Blog Archives

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, 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

Pierre-Philippe Potier’s Elementa Grammaticae Huronicae (1745)

Zanna Van Loon University of Leuven Introduction Instead of imposing European languages, Catholic friars conducting missions in the Americas in the early modern period opted to learn indigenous tongues to more efficiently teach local communities the religious doctrine. To guarantee

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Posted in 18th century, America, Article, History, Missionary Linguistics

Towards a history of concept list compilation in historical linguistics

Johann-Mattis List Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena A large proportion of lexical data of the world’s languages is presented in the form of word lists in which a set of concepts was translated into the

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Posted in 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, Article, historical linguistics, Lexicography, Linguistics

In the Shadow of the Standard – a workshop

Olivia Walsh University of Nottingham On Saturday 22 September 2018, I organized a workshop, ‘In the Shadow of the Standard’, at the University of Nottingham. The aim of the workshop was two-fold: firstly, to explore new perspectives on how attitudes

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Posted in Article, Europe, History, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics

Typology – a new task of linguistics

James McElvenny University of Edinburgh In lieu of an introduction Below I offer an English translation of the last essay Georg von der Gabelentz (1840–1893) personally submitted for publication, “Hypologie [Typologie] der Sprachen, eine neue Aufgabe der Linguistik”. This essay

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

Some reflections on the uses and abuses of theory in linguistic thought

Jon Orman My purpose in this piece is to offer a few brief thoughts on a series of questions with which I have become increasingly interested in recent months. Linguistics, it seems to me, is awash with theories and theoretical

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Posted in Article, Linguistics, Philosophy

What Zarathustra said: The sixty-year controversy regarding Anquetil-Duperron’s Zend-Avesta

Floris Solleveld University of Amsterdam In 1771, a French scholarly adventurer by the name of Abraham-Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron shocked the Republic of Letters with his translation of Zend-Avesta, Ouvrage de Zoroastre. Published in three volumes with a long series of appendices

Posted in 18th century, Article, Europe, History, Linguistics

Lawyers, Linguists and Truthiness

Douglas Kibbee University of Illinois Are lies information? This was the question before the Supreme Court of Michigan in a 2016 case (People v. Harris, based on a 2009 incident). A police officer was charged with pulling a motorist out

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Posted in America, Article, Linguistics, Semantics

“Except in the case of Andrade”: Manuel J. Andrade’s Quileute (1933) on the questions of “drift” and “function”

Perry Wong University of Chicago While currently nearly unknown, Manuel J. Andrade (1885-1941)[1] is one of the central figures in the history of linguistics in the United States. He was a student of Boas at Columbia and an early methodological

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Posted in 20th century, America, Article, Field linguistics, History, Linguistics, Pragmatics, Structuralism