landesman, Charles. 1961. "Does Language Embody a Philosophical Point of View?" The Review of Metaphysics no. 14:617-636.

    "Examining the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the author addresses the questions whether language affects perception and whether grammatical categories affect conceptual categories. he argues that advocates of linguistic relativity have attributed to language an unjustified degree of causal efficacy and that linguistic idealism is contradicted by the results of experimental psychology. Then, considering the claimed correlation between grammatical and conceptual categories, he argues that grammar has no metaphysics and does not influence thought. The author concludes that language in use embodies a point of view only in the weak sense that relations and distinctions implicit in necessary concepts constitute a philosophical theory about reality."

  56. Langacker, Ronald W. 1976. "Semantic Representations and the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis." Foundations of Language no. 14:307-357.

    In evaluating the linguistic relativity hypothesis, it is necessary to avoid using terms in such a way as to empty the hypothesis of empirical content; it is also necessary to separate related but

    distinct issues. There is no reason to accept any strong version of the hypothesis when this is understood to pertain to differences in cognition due to non-universal aspects of language structure.

    Generative grammarians have been led by their orientation and findings to reject the hypothesis, But their ideas on the relation between language and thought have often been confused and burdened by gratuitous assumptions. It is argued that 'semantic representations', the semantic objects determined by linguistic principles, cannot be equated with the primary structures manipulated in cognition, termed 'conceptual structures'. It is further argued, With lexical and grammatical examples from various languages, that semantic representations are not universal, even granted essential uniformity of cognition for all speakers and the viability of an informal notion of semantic equivalence between sentences."

  57. Leavitt, John. 2011. Linguistic Relativities. Language Diversity and Modern Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  58. Lee, Penny. 1994. "New Work on the Linguistic Relativity Question." Historiographia Linguistica no. 21:173-191.

  59. ———. 1996. The Whorf Theory Complex. A Critical Reconstruction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  60. Lohmann, Johannes. 1976. "Saint Thomas Et Les Arabes (Structures Linguistiques Et Formes De Pensée)." Revue Philosophique de Louvain:30-44.

  61. Lounsbury, Floyd G. 1969. "Language and Culture." In Language and Philosophy. A Symposium, edited by Hook, Sidney, 3-29. New York: New York University Press.

  62. Lucy, John A. 1992. Grammatical Categories and Cognition. A Case Study of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  63. ———. 1992. Language Diversity and Thought. A Reformulation of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  64. ———. 1997. "Linguistic Relativity." Annual Review of Anthropology no. 26:291-312.

  65. Lyon, Gordon. 1999. "Language and Perceptual Experience." Philosophy no. 74:515-534.

    " This paper examines a series of experiments on recognition-memory for colors, often thought to support the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. the article argues that the hypothesis of perceptual familiarity provides a plausible, non-Whorfian explanation of the results. language is not influencing nonlinguistic perception here, since recognition-memory for perceptual simples is itself mediated by language"

  66. Macnamara, John. 1991. "Linguistic Relativity Revisited." In The Influence of Language on Culture and Thought. Essays in Honor of Joshua A. Fishman's Sixty-Fifth Birthday, 45-60. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

  67. Manchester, Martin L. 1985. The Philosophical Foundations of Humboldt's Linguistic Doctrines. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

  68. Mandelbaum, Maurice. 1979. "Subjective, Objective, and Conceptual Relativisms." The Monist no. 62:403-428.

    "This paper is concerned with relativism regarding factual knowledge. (Relativism regarding value-judgments is not discussed.) That position is identified with the view that assertions cannot be judged true or false in themselves, but must be judged with reference to one or more aspects of the total situation in which they are made. Three forms of relativism are discussed: subjective relativism (e.g., C. A. Beard); objective relativism (e.g., J. H. Randall, jr.); conceptual relativism (e.g., B. L. Whorf; T. S. Kuhn). in each case an acceptance of arguments in favor of the position is held to involve prior commitment to a non-relativistic interpretation of some judgments concerning matters of fact; thus, the position is self-limiting."

  69. Mannheim, Bruce, and Hill, Jane H. 1992. "Language and World View." Annual Review of Anthropology no. 21:381-406.

  70. Marking, Kasoer C. 1962. "Some Qualifying Remarks on Linguistic Relativity." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 22 (566):573.

  71. Mathiot, Madeleine, ed. 1979. Ethnolinguistics: Boas, Sapir and Whorf Revisited. The Hague: Mouton.

    A collection of nine papers.

  72. Miller, Robert Lee. 1968. The Linguistic Relativity Principle and Humboldtian Ethnolinguistics. A History and Appraisal. The Hague: Mouton.

  73. Moschonas, Spiros A. 2004. "Relativism in Language Ideology: On Greece's Latest Language Issues." Journal of Modern Greek Studies no. 22:173-206.

