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Whorf's law


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Whorf's law is a sound law in Uto-Aztecan linguistics proposed by the linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf. It explains the origin in the Nahuan languages of the phoneme which is not found in any of the other languages of the Uto-Aztecan family. The existence of in Nahuatl had puzzled previous linguists and caused Edward Sapir to reconstruct a phoneme for Proto-Uto-Aztecan based only on evidence from Aztecan. In a 1937 paper published in the journal American Anthropologist, Whorf argued that phoneme was a result of some of the Nahuan or Aztecan languages having undergone a sound change changing the original */t/ to in the position before */a/. The sound law has come to be known as "Whorf's law" and is still considered valid although a more detailed understanding of the precise conditions under which it took place has been developed.
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