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Linguistic Determinism and Artificial Languages – Utopian and Dystopian Views


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Knežević, Iva. (2015). Linguistic Determinism and Artificial Languages – Utopian and Dystopian Views. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Philosophy. [mentor Čačinovič, Nadežda].

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The aim of this paper is to discuss how linguistic determinism and artificial languages are related (in general and by using Loglan, Laadan, Newspeak and Basic English as examples) by adressing five main questions: 1) If the theory of linguistic relativism was correct, what would be the consequences of each of the discussed artificial languages on the thought/culture in general? 2) What do the discussed theories and criticism reveal about potential problems in the theory of linguistic determinism? What do the discussed theories and criticism point out as problematic in arguments againts linguistic determinism? 4) Are the predicted (utopian and dystopian) changes really the result of linguistic determinism or of some other process? 5) What are the consequences of insisting on proving linguistic determinism experimentally on its status and articulation in philosophy? This paper adresses these questions by discussing how the authors of these languages and their critics define the relationship between content and language, and the embodiment of a culture and its prolonging. It also adresses the possible consequences of the theory being correct – 1) the role of power and democracy in creating, maintaining and changing artificial languages, 2) how target groups of artificial language users are defined and if a language would actually create such groups, 3) the problem of linguistic imperialism, 4) how a priori articifial languages are covertly connected with the historical meanings present in natural languages because of the manner in which they define their words 5) how (because of lingustic determinism) the native tongue of an author of an articial language influences how that language presents the reality.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Linguistic determinism, artificial languages, linguistic imperialism, utopism, feminist philosophy of language
Subjects: Philosophy
Departments: Department of Philosophy
Supervisor: Čačinovič, Nadežda
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2016 09:12
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 09:14

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