Interview 2 : Editing, commenting, translating today linguistic texts of the past. Inverview with Bernard Colombat

Interview prepared by Émilie Aussant, ChloĂ© Laplantine and Rafaello Pisu.
Recorded in Paris, on April, 7th, 2021 at Université de Paris by Thomas Zoritchak.
Tranlation by Luca Dinu. Subtitles in English are available with this video (click on the “cc” icon at the bottom of the player).
Music extracted from John Dowland, Frog Galliard, interpreted by Christoph Denoth (Mister Dowland’s Midnight).

The text of the interview has been edited in a bilingual version French / English, available here.

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Posted in Interviews

Podcast episode 19: Meaning and British linguistics – Firth, Malinowski and the context of situation

Map of the Trobriand Islands

In this episode, we look at the central role the analysis of meaning played in British linguistics in the first half of the twentieth century. We focus on the work of John Rupert Firth (1890–1960) and BronisƂaw Malinowski (1884–1942) and their varying versions of the ‘context of situation’.

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Posted in Podcast

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of the language sciences – October 2021

Klaas Willems & Cristinel Munteanu, ed. 2021. Eugenio Coseriu. Past, Present and Future. Berlin : De Gruyter. 404 p. SBN: 9783110712339 ; DOI :
Publisher’s website

The volume is published on the occasion of the birth centennial of Eugenio Coseriu (1921–2002). It is the first collective volume to appear in English in which various scholars present a variety of perspectives on Coseriu’s scholarly work and discuss its continuing relevance for the language sciences. Coseriu’s international reputation has suffered from his commitment to publish in languages such as Spanish, German, French, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese, to the detriment of English. As a consequence, his work is less well-known outside Romance and German linguistics. The volume aims to raise the general awareness of Coseriu’s work among linguists around the world, in accordance with Coseriu’s own adage that it takes a constructive mindset (acknowledging “accomplishments and limitations”) to do justice to all scholarly work in the humanities. The articles are organized into three major thematic clusters: 1) philosophy of language, 2) history of the language sciences and 3) theory and practice of “Integral Linguistics”. The volume is essential reading for anyone working in these fields and for those seeking to gain deeper understanding of Coseriu’s goal to develop a unitary approach to language which takes as its point of departure the “activity of speaking”.

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Posted in Publications, Uncategorized

Podcast episode 18: Interview with H. Walter Schmitz on Victoria Lady Welby

Portrait of Victoria Lady Welby

In this interview, we talk to H. Walter Schmitz about pioneer of semiotics Victoria Lady Welby.

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Posted in Podcast

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of the language sciences – September 2021

James McElvenny & Andrea Ploder, ed. 2021. Holisms of communication: The early history of audio-visual sequence analysis. Berlin : Language Science Press. 268 p. ISBN : 978-3-98554-017-4
Publisher’s website

 central pillar of contemporary communication research is the analysis of filmed interactions between people. The techniques employed in such analysis first took on a recognizably modern form in the 1970s, but their roots go back to the earliest days of motion picture technology in the late nineteenth century. This book presents original essays accompanied by written responses which together create a dialogue exploring early efforts at audio-visual sequence analysis and their common goal to capture the “whole” of the communicative situation.

The first three chapters of this volume look at the film-based research of Gestalt psychologists in Berlin as well as psychologists in the orbit of Karl and Charlotte BĂŒhler in Vienna in the first decades of the twentieth century. Most of these figures – along with many other Central European scholars of this era – were driven into exile in the United States after the rise of National Socialism in the 1930s. This scientific migration led to the cross-pollination of communication studies in America, an outcome visible in the leading project in interaction research of the mid-twentieth century, the Natural History of an Interview. The following two chapters examine this project in its historical context. The volume closes with a critical edition of a treasure from the archives: the transcript of a speech delivered by Ray Birdwhistell, a key participant in the Natural History of an Interview project and founder of kinesics.

The book is downloadable here.

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Posted in Publications

Podcast episode 17: Philipp Wegener and the beginnings of functionalism

Untersuchungen ĂŒber die Grundfragen des Sprachlebens

In this episode, we take a step back to explore the earliest beginnings of functional linguistics as represented by the work of Philipp Wegener.

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Posted in Podcast

Hiphilangsci update summer 2021

Dear colleagues,

With the northern summer now in full swing, let us aid in your aestivation with some recent delights from In the past year we have not only continued our tradition of scholarly blog posts, but also – like many in this age of lockdowns and quarantine – finally embraced the retrofuturistic dream of videophones and teleconferences. Join us on our audio-visual adventures in videos and podcasts.

