Blog Archives

Colorless green ideas and the others

Martin Konvička (Freie UniversitĂ€t Berlin)* 1 Colorless green ideas In the opening pages of his Syntactic Structures (1957: 15)[1], Noam Chomsky demonstrates the independence of grammar (or syntax) from semantics by referring to the meaningless, yet grammatically well-formed – and

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, Semantics, Syntax

Le Formalisme russe dans l’histoire de la linguistique

Patrick Flack sdvig press Le Formalisme russe, Ă  bien des Ă©gards, constitue un phĂ©nomĂšne paradoxal. Il a, c’est bien connu, fourni les fondements d’une approche systĂ©matique de la littĂ©rature (ou du « langage poĂ©tique « ) et contribuĂ© Ă  produire une grande partie

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Posted in 20th century, Article, Europe, Structuralism

Early Descriptions of Gender in Pama-Nyungan Languages

Clara Stockigt University of Adelaide There is little correlation between the existence of a system of gender in Pama-Nyungan languages and the inclusion of a discussion of these systems under the heading “Gender” in early grammatical sources. Of the small

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Posted in 19th century, 20th century, Article, Australia, Field linguistics, Grammars, History, Linguistics, Syntax, Typology

Sapir’s form-feeling and its aesthetic background

Jean-Michel Fortis Laboratoire d’histoire des thĂ©ories linguistiques, UniversitĂ© Paris-Diderot I find that what I most care for is beauty of form, whether in substance or, perhaps even more keenly, in spirit. A perfect style, a well-balanced system of philosophy, a

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

(Non-)universality of word-classes and words: The mid-20th century shift

Martin Haspelmath Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig While looking at a range of views by grammarians on word-class distinctions (noun, verb, adjective etc.) and word division in two recent papers (Haspelmath 2011; 2012a), I was struck by what

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Posted in 20th century, Article, History, Linguistics, Typology, Uncategorized

Linguists choosing the wrong side: Jacob van Ginneken and other alleged Nazi collaborators

Toon Van Hal University of Leuven Unlike the other posts to this blog, the present post is not intended as a contribution to learning. Its sole ambition is to open a discussion on a rather sensitive topic (which is not

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Posted in 20th century, Article, History, Linguistics

Otto Jespersen and progress in international language

James McElvenny University of Sydney When it comes to expressing the ideas of our own day, the deficiencies of classical Latin appear with ruthless clarity: telephones and motor-cars and wireless have no room in Ciceronian Latin, and it will be

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

Upcoming events

12–13 January 2023
Paris, France
SHESL Conference 2023
New historical and diachronic perspectives on grammaticalization

4-6 September 2023
Universidade de TrĂĄs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
2023 Annual Colloquium of the Henry Sweet Society
What counts as scientific in the History of Linguistics?

6-9 September 2023
Universidade de TrĂĄs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
XXXII. International Colloquium of the “Studienkreis ‘Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft'” (SGdS)
Controversies in the history of linguistics