Re: Language & Culture

Frank Schaap (
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 18:27:45 GMT

On Sat, 09 Nov 1996 15:04:20 -0600, Tanya <> wrote:

>D. Sadler wrote:
>> My husband and I were discussing how language and culture affect each other. We could think of many valid (we
>> think) examples of how culture affects language but could not think of any specific examples of how culture is
>> affected by language.
>> Are we wrong in thinking that culture can be affected by language? Can anyone offer any ideas, thoughts, or
>> examples of this concept?
>> Thanks in advance.
>> Diep Sadler
>> p.s. When you reply, could you also shoot me an email with your repsonse? My news server is not very
>> reliable.
>You are correct in thinking that language affects culture. Look at the
>american culture. We are comprised of many lanquage groups. Each
>impacting, shaping and redefining our culture.

well, there are some very interesting books/authors on this subject, rather
controversial as well btw... Benjamin Lee Whorf probably being best known,
of course being linked with Sapir.

references as follows:

Carrol, John B. (ed.)
1956 Language, Thought, and Reality. Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee
Whorf. New York and London: The Technology Press of Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sapir, Edward
1921 Language. An Introduction to the Study of Speech. New York:
Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1949. (ASC 7/55)

1949 "Fashion." In: D. G. Mandelbaum (ed.) Selected Writings of Edward
Sapir in Language, Culture, and Personality. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1949.

and a very good book about Whorf in relation/dialogue to Bahktin....:

Schultz, Emily A.
1990 Dialogue at the Margins. Whorf, Bakhtin, and Linguistic Relativity.
Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.

\ Frank Schaap
/ "The question is not whether you agree with what I say,
\ and certainly not with the imperfect way that I am
/ saying it; rather, whether you see some of the things
\ that I see and am trying to point to and am offering
/ a vocabulary to talk about and whether you see other
\ things of this ilk that I have not seen, and can point
/ them out to me. And finally, of course, the question
\ is whether those things that various ones of us have
/ seen are indeed there. The purpose is that we may all
\ live enriched...." (W.C. Smith)