Benjamin Whorf Quotes

A quotes list created by Lee Sonogan

American Structuralism An offshoot of anthropology First half

The language you speak affects the way that you view and think about everything else. With Sapir I have made a list about before, the -Whorf hypothesis is just that exploring the many differences in others cultures. Between psycholinguistics and anthropology structures, he was a fire prevention engineer as well. One of the few people of history who help innovate language to a greater level of consciousness.

  • Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about
  • All higher levels of thinking are dependent on language.
  • Most metaphysical words in Hopi are verbs, not nouns as in European languages.
  • Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a defining framework for it.
  • A change in language can transform our appreciation of the cosmos.
  • At the same time, new concepts and abstractions flow into the picture, taking up the task of describing the universe without reference to such time or space – abstractions for which our language lacks adequate terms.
  • But in due course it became evident that not only a physical situation qua physics, but the meaning of that situation to people, was sometimes a factor, through the behavior of people, in the start of a fire.
  • My analysis was directed toward purely physical conditions, such as defective wiring, presence of lack of air spaces between metal flues and woodwork, etc., and the results were presented in these terms.
  • Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a defining framework for it.
  • We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language.
  • Second, that the structure of the language one habitually uses influences the manner in which one understands his environment. The picture of the universe shifts from tongue to tongue
  • Every language is a vast pattern-system, different from others, in which are culturally ordained the forms and categories by which the personality not only communicates, but also analyzes nature, notices or neglects types of relationship and phenomena, channels his reasoning, and builds the house of his consciousness.
  • A fair realization of the incredible degree of the diversity of linguistic system that ranges over the globe leaves one with an inescapable feeling that the human spirit is inconceivably old; that the few thousand years of history covered by our written records are no more than the thickness of a pencil mark on the scale that measures our past experience on this planet; that the events of these recent millenniums spell nothing in any evolutionary wise, that the race has taken no sudden spurt, achieved no commanding synthesis during recent millenniums, but has only played a little with a few of the linguistic formulations and views of nature bequeathed from an inexpressibly longer past.
  • We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way – an agreement that holds through our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language.
  • The world that is coming toward us out of time is going to be very much richer in a mental sense because (among other freedoms) we are going to get a modicum of freedom from linguistic frameworks, from familiar mental habits. Anyone who really knows two or more tongues realizes that even that small enlargement of liberty . . . gives him new perspectives, exercizes his soul anew.

I highly recommend the video below for even greater reference to this interesting topic.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.