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 whole existence to a thorough-going research of language, its constitution and its use, summed up in masterly style in his e-book Language (1933). After his untimely demise on the age of sixty two, his paintings was once at the start acclaimed as an exemplary program of the clinical strategy to linguistics, yet then fell into unjustified forget. Now that the centenary of his start has handed, the time has come for the tale of Bloomfield's existence and paintings to be mentioned in a biography. for this reason, basing his dialogue on all on hand fabrics (including a few info no longer available till recently), Professor corridor has offered Bloomfield's lifestyles historical past in its highbrow and cultural atmosphere. This booklet is not just a biography, but additionally a private memoir, within 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 research a fuller photo than now we have had heretofore, featuring either Bloomfield's well-known success in developing the examine of language as a systematic self-discipline, and the less-known facets of his personality and of his own lifestyles, which in convinced respects used to be very tragic and unhappy.
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Additional resources for A life for language : a biographical memoir of Leonard Bloomfield
His review of Sapir was moderately favorable, that of Jespersen less so. Over Saussure's Cours he waxed quite enthusiastic; at the end of his review he says "he has given us the theoretical basis for a science of human speech". 1907]) Bloomfield says, à propos of Saussure, that his own 1933 book Language "reflects his Cours on every page". This was an exaggeration, but it is nevertheless possible to discern the influence of Saussure's approach in some facets of Bloomfield's Language. ) Not all of the quasi-Saussure's influence on Bloomfield was beneficial, for instance with regard to the relation of the individual speaker to the speech-community; to the rigidity of the system from a strictly synchronic point of view; and to the irrelevance of phonetics to phonological structure.
Its first president was the IndoEuropeanist Hermann Collitz (1855-1935) of Johns Hopkins, with Carl Dar ling Buck of Chicago (1866-1955) as its first vice-president. As its secretarytreasurer, Roland Grubb Kent (1877-1952) served from 1924 to 1940. George M. Boiling was the first editor of the Society's journal Language, from 1924 until 1939. Maurice Bloomfield was president in 1926, Leonard Bloomfield in 1936. ". Starting with the (to him and other workers in the field) fairly obvious statement that linguistic science exists, he sets forth the various aspects of the study of language, descriptive and historical.
He admired Bloomfield greatly, especially for the latter's principle of basing the analysis of any given language on the categories inherent in its own structure, without the imposition of foreign models. Albert P. Weiss was a leader in what has come to be known, rather misleadingly, as "behaviorism" in psychology. This movement, which is currently — 1989 — out of favor in dominant views of psychology, was initiated by a certain John Broadus Watson (1878-1958). Bloomfield was influenced, however, not by Watson but by Weiss.