Benjamin Lee Whorf (Whorf Benjamin Lee)( American linguist)
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Biography Benjamin Lee Whorf (Whorf Benjamin Lee)
Gained prominence for his theories 'linguistic relativity', whereby the information available to the human picture of the world is largely determined by the system of language, which he says. According to Whorf, grammatical and semantic categories of language are not only tools for the transfer of thoughts of the speaker, they also form his ideas and manage its intellectual activity. Thus, people speaking different languages will have different ideas about the world, and in case of significant structural differences between their languages when discussing some topics they may have difficulty understanding.
Wharf was born April 24, 1897 in Winthrop (pc. Mass.). He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he specialized in chemical engineer. In 1919 he joined the Hartford Fire Insurance Company, which eventually was promoted to Deputy Director. Although Wharf worked in the company all his life, devoting himself to scientific pursuits only free time, he published many works on linguistics. Many of them entered the collection of language, thought and reality (Language, Thought, and Reality; Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, 1956). Died Wharf in Uetersfilde (pc. Connecticut), July 26, 1941.
Interest Whorf to the languages of American Indians was formed in 1931 under the impact of hear a course of Amerindian linguistics who read at Yale University, Edward Sapir - one of the greatest linguists of his time. Later Whorf studied the Hopi language (Uto-Aztecan branch of the Dano-Aztecan languages), . and that its material formulated the basis of his theory of linguistic relativity, . which is often referred to as Sapir - Whorf, . Paying tribute to the enormous influence, . that Sapir had on his pupil and friend,
In its strong form of linguistic relativity theory contends that individuals divide the world into fragments, determined by the structure of their native language. Example, . when to refer a number of similar objects in one language has several different words, . and another language means these facilities in one word, . then the carrier of the first language should be in your mind to isolate the characteristics, . distinguish these objects, . whereas speakers of other languages is not required to do,
. Thus, according to Whorf, in carriers of different languages mental images of the same object vary. In English, there is only one word for snow in Eskimo there are several, so that from the carrier of the Eskimo language is required to distinguish what kind of snow are talking about: the falling or lying on the ground. Similarly, Wharf argues that grammatical categories, such as time or number of speakers also forced to perceive the world in a certain way. In English, the verb in any personal form must include the rate of time: for example, I sang 'I sang (past tense)', I sing 'I sing (now)', I will sing 'I will sing (future)'. Carriers of the English language and forced to mark time differences in each proposal, speakers of other languages, perhaps should not celebrate these differences, but they will have to indicate, for example, visible or invisible objects are referred to in conversation.
The theory of linguistic relativity has caused controversy since its inception. Most linguists and psychologists have argued that carriers of the languages in which certain distinction is not available, yet in a position to do if the need arises, though perhaps not as quickly and easily. Whorf theory has stimulated serious discussions and experiments concerning the relationship between language and thought, and his pioneering work paved the way for further research in this direction.