Henry Sweet Society Colloquium
Edinburgh, 5–7 September 2019

Version: 5 September 2019

Thursday 5 September

17:00-17:30 Plenary: Geoffrey Pullum
Chronicling the prehistory of generative grammar: problems of origination and attribution
18:00-18:30 Drinks reception

Friday 6 September

Prestonfield Salisbury Holyrood Duddingston
09:00-09:30 Plenary: Gerda Haßler
The recurrence of the linguistic relativity principle in the history of linguistics
Morning sessions Panel: Formal Models in the History of Arabic Linguistic Tradition
10:00-10:30 Bart de Boer
The history of the evolution of speech
Doyle Calhoun
Galanterie et grammaire, ou comment faire la pub de la linguistique : La place du Mercure Galant (1672–1710) dans l’histoire des idées linguistiques au Grand Siècle
Kenichi Kadooka
Influence of Anton Marty's Semantics on Professor Kobayashi Chikahira in Japan
Marijn van Putten
Where is Classical Arabic? The linguistic norms of the Arab grammarians and the Qurʾanic reading traditions
10:30–11:00 Marjorie Lorch
Understanding of Voice Production through the 19th century Invention of the Laryngoscope
Gordon Whittaker
Towards a Philological History of the Sumerian Question
Giuliano Lancioni
Speakers, Texts, Orality: Description and Norm in the Early Arabic Linguistic Thinking
11:00-11:30 Coffee break
Midday sessions Panel: Women pioneers of language studies at Edinburgh Panel: Formal Models in the History of Arabic Linguistic Tradition
11:30-12:00 Lauren Hall-Lew & Alice Turk
Elizabeth T. Uldall: Innovations in Phonetic Method and Theory
Norma Romanelli
L’article dans quelques grammaires de l’italien et du français (XVIe-XVIIe siècle)
Elizaveta Zimont
Separable complex verbs and lemmatisation in Thesaurus Theutonicae linguae (1573)
Raoul Villano
Grammar, Philology and Exegesis: The Formation of Classical Arabic and Arabic Linguistic Tradition
12:00-12:30 Philip Bennett
Professor Mary Dominica Legge (1905-1986)
Vincent Balnat
Charles Bonnier (1863-1926), un philologue européen de la Belle Époque
Melinda V. Prather
Morphological descriptions of historical teaching materials for German as a foreign language: challenges and difficulties
Simona Olivieri
Arabic grammatical terminology: internal development and influences from other traditions
12:30-13:00 Margaret A. Mackay
The Role of Women in Lexicographical and Atlas Projects
Antoine Aufray
Karl Brugmann et la critique des langues internationales auxiliaires au début du 20e siècle
Jaana Vaahtera
Latin grammar in Finnish: the case of grammatical gender
Beata Sheyhatovitch
The distinction between the general and the specific as a methodological tendency in al-Astarābāḏī’s writing
13:00-13:30 Lunch
14:00-14:30 Henry Sweet Society AGM
Afternoon sessions Panel: Reform Movement Panel: Formal Models in the History of Arabic Linguistic Tradition
15:00-15:30 Changliang Qu
Responding to Otto Jespersen’s Linguistic Evolution in Nationalist China (1911-1949): A linguistic and extralinguistic history
Richard Smith
A trumpet blast for applied linguistics? The origins, nature and impact of Wilhelm Viëtor’s (1882) Der Sprachunterricht muss umkehren!
Angela Senis
Bronislaw Malinowski, a Polish anthropologist among British linguists
Manuela E.B. Giolfo & Wilfrid Hodges
AGT treatment of ʾin conditional systems: traces of an external influence?
15:30-16:00 Clara Stockigt & Marcin Kilarski
Australian and North American Indian languages and the notion of a ‘primitive’ language
Andrew Linn
Fireworks in 1886: Eavesdropping on someone else’s conference…
Maurizio Bagatin
Is there any continuity between naḥw and ‘ilm al-ma‘ānī in ‘Abd al-Qāhir al-Ǧurǧānī’s linguistic thinking?
16:00–16:30 Coffee break
Afternoon sessions Panel: Reform Movement
16:30-17:00 Frank Vonk
A Historiography of the methodology of 19th-century philology
Michael Ashby & Patricia Ashby
The IPA and the Reform Movement
Aimée Lahaussois
The emergence of segmentation in descriptions of Tibeto-Burman languages of Nepal
Alena A. Fidlerová
Did Czech secondary school students in the eighteenth century learn from comparative grammars?
17:00-17:30 Beijia Chen
History of linguistics in Germany at the turn of 20th century
Tim Giesler
Much ado about nothing? The impact of the Reform Movement on (northern) German English language teaching
David Moore
A brief history of linguistics at Western Australia’s first university
Rachel Fletcher
Ideas of linguistic purity in Joseph Bosworth’s A Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon Language
17:30-18:00 Friederike Klippel
Reform and reaction after 1900
Gonçalo Fernandes
A first approach to the Vocabularium Latinum, Hispanicum, et Congense ad usum Missionariorum transmittendorum ad regni Congi Missiones (Congo 1652)
Sophie Jollin-Bertocchi
The metaphors applied to the sentence in the 20th century

