Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

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The notion of "linguistic relativity" is the core of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. I won't try to make a formal statement of the hypothesis. That will have to wait for someone more knowledgable to provide. But the idea, as I understand it, is that habits of thought are shaped by language to a much greater degree than is often recognized. What is capable of being thought is in some degree determined by the structure of the language(s) spoken by the thinker. People really do "see" the world differently, and those different ways of "seeing" (the different ways linguistic communities experience reality), are encoded into the structure of the language spoken by the community, passed on to children learning the language, and in turn shape the experience and cognitive processes of the present and future community.

See Also:
[[Whorf, Benjamin Lee, 1897-1941]]