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Toreva at the head of Second Mesa. What? Can't see the town? It's right where you think it is. Check out the enlarged image to see the buildings. Imagine them with adobe and timber roofs. They would mimic the blocky bedrock and be invisible from any point from which you could actually look at them.
Much more research needs to be done, but it is not likely that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis will be supported in the strong form quoted above. For one, language is only one factor that influences cognition and behavior. For another, if the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis were really true, second language learning and translation would be far harder than they are. However, because language is so pervasive—and because we must always make cognitive decisions while speaking—weaker versions of the hypothesis will continue to attract scientific attention. (For a lively debate on many of these issues, with much new evidence from several fields, read Gumperz and Levinson 1996.)
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Sapir, E. 1929. "The status of linguistics as a science". Language 5. 207-14. Reprinted in The selected writings of Edward Sapir in language, culture, and personality, ed. by D. G. Mandelbaum, 160-6. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Whorf, B. L. 1940. "Science and linguistics". Technology Review 42: 227-31, 247-8.Reprinted in Language, thought, and reality: Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, ed. by J. B. Carroll, 207-19. Cambridge, MA: The Technology Press of MIT/New York: Wiley. 1956.
Hopiland close-up, showing the Mesas and Towns.
Hopi potter kneading the moistened clay body. Note the clay balls in the pan to her left. These are saved out to add if the clay body becomes too moist.
Hopi potter with the things necessary to make pots. Notice the shallow bowl containing balls of clay. She begins by spreading these onto her kneading stone.
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Woman drawing water from a cistern at Oraibi, about 1890.
Hopi Two Horn Society Kachina Dancers. Eototo, the Chief of all the Kachinas, is at the left. Aholi, Eototo's chief aid, is at the right. Notice that each Kachina holds a Mongko.
Preparation of an irrigated field by Hopi, about 1903, by Curtis.
Note that this Mongko is different that the idealized one pictured above. It has corn shoots tied above, but no wild turkey feathers below. Mongko differ by town and by specific ceremonial function.
Hopi at edge of corn field, ca. 1910.
Whorf's close analysis of the differences between English and (in one famous instance) the raised the bar for an analysis of the relationship between language, thought, and reality by relying on close analysis of grammatical structure, rather than a more impressionistic account of the differences between, say, vocabulary items in a language. For example, "" (SAE)—i.e., Western languages in general—tends to analyse reality as objects in space: the present and future are thought of as "places", and time is a path linking them. A phrase like "three days" is grammatically equivalent to "three apples", or "three kilometres". Other languages, including many Native American languages, are oriented towards . To monolingual speakers of such languages, the concrete/spatial metaphors of SAE grammar may make little sense. Whorf himself claimed that his work on the SWH was inspired by his insight that a Hopi speaker would find fundamentally easier to grasp than an SAE speaker would.
Hopi lady making , by Curtis about 1900.
Whorf's formulation of this "" is often as a "prisonhouse" view of language in which one's thinking and behavior is completely and utterly shaped by one's language. While some people might make this "vulgar Whorfian" , Whorf himself sought merely to insist that thought and action were linguistically and socially mediated. In doing so he opposed what he called a "natural " position which he claimed believed "talking, or the use of language, is supposed only to 'express' what is essentially already formulated nonlinguistically" ( p. 207). On this account, he argued, "thought does not depend on grammar but on laws of logic or which are supposed to be the same for all observers of the " ( p. 208).
Nampeyo painting, by Curtis, ca. 1900.
Whorf gave this idea greater precision by examining the particular grammatical mechanisms by which thought influenced language. He argued his point thus:
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