Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Linguistic Relativity
(2,550 words)

The theory of linguistic relativity as proposed by linguistic relativism holds that thought is not only dependent on language in general but also relative to the mother tongue. It assumes that different languages give rise to different world-views that in turn shape specific cultures with possible effects on their historical development. It frequently goes together with ethical relativism, but it may also entail claims to superiority of one language over another in terms of their ability to stim…

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Heiner ROETZ, “Linguistic Relativity”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000231>
First published online: 2015

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