Neo-Humboldtism

Neo-Humboldtism

 

in contemporary foreign linguistics, a trend based on the linguistic views of W. von Humboldt.

Adherents of neo-Humboldtism believe that language constitutes an individual’s concepts about the outside world. Considering language as a manifestation of the “national spirit,” neo-Humboldtists attempt to show that people speaking different languages perceive reality and function in it in different ways. Thus, the individual’s “picture of the world” (Weltbild) depends on the structural features of the language: linguistic structure determines the nature of a man’s thinking. This viewpoint is linked with idealist, positivist philosophical tendencies. The principal neo-Humboldtist trends are represented by the school of L. Weisgerber in the Federal Republic of Germany and the work of American linguists adhering to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

REFERENCES

Novoe v lingvistike, fasc. 1. Moscow, 1960.
Gukhman, M. M. “Lingvisticheskaia teoriia L. Vaisgerbera.” In Voprosy teorii iazyka v sovremennoi zarubezhnoi lingvistike. Moscow, 1961.
Katsnel’son, S. D. Soderzhanie slova, znachenie i oboznachenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Pavlov, V. M. “Filosofskie osnovy neogumbol’dtianskogo iazykoznaniia.” In Voprosy obshchego iazykoznaniia. Leningrad, 1967.

A. A. LEONT’EV

Mentioned in ?