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By Benjamin Lee Whorf

The pioneering linguist Benjamin Whorf (1897--1941) grasped the dating among human language and human considering: how language can form our innermost strategies. His easy thesis is that our belief of the realm and our methods of puzzling over it are deeply stimulated via the constitution of the languages we communicate. The writings amassed during this quantity contain vital papers at the Maya, Hopi, and Shawnee languages in addition to extra basic reflections on language and meaning.

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Extra resources for Language, Thought and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf

Sample text

They are usually described as idioms. ing cannot be inferred from the meanings of its parts. Although ht straightforward, there is a curious element of circularity in ion. Does it indicate that the meaning of an idiom cannot be ram (or, more prmecisely, cannot be accounted for as a composi,tion of) the meanings the parts carry I N T H A T E X P R E s s I O N ? - so it must be a matter of their meanings in other expressions. someone's leg, for instance, therme is little point in to pull in to pull a far t one, or leg in He hasn't a leg to stand efinition must be understood as stating that an idiom is an expresse meaning cannot be accounted for as a compositional function eanings its parts have when they are not parts of idioms.

A few are not in this sense well-formed, gh some grammatical structure is normally discernible. ~ of which b*yand l a ~ g eand fa^ alzd awa,y are examples, are often asyntactic idioms ,, From our point of view, all idioms are elementary lexical un interesting that although idioms consist of more than one word, they to some extent the sort of internal cohesion that we expect of single For instance, they typically resist interruption and re-or der ing of Some of the restriction of syntactic potential of idioms is clearly se cally motivated.

We can include in the category of semantic indicator. slzke and dis and the latter to the zm- of impolzte; the segments -appoznt, -gus -pertznent and -pudent have no discernible semantic function, and need a label. lo 2. c J . Phonetic elicitors of semantic traits - T h e vast majority of meaningful elements in a Iar whether they are full constituents or have some lesser status, ar same time grammatical elements. Since the principal function of gr is to indicate how units of meaning are to be combined, this is sc surprising.

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