Saturday 7 September

Prestonfield Salisbury Holyrood Duddingston
09:00-09:30 Plenary: Jacqueline Léon
Battles over the uses of ‘model’ in early years of generative grammars
Morning sessions Panel: Political conceptualization of linguistic thought Panel: HoLLT
10:00-10:30 Naoyuki Akaso
On Chomsky’s interpretation of Jespersen
Lin Chalozin-Dovrat
A Time for Space: Did Cognitivists Reinvent the History of English Prepositions?
Richard Steadman-Jones
Linguistic Field Work at the End of Empire: British Officials and American Structuralists
Andrea Nava
The Grammar Translation Method and Italian Academia
10:30–11:00 Serena Cattaruzza & Savina Raynaud
Grammar games
Camiel Hamans
From oddity to central notion
Javed Majeed
The politics of Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India
Claudine Beltram
Jacob Bensabat's Portuguese, English, French and Italian grammars and manuals: a comparative study
11:00-11:30 Coffee break
Midday sessions Panel: Benveniste Panel: Early European dictionaries Panel: Political conceptualization Panel: HoLLT
11:30-12:00 Irène Fenoglio
Retour de Benveniste sans retour à Benveniste. Plaidoyer pour la linguistique générale
Geoffrey Williams & Alina Villalva
Homme & femme, by Furetière and Basnage
Edward McDonald
How Latin grammar turned Chinese: rethinking the grammatics of Chinese
Sabine Doff
The Reception of Grammar-Translation in late 19th and early 20th century German school programs (Schulprogrammschriften)
12:00-12:30 Chloé Laplantine
Emile Benveniste’s work on Tlingit language
Alina Villalva, Laura do Carmo & Esperança Cardeira
Portraits of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in early Portuguese dictionaries
María José Corvo Sánchez
Grammar translation method - foreign languages - history of foreign language teaching and learning: towards a revision of these concepts
12:30-13:00 John Joseph
Benveniste and the origins of enunciation
Wiebke Blanck
The human factor in lexicography of the landscape: Mann and Frau in early German lexicography
Simon Coffey
French grammars in England 1660-1820: Changes in content and contexts paving the way to the ‘practical’ grammar-translation manual
13:00-13:30 Lunch
14:00-14:30 Plenary: Pierre Swiggers
A glance at the dark side of (the history of) linguistics
15:00-15:30 Coffee break
Afternoon sessions Panel: Early European dictionaries Panel: HoLLT
15:30-16:00 Micaela Verlato
Transatlantic exchanges and the birth of the Americanist tradition in the United States
Vilja Oja
Finnic words for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in historical dictionaries
Randy Allen Harris
Constructions in Classical Grammar, Classical Rhetoric, and Current Linguistics
Rolf Kemmler
Towards a Classification of GTM Characteristics in Manuals for Language Learning and Teaching: the case of the earliest manuals of German for a Portuguese target audience
16:00-16:30 Margaret Thomas
Brokers, mediators, and ‘forest diplomats’: Europeans who learned Native American languages during the colonial period
Alina Villalva & Simeon Tsolakidis
Quotations in lexicographic sources
Martin Konvička
Grammaticalisation clines: A brief conceptual history
María del Mar Martínez Domínguez
The oldest grammar book of Portuguese language for Germans: Portugiesische Grammatik (1778) by Johann Andreas von Jung
16:30-17:00 Floris Solleveld
George Grey as a Language Collector
Hans Basbøll
Is there a relation between Glossematic ”Phonematics” and Firth’s ”Prosodies”?
18:30–late Conference dinner: Makars (West End)

