Blog Archives

John Goldsmith – Battle in the Mind Fields

John Goldsmith (University of Chicago) has made a series of 10 videos – one for each chapter – about the book Battle in the Mind Fields, which he wrote with Bernard Laks (University of Paris) and published in 2019. A

Posted in 19th century, 20th century, History, Linguistics

History of Linguistics in East and South-East Asia

Below are two talks originally presented at the meeting of the Society for the History of Linguistics in the Pacific, December 2020, on the history of the grammatical description of Vietnamese and Chinese. Quang Anh Le, Time-marking particles and the

Posted in 19th century, 20th century, China, Grammars, History

The Facts of Whorf’s Hopi Research

Benjamin Lee Whorf

In this talk, Penny Lee presents some preliminary results from her research into the personal diaries of Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1941).

Posted in 20th century, America, Article, History, Linguistics

Racialization, language science, and nineteenth century anthropometrics

Margaret Thomas Boston College Introduction In May 2019, the Executive Committee of the Linguistic Society of America approved of a ‘Statement on Race’ (, which puts on record the society’s opposition to racialization in the study of language, and in

Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, History, Linguistics

Has the LSA Been a Generativist-Dominated Organisation?

Frederick J. Newmeyer University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and University of Washington There are two stories about how the field of linguistics (at least in the United States) reacted sociologically to the advent of generative grammar. I call

Posted in 20th century, America, Article, Linguistics, Uncategorized

The journal WORD and the structural heritage of usage-based linguistics: Three functional tenets and an overarching principle

Enrico Torre Università degli Studi di Genova The first issue of WORD was launched in 1945, announced on its front cover as “the journal of the Linguistic Circle of New York, devoted to the study of linguistic science in all

Posted in 20th century, America, Article, History, Linguistics

The foreign entanglements of Mandarin Chinese in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Mårten Söderblom Saarela Academia Sinica in Taipei This blog post will discuss some transnational aspects of the history of Mandarin Chinese, what in the twentieth century became codified as the national language of China. I will first briefly discuss what

Posted in 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, Article, China, History, Uncategorized

Speech sounds in the field: Dynamical approaches to phonology after Maxwell and Einstein

Alexander Teixeira Kalkhoff Universität Freiburg 1 The notion of field in physics The mutual interaction, i.e. attraction and repulsion, of bodies across space without direct mechanical contact, such as the movement of planets, gravity, magnetism, electricity, or light, posed a

Posted in 19th century, 20th century, America, Article, Europe, Field linguistics, History, Linguistics

Grammaticalisation clines: a brief conceptual history

Martin Konvička Freie Universität Berlin 1 Grammaticalisation clines In this blog post, I will sketch the history of grammaticalisation clines. Hopper and Traugott (2003: 6) understand this concept as “a metaphor for the empirical observation that cross-linguistically forms tend to undergo

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, historical linguistics, Linguistics, Typology

Henry Sweet, a model for John Rupert Firth?

Angela Senis Université Bordeaux Montaigne This post introduces a few of the insights developed during the Henry Sweet Society colloquium in 2017. My full research on this topic is the subject of a paper that is soon to be proposed

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, Europe, History, Linguistics