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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Query Details


Query Subject:   Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis in Science Fiction
Author:   Flaminia Robu
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Sociolinguistics
Ling & Literature

Query:   As a doctoral research student in Languages/Linguistics, I would like to
ask if anyone knows of relevant studies/criticism dealing with the
linguistic implications of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as reflected in
science-fiction (SF) literature. This includes the different uses of the
theory in SF, and its applications to relevant literature.

I've so far had access to critical studies on the subject, dealing more
generally with linguistics and language study in science-fiction and
fantasy (to list but a few: Walter E. Meyers, John Clute, Larry Niven,
Samuel Delany). The primary literature is currently based on a
selection of works by writers who deal with verbal languages in literary
works (constructed languages), but I'm also interested in verbal and
non-verbal communication techniques as reflected in 'first-contact
situations' (between human and alien cultures). None of the works
which I've consulted so far deal exclusively or predominantly with the
implications of 'Sapir-Whorf' in SF literature. I would appreciate any
feedback or suggestions you may have.

Thank you in advance.

-Flaminia Robu
LL Issue: 21.844
Date posted: 19-Feb-2010



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