Plenary Abstracts

Chronicling the prehistory of generative grammar: problems of origination and attribution
Geoffrey K. Pullum University of Edinburgh

Historians of modern American theoretical linguistics seem to have been entirely unaware that the mathematical systems now known as generative grammars were first developed not in the 1950s, as is widely believed, but three decades earlier, during the academic year 1921-22. Tragic circumstances led to the relevant work being published only some twenty years later, but one crucially important paper appeared in 1943, and a further very important one exhibiting a new application was published in 1947. In the entire 20th century, neither of these two vital papers was ever cited in the linguistics literature, despite generative grammar having become the overwhelmingly dominant basis for theorizing about syntax. Various explanations can be imagined: ignorance (linguists not knowing that the papers existed); myopia (failure to see their relevance); amnesia (forgetting about a prior source); apathy (lacking interest in historical antecedents or citation of earlier papers); or dishonesty (deliberate concealment of an intellectual debt). I review the little-known story of the original invention of generative grammars, and their repurposing as grammars for natural languages, and I propose a hypothesis concerning why proper attribution was never made.

The recurrence of the linguistic relativity principle in the history of linguistics
Gerda Haßler Universität Potsdam

The formulation of the linguistic relativity principle is normally attributed to Edward Sapir (1884–1939) and Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1941). Indeed, these two authors contributed a strong variant of the idea that the varying cultural concepts and categories inherent in different languages affect the cognitive classification of the experienced world in such a way that speakers of different languages think and behave differently because of it. In this talk, this idea will be generalized in a weak form (‘thought is influenced by language specificities’) and pursued from the 17th to the 20th century. This idea can be found in John Locke’s (1632–1704) statement that words interpose themselves between our understandings and the truth which it would contemplate and apprehend. In the eighteenth century, we can find formulations like those of Etienne Bonnot de Condillac (1714–1780), Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728–1777) und Cesare Beccaria (1738–1794) that our language accustoms us to arrange our ideas in a specific way, that some languages are more suitable for certain kinds of thought, or that metaphors have significant influence on peoples’ thought. Not only theoretical treatises on the role of language for thinking, but also descriptions of exotic languages, produced by missionaries, have contributed to this concept. The idea was expressed clearly in German national romantic thought of the early 19th century, where language was seen as the expression of the spirit of a nation. Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) argued that every language shaped the world-view of its speakers, but he also saw a possibility to improve human knowledge in the co-action of languages. In the 20th century the Neo-Humboldtian school revitalised the idea of an influence of language on thought in a reductionist way. At the end of the 20th century, some authors, for example John J. Gumperz and Stephen C. Levinson, tried to rethink linguistic relativity and to prove it by empirical results.

Is it justified to deal with linguistic relativity in a long-term study and can this increase our knowledge? Under which circumstances did the idea of linguistic relativity appear and reappear and how did these circumstances influence its contents? What are the theoretical and ethical implications of this concept?

Battles over the uses of ‘model’ in early years of generative grammars
Jacqueline Léon Histoire des Théories Linguistiques, CNRS, Université de Paris

My paper aims to determine how the term ‘model’ took a theoretical meaning in linguistics in the 1940-50s, disclosing/revealing underlying disputes on the objectives of grammar, and more particularly generative grammar.

