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Linguistic relativity and language as epiphenomenon: two contradictory positions

  • The assumption of linguistics relativity and the definition of languages as epiphenomena are certainly known as two contradictory positions from the last century. But I will start my discussion of them in the period of their appearance and then use this as a basis to evaluate the heuristic value of these positions in present day linguistics. I will start with the definition of language as an epiphenomenon and then I will go on with the linguistic relativity. The notion of ʽepiphenomenon’ is usually used to exclude certain aspects of a scientific object because they are considered to be deduced from others. In linguistics, restrictions of the research object were made, invoking the notion of ʽepiphenomenonʼ, which was partially done with a polemical attitude, and was always responded to polemically.

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Author:Gerda HaßlerORCiDGND
Parent Title (Portuguese):Confluência. Revista do Instituto de língua portuguesa
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2018
Year of Completion:2018
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/01/02
First Page:82
Last Page:98
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Romanistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 44 Französisch, romanische Sprachen allgemein / 440 Romanische Sprachen; Französisch