This comic is inspired by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and especially its interpretation in the 2016 film Arrival. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, more precisely called “linguistic relativity”, refers to the idea that language shapes thought and the world view of its speakers in fundamental ways. This idea was developed by Benjamin Lee Whorf, whose writings on this topic were published in his 1956 book Language, Thought, and Reality (for a more modern approach to linguistic relativity see Rethinking Linguistic Relativity). What I found funny is how the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis gained a certain popularity among the general public following the movie Arrival. [spoilers alert] The movie concludes with the main protagonist, who is a xenolinguist, gaining special powers because she learned the language of the aliens she was researching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *