Anna Wierzbicka

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Anna Wierzbicka
Born (1938-03-10) 10 March 1938 (age 78)
Warsaw, Poland
Awards Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science (2010), Dobrushin Award (2010)
Academic background
Alma mater Warsaw University
Academic work
Main interests semantics, pragmatics, and cross-cultural linguistics
Notable ideas Natural Semantic Metalanguage

Anna Wierzbicka [ˈanna vʲɛʐˈbʲitska] (born 10 March 1938 in Warsaw) is a Polish linguist currently working at the Australian National University in Canberra.[1] Brought up in Poland she graduated from Warsaw University and finally emigrated to Australia in 1972, where she has lived until now. With over twenty published books, many of which were translated into foreign languages, she is a prolific writer. Wierzbicka is famous for her work in semantics, pragmatics, and cross-cultural linguistics. She is especially known for Natural Semantic Metalanguage, particularly the concept of semantic primes. This is a research agenda resembling Leibniz's original "alphabet of human thought", which Wierzbicka credits her colleague, linguist Andrzej Bogusławski, with reviving in the late 1960s.[2]

Biography[edit]

Wierzbicka was born in 1938, just before the outbreak of World War II. She received her Ph.D. from Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in 1964 and subsequently her habilitation degree five years later.[3] Since 1973 she has been working at ANU, from 1989 as a professor. Throughout her career she has collaborated closely with Polish researchers, and was awarded the Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science for developing the theory of the natural semantic metalanguage and discovering a set of elementary meanings common to all languages.[4] Her work spans a number of disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, and religious studies as well as linguistics.[5]

Natural Semantic Metalanguage[edit]

In her 1972 book "Semantic Primitives" she launched a theory of Natural Semantic Metalanguage ('NSM'), one of the theories of language and meaning.

Awards[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

  • (co-authored with Cliff Goddard) Words and Meanings: Lexical Semantics Across Domains, Languages, and Cultures. Oxford UP (2014). ISBN 9780199668434
  • Imprisoned in English. The Hazards of English As a Default Language, Oxford UP 2013. ISBN 978-0-19-932150-6
  • Experience, Evidence, and Sense: The Hidden Cultural Legacy of English (2010). ISBN 0-19-536801-0
  • English: Meaning and culture (2006). ISBN 0-19-517474-7
  • What Did Jesus Mean? Explaining the Sermon on the Mount and the Parables in simple and universal human concepts (2001).
  • Emotions Across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and universals (1999).
  • Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, Japanese (1997).
  • Semantics: Primes and Universals (1996).
  • Semantics, Culture and Cognition: Universal human concepts in culture-specific configurations (1992).
  • Cross-cultural pragmatics: The semantics of human interaction (1991).
  • The Semantics of Grammar (1988).
  • English Speech Act Verbs: A semantic dictionary (1987).
  • Lexicography and Conceptual Analysis (1985).
  • The Case for Surface Case (1980).
  • Lingua Mentalis: The semantics of natural language (1980).
  • Semantic Primitives (1972).

Articles[edit]

Anna Wierzbicka has published over 300 articles in journals from the disciplines her work spans, including Language, Current Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Man, Anthropological Linguistics, Cognition and Emotion, Culture and Psychology, Ethos, Philosophica, Brain and Behaviourial Sciences and The Journal of Cognition and Culture.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Professor Anna Wierzbicka". Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Interviewer: Maria Zijlstra (2009-08-15). "Natural Semantic Metalanguage". LinguaFranca. Transcript. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  3. ^ "Prof. Anna Wierzbicka – laureatka Nagrody FNP 2010". Fundacja na rzecz Nauki Polskiej. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Prof. Anna Wierzbicka – laureatka Nagrody FNP 2010. Fundacja na rzecz Nauki Polskiej.". Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Professor Anna Wierzbicka". Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Dobrushin International Award". Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Professor Anna Wierzbicka". Retrieved 17 December 2015. 

External links[edit]