The term ‘model’ is used by Bloomfield (1933) in the sense of grammatical paradigm, but, as soon as 1944, Harris mentions the term "deductive model" inspired by Carnap’s and Quine’s logical model of syntax. In his paper on Sapir (1951), he speaks of ‘process models’ which was taken over and renamed ‘item and process model’ by Hockett as one of the three models of grammar he put forward in his paper « Two models of grammatical description » (1954). In this paper, Hockett thoroughly discusses the definition of models in grammar as well as interactions between mathematics and linguistics. In parallel, following Shannon and Weaver (1949) using the term ‘Markov model’ for naming Markov processes, to whom he dedicates a copious review in 1953, Hockett develops a finite-state generative grammar (a Grammatical HQ) in his Manual of Phonology (1955). He states that it is a model for both speakers and hearers, based on Markov models. From then on, ‘model’ has been a term largely used by American linguists, especially for characterizing grammars (see the Symposium on Operational Models in Synchronic Linguistics, 1959). Chomsky (1956) uses it to establish his hierarchy of formal grammars in his article "Three models for the description of language". However, from that time until 1965, Chomsky systematically criticized and even deprecated Hockett by attacking his use of ‘statistical model’ (‘stochastic model’, ‘Markov model’, ‘communication-theoretic model’, etc.), for building grammars, thus avoiding taking into account Hockett’s early attempts to establish a generative grammar.

In my paper, I will trace these uses of the term ‘model’ and the variety of meanings it conveys. I will examine which issues are hidden behind the battles over a word, especially their significance as a contribution to the history of early generative grammars.

Primary sources

Anthropological Linguistics Vol. 1-1, 1959, Operational Models in Synchronic Linguistics: A Symposium Presented at the 1958 Meetings of the American Anthropological Association

Chomsky Noam, 1956, “Three models for the description of language”, IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers) Transactions on Information Theory, IT-3, p.113-124.

-------------------- 1957, Review of Hockett, A Manual of Phonology, International Journal of American Linguistics 23-3, p.223-234.

-------------------- 1962, “Explanatory models in linguistics”, Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science Ernest Nagel, Patrick Suppes, Alfred Tarski, (eds)., Stanford, Stanford University Press, p. 528-50.

-------------------- 1964, “The Logical Basis of Linguistic Theory”. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Linguists, 1962, ed. by Horace Lunt, p.914-1008. The Hague: Mouton.

Harris, Z.S., 1944, “Yokuts Structure and Newman's Grammar” International Journal of American Linguistics 10 n°4: 196-211.

-------------------- 1951, Review of Selected Writings of Edward Sapir in Language, Culture, and Personality by David G.Mandelbaum. Language, 27-3 p. 288-333.

-------------------- 1959, “The Transformational Model of Language Structure” Anthropological Linguistics Operational Models in Synchronic Linguistics: A Symposium Presented at the 1958 Meetings of the American Anthropological Association (Jan.1959),Vol. 1-1, p. 27-29.

Hockett Ch. F, 1952, “An approach to the quantification of semantic noise”, Philosophy of science 19, p.257-60.

-------------------- 1953, “Review of Shannon Cl. E. and Weaver W. The Mathematical Theory of Communication 1949, Urbana Ill” Language, 29-1, 69-93.

-------------------- 1954 “Two Models of Grammatical Description”, Word 10 :2-3 p. 210-234.

-------------------- 1955, A Manual of Phonology, Memoir 11 of International Journal of American Linguistics, Baltimore: Waverley Press Inc.

Secondary sources

Pullum, Geoffrey K. , 2011, “On the mathematical foundations of Syntactic StructuresJournal of Logic, Language and Information 20, 277–296.

Radick G., 2016, “The Unmaking of a Modern Synthesis: Noam Chomsky, Charles Hockett, and the Politics of Behaviorism, 1955–1965”, Isis 107 :49-73.

