Sapir-Whorf Related Studies

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Sapir-Whorf Related Studies by Mind Map: Sapir-Whorf Related Studies

1. [1] Ferdinand de Saussure

1.1. Every language is a particular system of representation that mirrors, and reinforces, the ‘world’ of its speakers

1.1.1. Different languages engage in an arbitrary division of reality

1.1.2. Concept of ‘langue’: an innate knowledge of the systematic correspondences between sound and meaning which make up our language (units and rules of the language)

1.1.3. Concept of ‘parole’: realisation of langue; actual use of language by an individual (manifestation of deliberate choice/ intention)

1.2. Theory of the linguistic sign

1.2.1. Formalisation of the idea of ‘sound and meaning correspondence’

1.2.1.1. Label/ sound sequence: signifier

1.2.1.2. Associated meaning / concept: signified

1.2.2. Once the correspondence has been established, the association comes naturally and indivisible to speakers: ‘impossible in a language to separate sound from thought, or thought from sound’ (Cours de Linguistique Générale, Harris 1998:29)

1.2.3. Arbitrary link between signifier and signified: different languages have different signifiers for the same signified

1.2.3.1. ‘tree’ in English, ‘arbre’ in French, ‘baum’ in German

1.2.4. Signs partially derived meaning from their relationship with other associated signs

1.2.4.1. ‘werewolf’ and ‘wolfman’ (a new rendition as wer is not part of the modern English langue): different connotations/ associations

1.2.4.1.1. Associative relationships can shift to make room for new signs

1.2.4.2. ‘nigger’ (Blacks) > ‘paki’ (Indians) > ‘frog’ (French) > ‘taffy’ (Welsh): exemplifies different degrees of racism

1.2.5. BRANCHES TO SEMIOTICS (the study of the life of signs and sign systems in society)

2. [4] Jacques Lacan

2.1. Concept of ‘symbolic register’: when we acquire language as a child, we enter a different, symbolic register (SYMBOLIC ORDER)

2.2. Existence is then negotiated via a symbolic system - language, which develops our understanding of the world etc.

3. [4] Terrence Deacon

3.1. Concept of ‘virtual world’: a network of symbol-to-symbol relationships we internalise