    "Language relativism can be associated with two major conceptions: that "each language has or is a particular spirit" and that "each language has or is a-real or imagined-territory." Spirituality and territoriality combined give rise to the ideology of a language as a realm. This ideology of Modern Greek as a regime language has become dominant after the official establishment of a

    standard norm (demotic) and the resolution of the perennial "Greek Language Question." As it is evidenced by a host of "language issues" raised in the Greek newspapers since 1976, relativism has determined what counted as a "language issue" that was worth publishing, which language issues were eligible for public debates, and the extent to which language issues were allowed

    to penetrate "public opinion"."

  74. Müller-Vollmer, Kurt. 1990. "From Sign to Signification: The Herder-Humboldt Controversy." In Johann Gottfried Herder: Language, History, and the Enlightenment, edited by Koepke, Wilhelm, 9-24. Columbia: Camden House.

  75. Niemeier, Susanne, and Dirven, René, eds. 2000. Evidence for Linguistic Relativity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Papers presented at the 11th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, held August 1993 at the University of California.

  76. Ogden, Charles Kay, and Richards, Ivor. 1923. The Meaning of Meaning; a Study of the Influence of Language Upon Thought and of the Science of Symbolism. New York: Harcourt, Brace.

  77. O'Neall, Sean. 2008. Cultural Contact and Linguistic Relativity among the Indians of Northwestern California. Norman: University Of Oklahoma Press.

  78. Pederson, Eric. 2007. "Cognitive Linguistics and Linguistic Relativity." In The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, edited by Geeraerts, Dirk and Cuyckens, Hubert, 1012-1044. New York: Oxford University Press.

  79. Penn, Julia M. 1972. Linguistic Relativity Versus Innate Ideas. The Origins of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis in German Thought. The Hague: Mouton.

  80. Pinxten, Rik, ed. 1976. Universalism Versus Relativism in Language and Thought. The Hague: Mouton.

    Proceedings of a Colloquium on the Sapir-Whorf hypotheses [sic]

  81. Pütz, Martin, and Verspoor, Marjolijn H., eds. 2000. Explorations in Linguistic Relativity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Martin Pütz and Marjolijn H. Verspoor: Preface; Introduction IX; E.F.K. Koerner: Towards a 'full pedigree' of the 'Sapir-Whorf hypothesis': From Locke to Lucy 1; Jürgen Trabant: How relativistic are Humboldt's "Weltansichten"? 25; Penny Lee: When is 'linguistic relativity' Worf's linguistic relativity? 45; Juliane House: Linguistic relativity and translation 69; Peter Mühlhäusler: Humboldt, Whorf and the roots of ecolinguistics 89; Wallace Chafe: Loci of diversity and convergence in thought and language 101; Nick J. Enfield: On linguocentrism; Paul R. Hays: From the Jurassic dark: Linguistic relativity as evolutionary necessity 159; Sydney M. Lamb: Neuro-cognitive structure in the interplay of language and thought 173; David B. Kronenfeld: Language and thought: Collective tools for individual use 197; Gary B. Palmer and Claudia Woodman: Ontological classifiers as polycentric categories, as seen in Shona class 3 nouns 225; Robert E. MacLaury: Linguistic relativity and the plasticity of categorization: Universalism in a new key 249; Bruce Hawkins: Linguistic relativity as a function of ideological deixis 295; Linda L. Thornburg and Klaus-Uwe Panther:

    Why we subject incorporate (in English): a post-Whorfian view 319; Minglang Zhou: Metalinguistic awareness in linguistic relativity: Cultural and subcultural practices across Chinese dialect communities 345; Subject index 365.

  82. Quine, Willard van Orman. 1960. Word and Object. Cambridge: MIT Press.

  83. ———. 1969. "Natural Kinds." In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 114-138. New York: Columbia University Press.

  84. Reding, Jean-Paul. 1986. "Greek and Chinese Categories: A Reexamination of the Problem of Linguistic Relativism." Philosophy East and West no. 36 (4):349-374.

  85. ———. 1997. "L'utilisation Philosophique De La Metaphore En Grèce Et En Chine: Vers Une Metaphorologie Comparée." Revue de Théologie et de Philosophie no. 129:1-30.

    "Everything leads us to believe that an 'exotic' language produces exotic metaphors, which in turn condition those modes of thought different from our own. Comparative analysis of a metaphorical field common to Greece and China (light and the mirror) shows that the philosophical differences do not proceed from the various material of the metaphors used, but rather from the different attitudes to language. The hypothesis of linguistic relativism far from being either weakened or confirmed by this comparative analysis, appears itself to depend on the manner in which Greek and Occidental thought conceived the relation of thought to language."

  86. ———. 2004. Comparative Essays in Early Greek and Chinese Rational Thinking. Aldershot: Ashgate.

  87. Robins, Robert H. 1976. "The Current Relevance of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis." In Universalism Versus Relativism in Language and Thought, edited by Pinxten, Rik, 99-107. Mouton: The Hague.

