# Does the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis apply to artificial (specifically programming) languages?

As a computer programmer, I have an intuition that the idea "language influences thought" is very relevant to programmers and programming languages.

• Is there any research that examines whether artificial languages influence thought?
• How can such a theory be expressed as a testable hypothesis?
• NLP as in Natural Language Processing is also not an appropriate tag for this question. If by 'artificial languages' the OP means 'programming languages' and how they effect how we design/implement/reason-about algorithms, then he should write programming languages, and the io-psych tag would be relevant. But usually 'artificial languages' means languages that are created artificially for normal conversation (say Klingon, or Esperanto). Which do you mean @Roly? – Artem Kaznatcheev May 25 '12 at 16:28
• @ArtemKaznatcheev It's possible that I missed the mark with that one. I know for a fact that it wasn't neuro-ling-prog, so perhaps linguistics alone (or with a new tag) is most appropriate. Great question. I don't think IO plays into this at all. – Chuck Sherrington May 25 '12 at 16:37
• @ChuckSherrington if this was a question about programming languages wouldn't that relate to io-psych? Since organizations would be interested in optimizing what tools they give their programmers? We can discuss this in detail in chat. As is, I think the question is fine with the linguistics and maybe language tag. Here are 1, 2, 3 related questions; we could steal some tags from them. I recommend philosophy-of-mind. – Artem Kaznatcheev May 25 '12 at 18:04
• @ArtemKaznatcheev Sorry for the delay in my response, I did have specifically programming languages in mind when I wrote the question. Thank you for the interesting discussion. I wasn't really sure what the most appropriate tags were. – Roly May 27 '12 at 22:00