One long-standing claim concerning the relationship between languageand culture is that the structure of a language determines the way inwhich speakers of that language view the world.
The claim that the structure of a language
how its speakersview the world is today most usually associated with the linguist Sapirand his student Whorf, a chemical engineer by training, a
preventionengineer by vocation, and a linguist by avocation.
However, it can be traced back to others, particularly to Humboldt inthe nineteenth century.
Today, the claim is usually referred to as the Linguistic relativityhypothesis, Sapir
Whorf hypothesis, or the
hypothesis. I willuse the latter term since the claim seems to owe much more to Whorfthan it does to Sapir.