Linguistic Relativity or Universality: What do the New Findings in Neurology and Electronics Say About It?
It is over 60 years since Sapir&Worf presented their extreme view on linguistic relativism, which was rejected by most linguists; but the question is still unanswered: Which is more observable among languages, similarities or differences? And what is behind these similarities or differences? Since the development of fuzzy logic and its application to various sciences, this concept has been considered by linguists too. It has been claimed that fuzzy logic can explain linguistic phenomena which cannot be explained by binary systems. The question which arises here is that of how we can use this concept in linguistics and whether it supports Sapir and Worfs ' relativism in any way or not. It seems, however, that it is not easy to find an answer to the issue of linguistic relativity versus linguistic universality within the field of linguistics. I will therefore try to answer this question by using new findings from two other fields, namely neurology and electronics.
Keywords: Relativity, Universality, Fuzzy logic, Artificial intelligence, Intelligent robotics, Neurolinguistics
Dr. Shahla Sharifi
Lecturer, Linguistics department, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad