John Hart and the Beginning of English Linguistics in Tudor England

Andrew Ji Ma
Southern University of Science and Technology, China

1. Introduction

John Hart (c. 1501–1574) is a remarkable figure in the history of British linguistic thought. Along with Thomas Smith (1513–1577), William Bullokar (c. 1531–1609), and Richard Mulcaster (1531/2–1611), he is one of the most important orthographers in the sixteenth century when English spelling questions were becoming central to discussions of the vernacular. The sixteenth century saw the publication of the first group of books dedicated to systematic study of the English language which began with the movement of orthographic reform. In the history of British linguistics, Hart’s An Orthographie (1569) has a special status: it is the first treatise not only focusing on the study of the English language but also published in English (rather than Latin which was the academic lingua franca in Western Europe during that period). His three linguistic writings are outstanding in terms of both depth and breadth. To be specific, as one of the seminal orthographers of the Tudor period, he has detailed description of the English sounds and thus is widely recognised as the first phonetician of the English language in England. Moreover, his work is much richer than merely technical analysis of the language—his ideas about language are informed by the theory and practice of Tudor politics, which can be better understood by bringing together the technical, ideological, and rhetorical dimensions in one discussion. Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in 16th century, Article, Linguistics

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, March 2019

Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Publications, Uncategorized

Workshop: History and Philosophy of Linguistics Research Morning, Sydney, 29 March

Friday 29 March
Rogers Room, Woolley Building, University of Sydney

Further information at the Sydney Centre for Language Research website Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

Cfp: SHESL-HTL Conference 2020 – Simplicity and complexity of languages in the history of linguistic theories (Paris, January 23-25, 2020)

Call for papers
SHESL-HTL CONFERENCE 2020
Paris, January 23-25, 2020

Simplicity and complexity of languages in the history of linguistic theories

The goal of this conference is to explore the ways in which, through the history of linguistic theories, languages have been evaluated in terms of their complexity.

Read more ›

Posted in Conferences and workshops, Uncategorized

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 the same kinds of changes”. A prototypical cline, following Hopper and Traugott (2003: 7), looks as follows:

(1) content item > grammatical word > clitic > inflectional affix
Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in 19th century, 20th century, historical linguistics, Linguistics, Typology

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, February 2019

Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Publications, Uncategorized

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 for academic publication and where the topic is much further developed.

This is also the occasion to thank again the Henry Sweet Society for awarding me the Verburg-Salmon 2017 grant, which made this contribution possible.

Henry Sweet is widely mentioned and quoted throughout John Rupert Firth’s work. Palmer claims Firth even liked to be compared to Sweet and that there were similarities, with both acting as “a voice crying in the wilderness” on academic grounds (Palmer 1968:1). However, the relation between both men is hardly a simple one and, although they never met, their connection most certainly contributed to the scientific orientation of the London School. Read more ›

Tagged with: ,
Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, Europe, History, Linguistics

Program February–June 2019

20 February Henry Sweet, a model for John Rupert Firth?
Angela Senis
Université Bordeaux Montaigne
6 March Grammaticalization clines: a brief conceptual history
Martin Konvička
Freie Universität Berlin
25 March John Hart (c. 1501–1574) and the beginning of English linguistics in Tudor England
Ji Ma
University of Sheffield
17 April Speech sounds in the field: dynamical approaches to phonology after Maxwell and Einstein
Alexander Teixeira Kalkhoff
Universität Freiburg
1 May Why women botanists outnumbered women linguists in nineteenth century Australia
Jane Simpson
Australian National University, Canberra
29 May The foreign entanglements of Mandarin Chinese in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
Mårten Söderblom Saarela
Academia Sinica, Taipei
14 June The formalisation of grammatical meanings in Copenhagen structural linguistics. Some remarks.
Lorenzo Cigana
Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab (NorS), University of Copenhagen
Posted in Programs

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, January 2019

Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Publications, Uncategorized

CfP: International Conference Ideology and Linguistic Ideas 2019, Tblisi

12 September 2019 – 14 September 2019

After the two successful conferences in 2015 and 2017, we are pleased to invite scholars interested in the history of linguistic ideas developed alongside with different ideologies in different times once more to Georgia. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops