It looks as if the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which has been largely discredited, is making a comeback of late.
A few weeks, there was a lengthy article in the New York Times, excerpt from a new book. And now there is this article from a woman whose academic credentials are more convincing than those of the New York Times guy.
I’m not sure what to make of this. I never found the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis particularly convincing, it’s been discredited and SFF writers have been overestimating the implications anyway. I’m looking at you, Languages of Pao and Babel-17, here.
I suspect that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and variations thereof are the sort of theory that appeals to laypeople a lot more than to linguists.