William Dwight Dwight Whitney (1827 - 1894)

‹ Back to Whitney surname

22

Matches

0 0 22
Adds more complete birth place, more complete death date, death place and sibling(s).

View William Dwight Dwight Whitney's complete profile:

  • See if you are related to William Dwight Dwight Whitney
  • Request to view William Dwight Dwight Whitney's family tree

Share

Related Projects

Birthplace: Northampton, MA, USA
Death: Died
Occupation: Philologist
Managed by: Elivia Melodey
Last Updated:

About William Dwight Dwight Whitney

William Dwight Whitney (1827-1894) was an American linguist, philologist, and lexicographer who edited The Century Dictionary.

Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, February 9, 1827. He entered Williams College at fifteen, graduating in 1845. He continued studying and worked at a bank in Northampton for several years, then assisted his brother Josiah Whitney on a geological survey of the Lake Superior region in 1849. For three years, he studied Sanskrit in Germany, and gained wide reputation for his scholarship in the field. At Yale, he became professor of Sanskrit in 1854, adding comparative philology in 1869. He also taught modern languages at the Sheffield Scientific School. He served as secretary to the American Oriental Society from 1857 until he became its president in 1884.

Whitney revised definitions for the 1864 edition of Webster's American Dictionary, and in 1869 became a founder and first president of the American Philological Association. He wrote metrical translations of the Vedas, and numerous papers on the Vedas and linguistics, many of which were collected in the Oriental and Linguistic Studies series (1872-74). He wrote several books on language, and grammar textbooks of English, French, German, and Sanskrit.

In his Course in General Linguistics in the chapter on the 'Immutability and Mutability of the Sign', Ferdinand de Saussure credits Whitney with insisting on the arbitrary nature of the linguistic signs.

Although he suffered from a heart ailment in his later years, he was editor-in-chief of the first edition of the respected Century Dictionary, which appeared from 1889 to 1891. He was the brother of Professor Josiah Whitney. He married the daughter of US Senator & Governor of the State of Connecticut Roger Sherman Baldwin, Elizabeth Wooster Baldwin. His son was Assistant US Attorney General Edward Baldwin Whitney and his grandson was the much celebrated mathematician Hassler Whitney. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Dwight_Whitney

William Dwight Whitney (1827–1894) was an American linguist, philologist, and lexicographer who edited The Century Dictionary.

Life

William Dwight Whitney was born in Northampton, Massachusetts on February 9, 1827. His father was Josiah Dwight Whitney (1786–1869) of the New England Dwight family. His mother was Sarah Williston (1800–1833). He entered Williams College at fifteen, graduating in 1845. He continued studying and worked at a bank in Northampton for several years, then assisted his older brother Josiah Whitney on a geological survey of the Lake Superior region in 1849. For three years, he studied Sanskrit in Germany, and gained wide reputation for his scholarship in the field. At Yale, he became professor of Sanskrit in 1854, adding comparative philology in 1869. He also taught modern languages at the Sheffield Scientific School. He served as secretary to the American Oriental Society from 1857 until he became its president in 1884.

Whitney revised definitions for the 1864 edition of Webster's American Dictionary, and in 1869 became a founder and first president of the American Philological Association. He wrote metrical translations of the Vedas, and numerous papers on the Vedas and linguistics, many of which were collected in the Oriental and Linguistic Studies series (1872–74). He wrote several books on language, and grammar textbooks of English, French, German, and Sanskrit.

His Sanskrit Grammar (1879) is notable in part for the criticism it contains of the Ashtadhyayi, the Sanskrit grammar attributed to Panini. Whitney describes the Ashtadhyayi as 'containing the facts of the language cast into the highly artful and difficult form of about four thousand algebraic-like rules (in the statement and arrangement of which brevity alone is had in view at the cost of distinctness and unambiguousness).'

In his Course in General Linguistics in the chapter on the 'Immutability and Mutability of the Sign', Ferdinand de Saussure credits Whitney with insisting on the arbitrary nature of the linguistic signs.

Although he suffered from a heart ailment in his later years, he was editor-in-chief of the first edition of the respected Century Dictionary, which appeared from 1889 to 1891. On August 28, 1856 he married Elizabeth Wooster Baldwin. She was the daughter of Roger Sherman Baldwin, US Senator and Governor of the State of Connecticut. They had six children:

1.Edward Baldwin Whitney was born August 16, 1857, became Assistant US Attorney General, and had son mathematician Hassler Whitney.

2.Williston Clapp Whitney was born April 2, 1859 but died March 11, 1861.

3.Marian Parker Whitney was born February 6, 1861.

4.Roger Sherman Baldwin Whitney was born January 6, 1863, but died January 17, 1874.

5.Emily Henrietta Whitney was born August 29, 1864.

6.Margaret Dwight Whitney was born November 19, 1866.

Works

Atharva Veda, editor with Rudolf von Roth (1856–1857)

Language and the Study of Language: Twelve Lectures on the Principles of Linguistic Science (1867)

On Material and Form in Language (1872)

Oriental and Linguistic Studies - First Series: The Veda, The Avesta, The Science of Language (1872)

Oriental and Linguistic Studies - Second Series: The East and West, Religion and Mythology, Hindu Astronomy (1874)

Darwinism and Language (1874)

The Life and Growth of Language: An Outline of Linguistic Science (1875)

Essentials of English Grammar for the Use of Schools (1877)*

Sanskrit Grammar: Including Both the Classical Language, and the Older Dialects, of Veda and Brahmana (1879, 2d edn. 1889)

Language and its Study: with Special Reference to the Indo-European (lectures) (1880)*

Logical Consistency in Views of Language (1880)

Mixture in Language (1881)

The Roots, Verb-forms and Primary Derivatives of the Sanskrit Language (supplement to Sanskrit Grammar) (1885)

Practical French Grammar (1887)*

A Compendious German and English Dictionary (1887)*

The Century Dictionary (editor) (1889–1891)

Introductory French Reader (1891)*

Max Müller's Science of Language (1893)

Atharva Veda Samhita 3 volumes (translator)

The History of Sanskrit Grammar (Indian reprint edition of Sanskrit Grammar)

Manuscript Diary (photo reprint)

NB: Dates marked * may not be first publication.

Modern collections

Oriental and Linguistic Essays

On the Vedas

Whitney on Language: Selected Writings of William Dwight Whitney

view all

William Dwight Whitney's Timeline

1827
February 9, 1827
Northampton, MA, USA
1857
August 16, 1857
Age 30
New Haven, CT, USA
1859
April 2, 1859
Age 32
1861
February 6, 1861
Age 33
1863
January 6, 1863
Age 35
1864
August 29, 1864
Age 37
1866
November 19, 1866
Age 39
1894
1894
Age 66
????