Relativismo linguistico versus relativismo culturale: fra l’estetica di Benedetto Croce e l’antropologia di Edward Sapir

The following pages take their cue from Edward Sapir’s contributions to linguistic research, starting with his reference to Benedetto Croce’s theories (Language. An introduction to study of speech, 1921). The reasons for a possible comparison between the two authors will be explored in depth, firstly emphasising the main points of convergence and then illustrating the substantial differences that emerge from such a comparison. The reflection will revolve around two thematic centres: language in its aesthetic articulation, the point of strongest similarity between Croce and Sapir, and languages in their social and anthropological connotations, the decisive point of rupture, thanks to which Sapir will overcome the radical subjectivism of his teacher.