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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Future Of Language

Can Ideas Withstand Shifts in Language?

The Future of Language: Considering the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis for translation, emoji, and pop culture.

Elisa Gabbert | March 11, 2016

There’s an idea in linguistics that until a culture creates a name for a color, they don’t really see it as a distinct category. It builds from the anthropological discovery that languages tend to develop color terms in the same order: first, for black and white (or roughly, light and dark), then for red, then for either green or yellow and then both, then blue (and so on). They don’t invent a word for blue, the thinking goes, much less for mauve or taupe, until they need it. Color terms proliferate in a world of dyes and spectrometry.

The most popular food emoji by state. Florida's is a piece of candy. Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (How technology is shaping the future of language. A Q&A with linguist John McWhorter. Spoiler alert: He likes emoji! November 17, 2015) and (Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. March 19, 2016)>

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