What is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?

  title={What is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?},
  author={P. Kay and W. Kempton},
  journal={American Anthropologist},
Experimental evidence from the domain of color perception is presented for a version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that is considerably weaker than the version usually proposed. 
Correction: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis and Probabilistic Inference: Evidence from the Domain of Color
This research presents a novel probabilistic procedure that allows for direct measurement of the response of the immune system to earthquake-triggered landsliding. Expand
Language and Thought: The Neo-Whorfian Hypothesis
This article is a revision of the previous edition article by E. Hunt, volume 12, pp. 8310–8315, © 2001, Elsevier Ltd.
The salience of the hues: colour cognition from an indigenous Australian perspective
Does natural language determine the way we think? If the so-called Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistics were true then colour categorization would be an entirely arbitrary process dependant entirelyExpand
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis and Probabilistic Inference: Evidence from the Domain of Color
A probabilistic model that is grounded in a presumed universal perceptual color space and in language-specific categories over that space is explored, and it is shown that this model accounts for language-consistent biases in color reconstruction from memory in English speakers, modulated by uncertainty. Expand
Experience and perception
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 2007.
Language and perceptual categorisation
  • J. Davidoff
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2001
Cross-cultural research, backed up by neuropsychological data and interference studies, indicates that perceptual categories are derived from the words in the speaker's language, supporting a rather strong version of the Whorfian view that perceptual Categories are organized by the linguistic systems of the authors' mind. Expand
The Measuring, Mapping, and Meaning of Pots
The Folk Classification of Ceramics: A Study of Cognitive Prototypes. Willett Kempton. New York: Academic Press, 1981. xvi + 237 pp. $24.50 (cloth).
The Whorfian mind
It is demonstrated that language effects may exist at a level that is literally perceptual, suggesting that speakers of different languages have differently structured minds. Expand
Support for lateralization of the Whorf effect beyond the realm of color discrimination
The results demonstrate that the lateralized Whorf effect may be quite general, reflecting an interaction of linguistic and perceptual codes primarily in the left hemisphere. Expand
Exotic Color Categories: Linguistic Relativity to What Extent?
Unusual color categories in non-Western languages appear to support the doctrine of linguistic relativity. However, the universalist hypothesis of color-category evolution can specify the degree toExpand


A study in language and cognition.
“The Whorf thesis on the relationship between language and thought is found to involve the following two propositions: (a) Different linguistic communities perceive and conceive reality in differentExpand
Whorf and His Critics: Linguistic and Nonlinguistic Influences on Color Memory
The current state of research on language and thought using color as a stimulus is reviewed. Five related experiments that integrate and expand the findings of this previous color research areExpand
Language, culture, and personality : essays in memory of Edward Sapir
The interconnection between language, culture, and personality is the theme of these essays dedicated to the memory of Edward Sapir, and written by his former students.
Techniques and Problems in the Study of Human Color Perception
  • V. F. Ray
  • Computer Science
  • Southwestern Journal of Anthropology
  • 1952
A field technique is presented by which anthropologists may gather data on human color perception with scientific precision so that an appropriate attack can be made on the basic problems of color perception. Expand
The structure of the color space in naming and memory for two languages
Retention of color images in short-term memory appears to be unaffected by wide cultural differences in the semantic reference of color words, as well as under the memory condition than under the naming condition. Expand
Color Naming, Color Recognition, Color Discrimination: A Re-Appraisal
The present paper is an attempt to reconcile the results of a number of empirical studies on the relationship between color naming, color recognition, and color discrimination. An earlier study byExpand
Color Science: Concepts and Methods, Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd Edition
Theories and Models of Color Vision and Visual Equivalence and Visual Matching are examined, as well as physical data, which confirm the importance of theseories and models. Expand
Basic Color Terms
GREEN; ergo, BLUE is present only when there are 6 bct's or more (Stage V or above). 3. THE EVOLUTIONARY CORRELATION: In view of shortcomings which have been indicated both in empirical research andExpand
Tarahumara color modifiers: category structure presaging evolutionary change
To name colors, Tarahumara speakers use basic color terms carrying obligatory modifiers. The modifiers specify the grade of membership of a color stimulus in a color category. The internal structureExpand
The primary purpose of this study was to see whether a set of perceived attitude relationships could be adequately represented by a dimensional model. The particular attitude area selected for thisExpand