Podcast episode 15: Roman Jakobson, Prague Circle structuralism and phonology

In this episode, we enter the age of classical structuralism by exploring the phonological research of Roman Jakobson and his colleague Nikolai Trubetzkoy undertaken within the Prague Linguistic Circle.

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References for Episode 15

Primary Sources

Baudouin de Courtenay, Jan (1877), ‘Podrobnaja progamma lekcij . . . v 1876–1877 uč. godu’ [A detailed program of lectures for the academic year 1876–1877].
(English trans. in Stankiewicz (1972), pp. 92–113)

Baudouin de Courtenay, Jan (1895), Versuch einer Theorie phonetischer Alternationen, Strassburg: Trübner. archive.org
(English trans. in Stankiewicz (1972), pp. 144–212)

Durnovo, Nikolaj, Bohuslav Havránek, Roman Jakobson, Vilém Mathesius, Jan Mukařovský, Nikolai Trubetzkoy, & Bohumil Trnka (1929), ‘Thèses présentées au Premier Congrès des philologues slaves’, in Mélanges linguistiques dédiés au Premier Congrès des Philologues Slaves, pp. 5–29. Praha: Jednota Československých Matematiků a Fysiků. BnF Gallica
(English trans. by Marta K. Johnson, 1978, ‘Manifesto’, in Recycling the Prague Linguistic Circle, ed. Marta K. Johson, pp. 1–31. Anne Arbor: Karoma.)

Ehrenfels, Christian von (1890), ‘Über Gestaltqualitäten’, Vierteljahrsschrift für wissenschaftliche Philosophie 14, 249–292. BnF Gallica

Jakobson, Roman (1962), ‘Retrospect’, in Selected Writings, vol. I, pp. 631–658. The Hague: Mouton.

Jakobson, Roman (1971 [1929]), Trans. of article on the Prague Linguistic Circle in Čin, 31 October 1929, in ‘Retrospect’, Selected Writings, vol. II, pp. 711–712. The Hague: Mouton.

Kruszewski, Mikołai (1881), Ueber die Lautabwechslung, Kazan: Universitätsbuchdrückerei. Google Books
(English trans. by Robert Austerlitz in Koerner (1995), pp. 3–36)

Saussure, Ferdinand de (1879), Mémoire sur le système primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo-européennes, Leipzig: B.G. Teubner. archive.org

Saussure, Ferdinand de (1922 [1916]), Cours de linguistique générale, ed. by Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, Paris: Payot. 3rd edition, 1931: BNF Gallica
(English translation: Ferdinand de Saussure, 1959 [1916], Course in General Linguistics, trans. by Wade Baskin, New York: Philosophical Library. 2011 edition available from archive.org)

Ščerba, Lev (1912), Russkie glasnye v kačestvennom i količestvennom otnošenii [Russian vowels in their qualitative and quantitative relationships]. St. Petersburg: Erlich. MPI History of Science

Trubetzkoy, Nikolai (1939), Grundzüge der Phonologie. Prague.
(English trans. by Christiane A.M. Baltaxe, 1969, Principles of Phonology. Berkeley: University of California Press. archive.org)

Secondary Sources

Anderson, Stephen (2021 [1985]), Phonology in the Twentieth Century: Theories of rules and theories of representations, Berlin: Language Science Press. (1st ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.) Open access

Ash, Mitchell G. (1995), Gestalt psychology in German culture, 1890–1967: Holism and the quest for objectivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cassirer, Ernst (1945), ‘Structuralism in modern linguistics’, Word 1, 99–120.

Daston, Lorraine & Peter Galison (2007), Objectivity. New York: Zone Books.

Dosse, François (1991), Histoire du structuralisme, I. Le champ du signe, 1945–1966. Paris: Editions La Découverte.
(English translation: 1997 by Deborah Glassman, History of structuralism, vol. 1: The rising sign, 1945–1966. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.)

Dosse, François (1992), Histoire du structuralisme, II. Le chant du cygne, de 1967 à nos jour. Paris: Editions La Découverte.
(English translation: 1997 by Deborah Glassman, History of structuralism, vol. 2: The sign sets, 1967–present. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.)

Harrington, Anne (1996), Reenchanted Science: Holism in German culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Holenstein, Elmar (1975), Roman Jakobsons phänomenologischer Strukturalismus. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. (French edition: Jakobson ou le structuralisme phénoménologique. Paris: Editions Seghers, 1975.)

Jakobson, Roman (1971), ‘The Kazan’ School of Polish linguistics and its place in the international development of phonology’, in Selected Writings, vol. II, pp. 394–428. The Hague: Mouton.

Joseph, John E. (2001), ‘The Exportation of Structuralist Ideas from Linguistics to Other Fields: An Overview’, in History of the Language Sciences: An International Handbook on the Evolution of the Study of Language from the Beginnings to the Present, ed. by Sylvain Auroux, E. F. K. Koerner, Hans-Josef Niederehe, and Kees Versteegh, vol. 2, pp. 1880–1908. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Joseph, John E. (2012), Saussure, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Koerner, E.F. Konrad, ed. (1995), Mikołai Kruszewski: Writings in general linguistics, Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Mugdan, Joachim (1984), Jan Bauduoin de Courtenay (1845–1929), Leben und Werk. München: Fink. See in particular chapter 2, section 2, and chapter 3.

Mugdan, Joachim (1985), ‘The origin of the phoneme: farewell to a myth’, Lingua Posnaniensis 28, 137–150. Author’s copy

Randwańska Williams, Joanna (1993), A paradigm lost: The linguistic theory of Mikołai Kruszewski. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Sériot, Patrick (2012 [1999]), Structure et totalité. Les origines intellectuelles du structuralisme en Europe centrale et orientale. Limoges: Editions Lambert-Lucas.
(English translation: 2014 by Amy Jacobs-Colas, Structure and the whole: East, west and non-Darwinian biology in the origins of structural linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter.)

Stankiewicz, Edward, trans. & ed. (1972), A Baudouin de Courtenay reader: The beginnings of structural linguistics, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Indiana University Press open access HTML

Toman, Jindřich (1995), The Magic of a Common Language: Jakobson, Mathesius, Trubetzkoy, and the Prague Linguistic Circle. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Waugh, Linda & Monique Monville-Burston (2002), ‘Introduction to Roman Jakobson, Selected Writings’, in Selected Writings: Phonological studies, pp. v–xcviii. Berlin: De Gruyter.

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