    Proceedings of a Colloquium on the Sapir-Whorf hypotheses [sic]

  88. Rossi-Landi, Ferruccio. 1973. Ideologies of Linguistic Relativity. The Hague: Mouton.

  89. Ruddick, Sara. 1969. "Extreme Relativism." In Language and Philosophy. A Symposium, edited by Hook, Sidney, 41-47. New York: New York University Press.

  90. Sapir, Edward. 1921. Language. An Introduction to the Study of Speech. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co.

  91. ———. 1929. "The Status of Linguistics as a Science." Language no. 5:207-214.

    "The long tried methods of Indo-European linguistics have proved themselves by the success with which they have been applied to other fields, for instance Central Algonkian and Athabaskan. An increasing interest in linguistics may be noted among workers in anthropology, culture history, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. For all of them linguistics is of basic importance: its data and methods show better than those of any other discipline dealing with socialized behavior the possibility of a truly scientific study of society. Linguists should, on the other hand, become aware of what their science may mean for the interpretation of human conduct in general."

  92. ———. 1949. The Selected Writings of Edward Sapir in Language, Culture, and Personality. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Reprinted with a new foreword by David G. Mandelbaum and an epilogue by Dell H. Hymes in 1985.

  93. Sauer, Werner. 1985. "A Note on "Plato's Reasoning and the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis"." Metaphilosophy no. 16:235-238.

  94. Soja, Nancy, Carey, Susan, and Spelke, Elizabeth S. 2008. "Ontological Categories Guide Young Children's Inductions of Word Meaning: Object Terms and Substance Terms." Cognition no. 38:179-211.

    "Three experiments assessed the possibility, suggested by Quine (1960, 1969) among others, that the ontology underlying natural language is induced in the course of language learning, rather than constraining learning from the beginning. Specifically, we assessed whether the ontological distinction between objects and non-solid substances conditions projection of word meanings prior to the child's mastery of count/mass syntax. Experiments 1 and 2 contrasted unfamiliar objects with unfamiliar substances in a word-learning task. Two-year-old subjects' projection of the novel word to new objects respected the shape and number of the original referent. In contrast, their projection of new words for non-solid substances ignored shape and number. There were no effects of the child's knowledge of count/mass syntax, nor of the syntactic context in which the new word was presented. Experiment 3 revealed that children's natural biases in the absence of naming do not lead to the same pattern of results. We argue that these data militate against Quine's conjecture."

  95. Stroinska, Magda, ed. 2001. Relative Points of View: Linguistic Representation of Culture. New York: Berghahn Books.

  96. Swanson, J.W. 1961. "Linguistic Relativity and Translation." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 22:185-192.

    "The thesis of "linguistic relativity" argued for by Whorf is by no means novel. The main elements of Whorf's views can be found as far back as the writings of Wilhelm von Humboldt, and more lately in those of Ernst Cassirer. But among those who have espoused the thesis of linguistic relativity Whorl, at least, has attempted to give some empirical content to the theory through his investigations of certain American Indian languages. And it is to the stimulation of Whorl's writings that the renewed interest in the doctrine of linguistic relativity in the last few years can be traced. In this paper I shall not attempt an exegesis of Wharf's somewhat obscure writings, but rather propose three different interpretations of the notion of linguistic relativity without attempting to relate them to Whorl's writings except in a casual way. My chief concern will be to furnish an analysis or explication of the thesis of linguistic relativity, not a study of Whorl's writings."

  97. ———. 1961. "Landesman on Linguistic Relativity." The Review of Metaphysics no. 15:336-339.

  98. Thomson, David S. 1994. "The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Worlds Shaped by Words." In Conformity and Conflict. Readings in Cultural Anthropology, edited by McCurdy, David W. and Spradley, James, 79-90. New York: Harper Collins.

    Eight edition.

  99. Walton, Kendall Lewis. 1973. "Linguistic Relativity." In Conceptual Change, edited by Pearce, Glenn and Maynard, Patrick, 1-30. Dordrecht: Reidel.

    "This paper is an attempt to make sense of the idea that different languages embody or reflect different "conceptual schemes," different ways of experiencing or perceiving the world. The following (apparent) dilemma is discussed: if a language is translatable into English it cannot embody a scheme different from ours, but if it is not translatable we cannot know that it embodies a different scheme, even if it does; hence it is impossible to find examples which confirm the thesis that different languages embody different conceptual schemes.

    An account of one kind of difference of conceptual scheme is developed which avoids this dilemma."

  100. Wardy, Robert. 2000. Aristotle in China. Language, Categories and Translation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  101. Whorf, Benjamin Lee. 1956. Language, Thought, and Reality. Selected Writings. Cambridge: Technology Press of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Edited and with an introduction by John B. Carroll. Foreword by Stuart Chase.


On the website "Theory and History of Ontology" (

Linguistic Relativism (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) vs. Universal Grammar

Language as Calculus vs. Language as Universal Medium (two traditions in 20th century philosophy)