The University of Wisconsin Press



Dialogue at the Margins
Whorf, Bakhtin, and Linguistic Relativity
Emily A. Schultz

New Directions in Anthropological Writing

The “linguistic relativity principle” of pioneering American linguist Benjamin Whorf has been a focus of controversy among scholars of language for half a century. Many claim that this principle amounts to Whorf’s assertion that language determines thought and culture, while others vigorously reject such a claim. Emily Schultz rereads Whorf in terms of Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, and argues that the Whorfian controversy is rooted in the polyphonic character of his best known texts. By combining Whorfian and Bakhtinian insights concerning variation within and across languages, Schultz offers a new dialogic interpretation of linguistic relativity that has profound implications for students and scholars of anthropology, linguistics, cognitive psychology, philosophy of language, and literary and art criticism.

Emily Schultz is an anthropologist and an independent scholar. She is the senior author, with Robert H. Lavenda, of Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition.

New Directions in Anthropological Writing
George F. Marcus and James Clifford series editors

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November 1990

LC: 90-050097 P
192 pp. 6 x 9

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Paper $18.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-12704-6
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