Whorf, Benjamin Lee, 1897-1941

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Linguist: received a Social Science Research Fellowship for a field trip to Mexico, 1930; studied at Yale University with Edward Sapir, 1931-1936; lecturer on anthropology at Yale, 1937-1938; author of numerous articles on languages, linguistics, science and religion.

From the description of Benjamin Lee Whorf papers, 1914-1957 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145078609

From the description of Benjamin Lee Whorf papers, 1898-1957 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702182476

Benjamin Lee Whorf, linguist: born 1897, received a Social Science Research Fellowship for a field trip to Mexico, 1930; studied at Yale University with Edward Sapir, 1931-1936; lecturer on anthropology at Yale, 1937-1938; author of numerous articles on languages, linguistics, science and religion, died 1941.

Benjamin Lee Whorf had a brief but important career as a pioneering scholar of the Nahuatl, Maya, and Hopi languages and as a theoretician about the influence of language on thought and perception. Researchers should consult Language, Thought, and Reality for a biographical sketch and bibliography by John B. Carroll,¹ but these are some principal events and periods in his life:

  • 1897: born in Winthrop, Massachusetts
  • 1918: received the B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 1919 - 1941 : employed as a fire prevention engineer by the Hartford Fire Insurance Company
  • 1920: married Celia Inez Peckham
  • [1924 - 1928] : studied Hebrew
  • 1925: wrote "Why I Have Discarded Evolution"
  • 1928: read "Aztec Linguistics" and "An Aztec Account of the Period of the Toltec Decline" at the Twenty-Third International Congress of Americanists
  • 1930: took a field trip to Mexico, supported by the Social Science Research Council
  • 1931: began studies with Edward Sapir at Yale University
  • 1932: began his linguistic analysis of Hopi
  • 1933: published The Phonetic Basis of Certain Characters in Maya Writing
  • 1936: published his first article on Hopi, "The punctual and segmentative aspects of Hopi," in Language
  • 1937 - 1938 : was a Lecturer in Anthropology at Yale
  • 1940 - 1941 : published three articles for a non-professional audience in Technology Review
  • 1941: died on July 26 after some months' illness

¹Benjamin Lee Whorf, Language, Thought and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, Comp. John B. Carroll, (Cambridge, Mass.: The M. I. T. Press, 1956).

From the guide to the Benjamin Lee Whorf papers, 1898-1971, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith American Anthropological Association. corporateBody
associatedWith American Council of Learned Societies. Committee on Native American Languages. corporateBody
associatedWith American Scientific Congress 1940 : Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith American Scientific Congress 1940 : Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith American Scientific Congress (8th: 1940: Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Andrade, Manuel José, 1885-1941 person
associatedWith Bloch, Bernard, 1907-1965. person
associatedWith Blom, Frans Ferdinand, 1893-1963. person
associatedWith Carnegie Institution of Washington. corporateBody
associatedWith Carr, Malcolm person
associatedWith Doll, Eugene E. person
associatedWith Goubaud Carrera, Antonio person
associatedWith Guiteras Holmes, Calixta, 1905-1988 person
associatedWith Haas, Mary R. (Mary Rosamond), 1910-1996. person
associatedWith International Congress of Americanists 1928 : New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Congress of Americanists 1928 : New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Congress of Americanists (23rd: 1928: New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Key, Harold H. person
associatedWith Kline, Howard F. person
associatedWith Kluckhohn, Clyde, 1905-1960. person
associatedWith Kroeber, Alfred Louis, 1876-1960. person
associatedWith Lepine, Jeanne person
associatedWith Lesher, Robert A. person
associatedWith Lesher, Robert A. person
associatedWith Lincoln, Jackson Steward, 1902-1941 person
associatedWith Linguistic Society of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Mason, Gregory, 1889- person
associatedWith Mason, Gregory, 1889- person
associatedWith Mason, John Alden, 1885-1967. person
associatedWith Mason, Ruth, 1890-1974. person
associatedWith Mason, Ruth Boyd. person
associatedWith Mason, Ruth Boyd. person
associatedWith Massachusetts Institute of Technology. corporateBody
associatedWith Mitchell, Ian S. (Ian Stuart) person
associatedWith Noyes, Ernest, 1903- person
associatedWith Nykl, Alois Richard, 1885- person
associatedWith Redfield, Robert, 1897-1958 person
associatedWith Sapir, Edward, 1884-1939. person
associatedWith Schapiro, Benjamin Aaron Moses, 1871?- person
associatedWith Science Service, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Science Service, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Science Service, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Social Science Research Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Society for American Indian Linguists. corporateBody
associatedWith Society for American Indian Linguists. corporateBody
associatedWith Spence, Lewis, 1874-1955. person
associatedWith Spier, Leslie, 1893-1961. person
associatedWith Spinden, Herbert Joseph, 1879-1967. person
associatedWith Starr, Betty Warren, 1906-1964 person
associatedWith Swadesh, Morris, 1909-1967. person
associatedWith Tax, Sol, 1907-1995 person
associatedWith Theosophical Society in America. corporateBody
associatedWith Thompson, Laura, 1905- person
associatedWith Torrey, Charles Cutler, 1863-1956. person
associatedWith Tozzer, Alfred M. (Alfred Marston), 1877-1954. person
associatedWith Tozzer, Alfred M. (Alfred Marston), 1887-1954. person
associatedWith Trager, George L. (George Leonard), 1906- person
associatedWith Trubet︠s︡koĭ, Nikolaĭ Sergeevich, kni︠a︡zʹ, 1890-1938. person
associatedWith Tumin, Melvin Marvin, 1919-1994 person
associatedWith University of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith Voegelin, C. F. (Charles Frederick), 1906-1986. person
associatedWith Westinghouse Electric Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Wisdom, Charles person
associatedWith Yale University. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Secretary's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. Secretary's Office. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico
Subject
Indians of Mexico--Languages
Nahuatl language
Aztec language
Semitic languages
Mayan languages--Writing
Language and languages
Mayas--Writing
Linguistics
Mayan languages
Hopi language
Religion and science--1926-1945
Indians of Central America--Social life and customs
Anthropology--Research--United States
Hebrew language
Indians of North America
Indians of Mexico--Social life and customs
Indians of Central America--Languages
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1897-04-24

Death 1941-07-26

Americans

English

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