Quotes by: Edward Sapir

Edward Sapir
Edward Sapir (about 1910)
Born (1884-01-26)January 26, 1884
Lauenburg, Prussia (now Lębork, Poland)
Died February 4, 1939(1939-02-04) (aged 55)
New Haven, Connecticut
Citizenship American
Fields Linguistics, Anthropology
Institutions University of Chicago
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Columbia University
Yale University
Alma mater Columbia University
Thesis The Takelma language of southwestern Oregon (1909)
Doctoral advisor Franz Boas
Doctoral students Li Fang-Kuei - Mary Haas - Morris Swadesh - Harry Hoijer - Stanley Newman
Known for Classification of Native American languages
Sapir–Whorf hypothesis
Anthropological linguistics

A firm, for instance, that does business in many countries of the world is driven to spend an enormous amount of time, labour, and money in providing for translation services.
Edward Sapir
One of the glories of English simplicity is the possibility of using the same word as noun and verb.
Edward Sapir
Comparison of statements made at different periods frequently enable us to give maximal and minimal dates to the appearance of a cultural element or to assign the time limits to a movement of population.
Edward Sapir
More and more, unsolicited gifts from without are likely to be received with unconscious resentment.
Edward Sapir
The spirit of logical analysis should in practice blend with the practical pressure for the adoption of some form of international language, but it should not allow itself to be stampeded by it.
Edward Sapir
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.
Edward Sapir
It would, of course, be hopeless to attempt to crowd into an international language all those local overtones of meaning which are so dear to the heart of the nationalist.
Edward Sapir
Cultural anthropology is more and more rapidly getting to realize itself as a strictly historical science.
Edward Sapir
These examples of the lack of simplicity in English and French, all appearances to the contrary, could be multiplied almost without limit and apply to all national languages.
Edward Sapir
So far as the advocates of a constructed international language are concerned, it is rather to be wondered at how much in common their proposals actually have, both in vocabulary and in general spirit of procedure.
Edward Sapir
The supposed inferiority of a constructed language to a national one on the score of richness of connotation is, of course, no criticism of the idea of a constructed language.
Edward Sapir
National languages are all huge systems of vested interests which sullenly resist critical inquiry.
Edward Sapir
In a sense, every form of expression is imposed upon one by social factors, one's own language above all.
Edward Sapir
A common allegiance to form of expression that is identified with no single national unit is likely to prove one of the most potent symbols of the freedom of the human spirit that the world has yet known.
Edward Sapir
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
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
No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality.
Edward Sapir
The attitude of independence toward a constructed language which all national speakers must adopt is really a great advantage, because it tends to make man see himself as the master of language instead of its obedient servant.
Edward Sapir
The psychology of a language which, in one way or another, is imposed upon one because of factors beyond one's control, is very different from the psychology of a language which one accepts of one's free will.
Edward Sapir
As a matter of fact, a national language which spreads beyond its own confines very quickly loses much of its original richness of content and is in no better case than a constructed language.
Edward Sapir
English, once accepted as an international language, is no more secure than French has proved to be as the one and only accepted language of diplomacy or as Latin has proved to be as the international language of science.
Edward Sapir
No important national language, at least in the Occidental world, has complete regularity of grammatical structure, nor is there a single logical category which is adequately and consistently handled in terms of linguistic symbolism.
Edward Sapir
A standard international language should not only be simple, regular, and logical, but also rich and creative.
Edward Sapir
The modern mind tends to be more and more critical and analytical in spirit, hence it must devise for itself an engine of expression which is logically defensible at every point and which tends to correspond to the rigorous spirit of modern science.
Edward Sapir

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