Scholz, Barbara C. & Geoffrey K. Pullum, 2007, “Tracking the origins of transformational generative grammar”, Journal of Linguistics 43: 701-723.

Seuren, Pieter, 2009, “Concerning the Roots of Transformational Generative Grammar” Historiographia Linguistica vol 36-1 :97-115

Tomalin, Marcus 2006 Linguistics and the Formal Sciences. The Origins of Generative Grammar, Cambridge: CUP.

Wildgen, Wolfgang, 2009, “La rivalité historique entre une modélisation statique et dynamique des faits linguistiques” HEL 31-1 :99-126.

A glance at the dark side of (the history of) linguistics
Pierre Swiggers KU Leuven

The topic of this talk will be a ‘diffuse’ one (as opposed to ‘concentrated’ or ‘compact’); instead of focusing on one ‘figure’, one ‘principle’ or one ‘concept’ in the history of linguistics, the aim is to draw attention to, and provide room for reflection on what has (often) gone unnoticed in (the history of) linguistics.

Before dealing with this (more) ‘obscure’ side, a few introductory remarks will be made on the history of linguistics – ‘why it matters’ – and the historiography of linguistics – ‘why it is useful’. In order to avoid a pro domo stand, the outlook will be a general-linguistic one.

The central part of the talk will deal with different ‘shades’ of dark in the history of linguistics; each of these will be illustrated with one or two examples (taken from different historical periods). The typology of ‘shades’ that will be outlined spans a spectrum ranging from what can be called absolute and unrecoverable dark to consciously manipulated dark; at the midst of the spectrum there is a breakpoint from objectivity to subjectivity, from external conditioning to ideology-bound intervention.

The conclusions drawn from the tentative typology and the illustrative examples will be cautiously formulated as implications (possibly) relevant for the heuristic procedures and the inquisitive stand of the linguistic historiographer.

Individual Paper Abstracts

Sorted by first presenter's surname.

On Chomsky’s interpretation of Jespersen
Naoyuki Akaso Nagoya Gakuin University

The aim of this talk is to reassess Chomsky’s interpretation of Jespersen’s “free expressions”.

It is known that Noam Chomsky appreciates Jespersen’s view on language. At the beginning stage of generative grammar, Chomsky mentioned Jespersen’s concept of “nexus”, such as the doctor’s arrival, as an antecedent of transformational operations. However, tracing back his statements, his appreciation of the distinguished Danish scholar was not always consistent. In late sixties Chomsky sometimes rated Jespersen low and made negative comments about him as one of the “analogy” supporters. In 1974 Chomsky read a paper at the 50th anniversary of Linguistic Society of America, in which Chomsky re-evaluated Jespersen. Considering that Chomsky mentioned Reynold (1971) in the paper, and that he took it up again in Knowledge of Language (1986), his re-evaluation of Jespersen seems to have come from Reynolds (1971). According to her, many of Jespersen’s important assumptions are derived from Wilhelm von Humboldt. Influenced by Reynolds, Chomsky became positive toward Jespersen, especially regarding the concept of “free expressions” which corresponds to Humboldt’s “Energeia”. Chomsky takes them as the same goal that generative grammar has tried to pursue. But is it really true that Jespersen’s free expressions is what Chomsky conceives it to be? As for Humboldt, Chomsky himself admitted that his interpretation on Humboldt was possibly wrong (see Chomsky 2012). If so, we need to reassess his understanding of Jespersen’s “free expressions” in the same way. In this talk, I claim that Chomsky’s understanding of this issue comes from his own interpretation.

