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When we speak about the “arbitrariness” of the sign, someone usually hastens to add that what is meant by that is, of course, its conventionality. “Arbitrary” is the right word, though, for what is assumed: that the sounds we make in speaking the languages we speak could just as easily be any other sounds, […]

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A Sapir-Katz Hypothesis

We all know about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (and if you don’t, you can google it)—it’s really Whorf, who was a student of Sapir’s and greatly expanded a couple of much more tentative suggestions from Sapir regarding the relations between language, thought and culture, who is responsible for the notion that grammatical structures influence thought […]

Continue reading A Sapir-Katz Hypothesis