Best regards,
Chloé Laplantine & James McElvenny

Hiphilangsci interviews:

Interview 1: 
The Owl of Minerva takes flight only when dusk begins to gather”
Inverview with Sylvain Auroux


Racialization, language science, and nineteenth century anthropometrics
by Margaret Thomas (Boston College)

Significs and Jacques van Ginneken
by Els Elffers (University of Amsterdam)

Death of a purist or how Dutch appeared to be a dangerous mother tongue
by Camiel Haman (University of Amsterdam/Adam Mickiewicz University PoznaƄ)

The return of the human in the study of writing
by Piers Kelly (University of New England)

A Danish Framing of Roman Jakobson’s American Years – Review of From the early years of Phonology
by Patrick Flack (University of Fribourg)


History of Linguistics in East and South-East Asia
Quang Anh Le, Time-marking particles and the problem of grammatical categorisation in Vietnamese: From French colonialism to the post-Cold War era
Edward McDonald, Ma Jianzhong and the perils of being a pioneer

History of Linguistics in Australia
Jane Simpson, Grammars for analysis, grammars for learners
William McGregor, From Herman Nekes notebooks to Nekes & Worms 1853
David Moore, Developments in grammatical analysis of Central Australian languages 1890–1910

The Facts of Whorf’s Hopi Research
by Penny Lee

History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences Podcast :

Through short talks and interviews, the hiphilangsci podcast offers an overview of some of the main currents in disciplinary linguistics from the nineteenth century to the present. So far we’ve made it to the early twentieth century, and we’ll continue our journey with new episodes after the northern summer.

You can follow the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and wherever good podcasts are available.

Posted in Uncategorized

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of the language sciences – July 2021

Christelle Dodane & Claudia Schweitzer, dir. 2021. Histoire de la description de la parole : de l’introspection Ă  l’instrumentation. Paris : Champion. BibliothĂšque de grammaire et de linguistique, 65. 406 p. ISBN : 9782745355959
Publisher’s website

L’objectif de ce livre est de retracer les changements qui se sont opĂ©rĂ©s dans la description de la parole du XVIe jusqu’au dĂ©but du XXe siĂšcle et de rassembler des travaux de spĂ©cialistes de diffĂ©rentes Ă©poques historiques et spĂ©cialitĂ©s, qui sont gĂ©nĂ©ralement traitĂ©es sĂ©parĂ©ment. C’est ce croisement interdisciplinaire qui permet de montrer et d’expliquer de maniĂšre fine le passage progressif d’une mĂ©thode introspective utilisĂ©e par les anciens grammairiens Ă  une mĂ©thode de type expĂ©rimentale utilisĂ©e par les phonĂ©ticiens de la fin du XIXe siĂšcle. GrĂące aux diffĂ©rentes spĂ©cialitĂ©s des auteur(e)s (histoire de la langue, articulation, prosodie, phonĂ©tique, acoustique, prononciation, phoniatrie, musicologie, rhĂ©torique, gestualitĂ©), il est possible d’aborder une variĂ©tĂ© de mĂ©thodes et d’approches d’étude de la langue parlĂ©e.

OrganisĂ© en trois parties, cet ouvrage propose une description de la prosodie du XVIe au dĂ©but du XXe siĂšcle, de l’articulation des sons de la parole et prĂ©sente ensuite des travaux qui allient une description historique Ă  des mĂ©thodes d’analyse contemporaines.

Il convie ainsi le lecteur Ă  cheminer au cours des siĂšcles et Ă  dĂ©couvrir, en compagnie des diffĂ©rents auteur(e)s qui ont contribuĂ© Ă  la richesse de cet ouvrage, l’évolution de la pensĂ©e et de la description de la parole qui en dĂ©coule, tout en s’inscrivant dans les courants esthĂ©tiques et culturels de chaque Ă©poque.

Table of contents

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Posted in Publications

Podcast episode 16: Interview with ChloĂ© Laplantine on Émile Benveniste

In this episode, we talk to ChloĂ© Laplantine about the life and work of French structuralist Émile Benveniste.

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Posted in Podcast

CfP: Abralin International Congress, 22–30 Sept 2021

The main theme of InterAb 12 will be “Linguistics Challenges in Open Science”. This edition will be completely online. Proposals in all areas of linguistics are welcome. Papers covering the main theme will be considered for keynote.

All InterAb12 activities will be broadcast on Abralin’s YouTube channel with free and open access to everyone.

Submission deadline: 15 July (talks), 31 July (posters)

Further information:

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops