Whorf, Benjamin Lee


Whorf, Benjamin Lee
born April 24, 1897, Winthrop, Mass., U.S.
died July 26, 1941, Wethersfield, Conn.

U.S. linguist.

He worked professionally as a fire-prevention authority. The concept he developed (under Edward Sapir's influence) of the equation of culture and language became known as the Whorf (or Sapir-Whorf) hypothesis. He maintained that a language's structure tends to condition the ways its speakers think
for example, that the way a people views time and punctuality may be influenced by the types of verb tenses in its language. Whorf was also noted for his studies of Uto-Aztecan languages, especially Hopi, and Mayan hieroglyphic writing.

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▪ American linguist
born April 24, 1897, Winthrop, Mass., U.S.
died July 26, 1941, Wethersfield, Conn.

      U.S. linguist noted for his hypotheses regarding the relation of language to thinking and cognition and for his studies of Hebrew and Hebrew ideas, of Mexican and Mayan languages and dialects, and of the Hopi language.

      Under the influence of Edward Sapir, at Yale University, Whorf developed the concept of the equation of culture and language, which became known as the Whorf hypothesis, or the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Whorf maintained that the structure of a language tends to condition the ways in which a speaker of that language thinks. Hence, the structures of different languages lead the speakers of those languages to view the world in different ways. This hypothesis was originally put forward in the 18th century by the German scholars Johann Gottfried von Herder and Wilhelm von Humboldt. It was espoused in the United States in the period preceding World War II by Sapir and then in the 1940s by Whorf. Whorf's formulation and illustration of the hypothesis excited considerable interest. On the basis of his research and fieldwork on American Indian languages, he suggested, for example, that the way a people view time and punctuality may be influenced by the types of verbal tenses in their language. Whorf concluded that the formulation of ideas is part of (or influenced by) a particular grammar and differs as grammars differ. This position and its opposite, that culture shapes language, have been much debated. See also ethnolinguistics.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whorf,Benjamin Lee — Whorf (wôrf, hwôf), Benjamin Lee. 1897 1941. American linguist who developed what came to be known as the Sapir Whorf hypothesis in collaboration with his teacher Edward Sapir. * * * …   Universalium

  • Whorf, Benjamin Lee — ► (1897 1941) Lingüista estadounidense. Sostuvo la premisa de que todas las lenguas son igualmente perfectas y que la cultura incide sobre la estructura lingüística y viceversa. * * * (24 abr. 1897, Winthrop, Mass., EE.U.U.–26 jul. 1941,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Benjamin Lee Whorf — (* 24. April 1897 in Winthrop, Massachusetts; † 26. Juli 1941 in Wethersfield, Connecticut) war ein US amerikanischer Linguist, der vor allem durch die mit nach ihm benannte Sapir Whorf Hypothese bekannt wurde. Hauptberuflich war er Chemiker.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Benjamin Lee Whorf — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897 1941) fue un lingüísta estadounidense, pupilo de Edward Sapir, de quien tomaría la hipótesis etnolingüístca para llevarla a lo que actualmente se conoce como la hipótesis de Sapir Whorf. Esta …   Wikipedia Español

  • Benjamin Lee Whorf — Infobox Scientist name = Benjamin Whorf box width = image width =200px caption = Benjamin Lee Whorf as a young man. birth date = April 24, 1897 birth place = Winthrop, Massachusetts death date = July 26, 1941 death place = residence = cxtizenship …   Wikipedia

  • Benjamin Lee Whorf — Linguiste occidental XXe siècle Naissance : 24 avril 1897 Winthrop, MA …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Whorf — Whorf, Benjamin Lee …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Benjamin Whorf — Benjamin Lee Whorf (* 24. April 1897 in Winthrop, Massachusetts; † 26. Juli 1941 in Wethersfield, Connecticut) war ein US amerikanischer Linguist, der vor allem durch die nach ihm benannte Sapir Whorf Hypothese bekannt wurde. Er war ausgebildeter …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Whorf — Benjamin Lee Whorf (* 24. April 1897 in Winthrop, Massachusetts; † 26. Juli 1941 in Wethersfield, Connecticut) war ein US amerikanischer Linguist, der vor allem durch die mit nach ihm benannte Sapir Whorf Hypothese bekannt wurde. Hauptberuflich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Whorf — Benjamin Lee Whorf Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897 1941), linguiste et anthropologue américain, fut l un des premiers linguistes à s intéresser aux langues amérindiennes [1]. Il est également l auteur avec Edward Sapir de l hypothèse de Sapir Whorf pour …   Wikipédia en Français


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