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Rethinking Linguistic Relativity
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  • Page extent: 500 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.818 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 401
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: P35 .R465 1996
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
    • Thought and thinking
    • Language and culture
    • Mentally handicapped children--Language

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521448901 | ISBN-10: 0521448905)

Linguistic relativity is the claim that culture, through language, affects the way in which we think, and especially our classification of the experienced world. This book reexamines ideas about linguistic relativity in the light of new evidence and changes in theoretical climate. Parts I and II address the classical issues in the relation between thought and language, and the extent of linguistic and cultural universals. Parts III and IV show how changes in our understanding of meaning require that we look at how context enters into interpretation, and how context is constituted in social interaction. The editors have provided a substantial introduction which examines changes in thinking about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis in the light of developments in anthropology, linguistics, and cognitive science; and also introductions to each section which will be of especial use to students.

• Star-studded list of contributors; editors are best-selling authors on linguistics list • Introductory sections to each part so that book can be used as text/sourcebook • Linguistic relativity popular subject in undergraduate courses, but no textbook exists: book has adoption potential


1. Introduction: linguistic relativity re-examined John J. Gumperz and Stephen C. Levinson; Part I. Linguistic determinism: the interface between language and thought: 2. Empirical research and linguistic relativity John A.Lucy; 3. From 'thought and language' to 'thinking for speaking' Dan I. Slobin; 4. Intra-speaker relativity Paul Kay; 5. Imaging in iron, or thought is not inner speech Charles M. Keller and Janet Dixon Keller; Part II. Universals and variation in language and culture: 6. The origin of children's spatial semantic categories: cognitive versus linguistic determinants Melissa Bowerman; 6. Relativity in spatial conception and description Stephen C. Levinson; 9. Cognitive limits to conceptual relativity: the limiting-case of religious ontologies Pascal Boyer; Part III. Interpretation in cultural context: 8. Language form and communicative practices William F. Hanks; 10. Projections, transpositions, and relativity John B. Haviland; 11. Communities, commonalities, and communication Herbert H. Clark; Part IV. The social matrix: culture, praxis, and discourse: 12. The linguistic and cultural relativity of conversational inference John J. Gumperz; 13. Linguistic resources for socializing humanity Elinor Ochs; 14. When animals become 'rounded' and 'feminine': conceptual categories and linguistic classification in a multilingual setting Elsa Gomez-Imbert; Index.


John J. Gumperz, Stephen C. Levinson, John A.Lucy, Dan I. Slobin, Paul Kay, Charles M. Keller, Janet Dixon Keller, Melissa Bowerman, Stephen C. Levinson, Pascal Boyer, William F. Hanks, John B. Haviland, Herbert H. Clark, Elinor Ochs, Elsa Gomez-Imbert

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