New PDF release: A life for language : a biographical memoir of Leonard

By Robert A. Hall Jr.

Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949) used to be one of many maximum linguists of the 20 th century. He dedicated his complete existence to a thorough-going learn of language, its constitution and its use, summed up in masterly model in his publication Language (1933). After his untimely demise on the age of sixty two, his paintings used to be before everything acclaimed as an exemplary software of the clinical approach to linguistics, yet then fell into unjustified overlook. Now that the centenary of his delivery has handed, the time has come for the tale of Bloomfield's existence and paintings to be stated in a biography. consequently, basing his dialogue on all on hand fabrics (including a few info no longer available until eventually recently), Professor corridor has provided Bloomfield's existence historical past in its highbrow and cultural atmosphere. This publication isn't just a biography, but in addition a private memoir, during which corridor attracts on his contacts with Bloomfield, who was once his instructor at Chicago and a senior colleague at Yale. There emerges from this learn a fuller photograph than we now have had heretofore, offering either Bloomfield's famous success in constructing the research of language as a systematic self-discipline, and the less-known facets of his personality and of his own existence, which in convinced respects was once very tragic and unhappy.

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Extra resources for A life for language : a biographical memoir of Leonard Bloomfield

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In that debate, there were two opposing view-points among scholars, with the "Unitarians" maintaining that these two epics were composed by one and only one poet, and the "Separatists" holding that more than one author was involved. The extreme "Separatist" view was that the Iliad and the Odyssey were pieces of folk poetry brought together at various times and places and assigned to one fictitious rhapsode. In this respect, the quarrel over the Homeric poems has had its counterpart in later discussions of the origins of the Chanson de Roland and other mediaeval Romance epics.

He was a quiet but very firm and demanding teacher, insisting on exactitude in both translation and linguistic analysis. Many of his students, perhaps the majority, were specialists in literature, taking courses in philology only to meet a requirement. They often resented Bloomfield's unwillingness to accept approx­ imations in lieu of accurate statements and formulations, for instance when they were called upon to trace the etymology of a word or the development of a sound-change. For example, he refused to accept any discussion of a phonol­ ogical development as a "tendency", insisting that such terminology obscured the essential nature of sound-change, which he viewed as uncompromisingly regular.

G. ) were presented and drilled, so that firm associations were set up in the learner before passing to the less regular correlations. Their content was, even in the earlier lessons, ingeniously planned to arouse the learner's interest (far more so than the Look, look, Jane, Dick, Spot, oh, oh, look, look! of the "see and say" texts) with typically Bloomfieldian quiet wit and with highly imaginative drawings done by Leonard himself. Unfortunately, Bloomfield was not able to make any headway in persuading any school authorities or educationists to take an interest in his reading materials.

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A life for language : a biographical memoir of Leonard Bloomfield by Robert A. Hall Jr.


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