The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language

  • Benjamin Lee Whorf
Part of the Modern Linguistics Series book series


There will probably be general assent to the proposition that an accepted s of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.pattern of using words is often prior to certain lines of thinking and forms of behavior, but he who assents often sees in such a statement nothing more than a platitudinous recognition of the hypnotic power of philosophical and learned terminology on the one hand or of catchwords, slogans, and rallying cries on the other. To see only thus far is to miss the point of one of the important interconnections which Sapir saw between language, culture, and psychology, and succinctly expressed in the introductory quotation. It is not so much in these special uses of language as in its constant ways of arranging data and its most ordinary everyday analysis of phenomena that we need to recognize the influence it has on other activities, cultural and personal.


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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

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  • Benjamin Lee Whorf

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