Fellows Detail

Professor Anna Wierzbicka

MA (Warsaw), PhD (Polish Academy of Sciences), Habilitation (Polish Academy of Sciences), FASSA

Elected: 1996

Discipline: Linguistics

Specialisation: semantics, cross-cultural communication, anthropological linguistics, theological linguistics, Australian English, Australian Culture

Profile

Anna Wierzbicka is a Professor (Emerita) of Linguistics at the Australian National University, Canberra. Her work spans a number of disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy and religious studies as well as linguistics. Her latest books are What Christians Believe: The Story of God and People in Minimal English (OUP 2019), Imprisoned in English (OUP 2014), and Words and Meanings (with Cliff Goddard, OUP 2014).

Together with Cliff Goddard, Wierzbicka created the “Natural Semantic Metalanguage”, based on the empirically established intersection of all sampled natural languages. The central hypothesis is that this metalanguage corresponds to the innate and universal “lingua mentalis”; and that this metalanguage can serve as a conceptual lingua franca for explaining meanings and ideas across languages and cultures.

Awards

Dobrushin Prize for 2010

Polish Science Foundation’s 2010 prize for the humanities and social sciences

Honorary Doctorate Marie Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland (2004)

Honorary Doctorate Warsaw University, Poland (2006)

Publications

  • Anna Wierzbicka (2019) What Christians Believe: The Story of God and People in Minimal English. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Anna Wierzbicka and Cliff Goddard (2014) Words and Meanings: Lexical Semantics across Domains, Languages, and Cultures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Anna Wierzbicka (2014) Imprisoned in English: The Hazards of English as a Default Language. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Anna Wierzbicka (2010) Experience, Evidence and Sense: The hidden cultural legacy of English. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Anna Wierzbicka (2006) English: Meaning and Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. 352 pp.
  • Anna Wierzbicka and Cliff Goddard (eds) (2002) Meaning and Universal Grammar: Theory and Empirical Findings. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Anna Wierzbicka (2001) What Did Jesus Mean? Explaining the Sermon on the Mount and the Parables in Simple and Universal Human Concepts. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Anna Wierzbicka (1999) Emotions Across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Anna Wierzbicka (1997) Understanding Cultures through their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish, German, Japanese. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Anna Wierzbicka (1996) Semantics: Primes and Universals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Contact

Contact Information

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

    ABN: 59 957 839 703
  • Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
  • Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • +61 .2 62491788
  • +61 .2 62474335
  • secretariat@assa.edu.au