[DWJ] losing words (was Tropes and other such)

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Thu Dec 7 13:07:00 EST 2006

On Thu, 7 Dec 2006, Charles Butler wrote:

|This is the so-called Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, isn't it? I seem to remember reading what seemed at the time to be an interesting critique of it (at least in its strong version) in Steven Pinker's book, *The Language Instinct*. One of Pinker's objections concerned how language could ever be acquired, if our ability to think were entirely dependent on pre-existing linguistic knowledge. And then - ah, but I forget the finer details... This was a good ten years ago, when I dreamed of editing a Selected Works of John Wilkins (who's another story altogether). It's a fascinating question, anyway!

My linguist friend goes into conniptions at the very mention of
the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and its much
touted-in-popular-imagination and patently false real life
example about eskimos and snow.  Apparently the strong version
has been all but discredited for years.

Sir! I protest! I am _not_ a merry man!
		--lt. worf

(I swear, my random sig generator chose this one coincidentally!
Freaked me out, yo.)

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