Reversible and irreversible whorfian effects as empirical evidence for the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis



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Tartu Ülikool


This thesis is aimed on research of two different types of empirical evidence for the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: reversible and irreversible Whorfian effects. Definition of reversible Whorfian effects and their properties should help to identify reversible Whorfian effects easier in future research on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. I presented two opposite points of view on whether or not reversible Whorfian effects can support the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis to show that reversible Whorfian effect are actively disputable nowadays. Also, I showed that without a clear understanding of what reversible Whorfian effects are some researchers can mix up reversibility with the reason to reject Whorfian effect without any additional justification. This MA thesis should help to avoid this misunderstanding in future research. Moreover, I introduced a really good candidate for irreversible Whorfian effect and defined its properties. It’s really difficult to prove that a certain Whorfian effect is totally irreversible, but my candidate at least should be a good opportunity for these researchers, who reject reversible Whorfian effects as empirical evidence for the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. This MA thesis in general should help in philosophical research on formulating the scientifically testable thesis of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.



empirical evidence, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, whorfian effects