In her recent account of the history of the concept of 'linguistic relativity' in American anthropological linguistics Regna Darnell noted the following about the so-called 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis':
Oral tradition identifies Sapir as the crucial catalyst in what would eventually become the Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity. Moreover, the sometime addition of Sapir's name implies that Whorf merely elaborated, perhaps exaggerated to the point of caricature, the ideas of his prestigious mentor. (Darnell 2001:176)
While I do not quite know by Darnell meant by 'oral tradition'-perhaps she has had in mind the kind of stories that first-year students in anthropology or linguistics are being told by their instructors, it could be said that much of what we read in textbooks is pretty close to her depiction, too.
The subject matter of 'influence' in linguistic historiography has been one dear to me as the record shows. Its fullest expression to date was given in the proceedings from ICHoLS III, held in Princeton in 1984 (see Koerner 1987). However, as will become obvious from what follows, John E. Joseph's recent paper "The Immediate Sources of the 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis'" (Joseph 1996) has challenged me on my own terms, and having pronounced myself on various occasions on what I thought to be an important source of inspiration in this connection (e.g., Koerner 1992a), it is only appropriate-and indeed desirable-that I respond to the challenge, lest this methodological issue become muddled again.
In traditional scholarship concerning the intellectual roots of the so-called 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis'-a term perhaps first used by Harry Hoijer (1904-1976) in 1954 in a paper at a conference devoted to the subject, but probably made more widely known through John B. Carroll's (b.1916) posthumous edition of Benjamin Lee Whorf's papers in 1956 (cf. Whorf 1956:27)-these are traced largely, but not exclusively, to German language theory of the 17th (e.g., Leibniz) through the early 19th century, which, in Hum-