Frasi di Edward Sapir

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Edward Sapir

Data di nascita: 26. Gennaio 1884
Data di morte: 4. Febbraio 1939

Edward Sapir è stato un etnologo e linguista statunitense.

Fu grande luminare della linguistica strutturale americana e teorizzatore dell'Ipotesi di Sapir-Whorf. Fu discepolo di Franz Boas e maestro di Benjamin Lee Whorf.

Frasi Edward Sapir

„A tutti gli effetti pratici un reddito troppo basso è, nella determinazione dei disturbi mentali, un fattore almeno altrettanto importante quanto un sepolto complesso di Edipo o un trauma sessuale.“

—  Edward Sapir

da Psychiatric and Cultural Pitfalls in the Business of Getting a Living, 1939, tr. it. in Cultura, linguaggio e personalità, Torino, Einaudi, 1972

„Getting down to brass tacks, how in the Hell are you going to explain general American n- 'I' except genetically?“

—  Edward Sapir

In a letter dated August 1, 1918
Contesto: Getting down to brass tacks, how in the Hell are you going to explain general American n- 'I' except genetically? It's disturbing, I know, but (more) non-committal conservatism is only dodging, after all, isn't it? Great simplifications are in store for us. … It seems to me that only now that is American linguistics becoming really interesting, at least in its ethnological bearings.

„It would be naïve to imagine that any analysis of experience is dependent on pattern expressed in language.“

—  Edward Sapir

"American Indian Grammatical Categories", edited by Morris Swadesh in Word, 2 (1946)
Contesto: It would be naïve to imagine that any analysis of experience is dependent on pattern expressed in language. Any concept, whether or not it forms part of the system of grammatical categories, can be conveyed in any language. If a notion is lacking in a given series, it implies a different configuration and not a lack of expressive power.

„The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached … We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.“

—  Edward Sapir

The Status Of Linguistics As A Science (1929), p. 69 <!-- 1958 edition -->
Contesto: Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the "real world" is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached … We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.

„Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society.“

—  Edward Sapir

The Status Of Linguistics As A Science (1929), p. 69 <!-- 1958 edition -->
Contesto: Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the "real world" is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached … We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.

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„Language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols.“

—  Edward Sapir

As cited in: Geza Revesz, The Origins and Prehistory of Language, London 1956. footnote pp. 126-127; As cited in: Adam Schaff (1962). Introduction to semantics, p. 313-314
Language (1921)

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