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Title: Whorf meets Wierzbicka: Variation and universals in language and thinking
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff  (author)
Publication Date: 2003
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/S0388-0001(03)00002-0
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Abstract: Probably no contemporary linguist has published as profusely on the connections between semantics, culture, and cognition as Anna Wierzbicka. This paper explores the similarities and differences between her "natural semantic metalanguage" (NSM) approach and the linguistic theory of Benjamin Lee Whorf. It shows that while some work by Wierzbicka and colleagues can be seen as "neo-Whorfian", other aspects of the NSM program are "counter-Whorfian". Issues considered include the meaning of linguistic relativity, the nature of conceptual universals and the consequences for semantic methodology, the importance of polysemy, and the scale and locus of semantic variation between languages, particularly in relation to the domain of time. Examples are drawn primarily from English, Russian, and Hopi.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Language Sciences, 25(4), p. 393-432
Publisher: Elsevier Science BV
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISSN: 0388-0001
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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