Karl Brugmann et la critique des langues internationales auxiliaires au début du 20e siècle
Antoine Aufray Université de Strasbourg

K. Brugmann (1849-1919) est connu comme un des fondateurs du courant néogrammairien dans la deuxième moitié du 19e siècle, son nom est associé à ceux de Osthoff, Leskien, Delbrück. Au début du 20e siècle, une grande partie de son œuvre scientifique est écrite, professeur à Leipzig depuis 1887, il est une autorité dans son domaine. C’est à cette période qu’il publie, en 1907 avec A. Leskien, puis en 1914, deux textes dans lesquels il expose son avis sur les langues auxiliaires internationales. Ces textes s’intitulent respectivement Die neuesten Weltsprachprojekte et Die künstlichen Weltsprachen und ihre Aussichten. Le premier est issu d’un rapport commandé pas l’Académie Royale des Sciences de Saxe, le second est paru initialement dans le périodique Akademische Rundschau. Ma communication se propose de présenter ces deux textes dans leur contexte scientifique et historique afin d’en dégager les conceptions de K. Brugmann qui s’y font jour sur la nature de la langue. Ces prises de position sont en effet très instructives d’un point de vue de l’histoire des théories linguistiques et du positionnement du scientifique dans la société. K. Brugmann passe en revue trois aspects du mouvement : d’une part la dynamique sociale qui porte le succès du Volapük d’abord puis de l’Espéranto ensuite. D’autre part, il analyse en spécialiste la structure interne des langues auxiliaires, telle que voulue par ses concepteurs, et la compare à l’architecture des langues naturelles. Il ne manque pas, enfin, de livrer des considérations sur le rapport qu’entretiennent les locuteurs avec leur(s) langue(s).

Charles Bonnier (1863-1926), un philologue européen de la Belle Époque
Vincent Balnat Université de Strasbourg

Ma communication portera sur le parcours et la réflexion scientifiques de Charles Bonnier, militant socialiste, poète et linguiste dont les travaux philologiques restent largement méconnus.

Élève de l’École des chartes (Paris), Bonnier soutient en 1887 un mémoire de fin d’études dans lequel il réfute l’hypothèse, répandue à l’époque, de la fiabilité des chartes pour l’étude des anciens dialectes, et plaide pour une approche des parlers anciens basée sur les patois modernes. La sentence fut immédiate : Le travail fut refusé, si bien que Bonnier fut contraint de renoncer à une carrière d’archiviste-paléographe en France. Sur le conseil de Gaston Paris, son maître à l’École des chartes, il s’installe alors à Halle (Allemagne) où il rédige, sous la direction du romaniste Hermann Suchier, une thèse de doctorat sur l’évolution des noms de personnes en 1888. À la suite des lois antisocialistes de Bismarck, ses espoirs d’obtenir un poste en Allemagne sont anéantis. Bonnier trouve refuge en Angleterre où il enseigne d’abord à Oxford (il y fréquente Henry Sweet), puis à Liverpool.

Dans ma communication, je présenterai les travaux philologiques précurseurs de Bonnier en m’appuyant également sur des documents d’archives, sa correspondance avec Gaston Paris ainsi que ses Souvenirs, sources qui nous livrent de précieux renseignements sur les systèmes universitaires français, allemand et britannique ainsi que sur les réseaux des intellectuels européens de la fin du XIXe et du début du XXe siècle. Cette ‘redécouverte’ de l’intellectuel engagé, honnête et courageux que fut Bonnier sera par ailleurs l’occasion de réfléchir à ce qu’il est aujourd’hui convenu d’appeler « l’éthique du chercheur ».


Bonnier, Charles, 1888. Über die französischen Eigennamen in alter und neuer Zeit. Halle : Ehrhardt Karras.

Bonnier, Charles, 1890/1891. Étude critique des chartes de Douai de 1203 à 1275. I : Recherches sur l’antagonisme des chartes et du langage vulgaire (1890) ; II : Caractéristique des chartes de Douai (1891) ; III : Chartes de Douai au 13e siècle (1891). In : Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 13.3/4, 431-462 ; 14.1/2, 66-88 ; 14.3/4, 298-343. [Titre original du mémoire : Étude linguistique à propos des chartes en langue romane de Douai au XIIIe siècle (1203-1275), 1887, Archives de l’École des chartes].

Candar, Gilles (éd.), 2001. Les souvenirs de Charles Bonnier. Un intellectuel socialiste européen à la Belle Époque. Préface de Madeleine Rebérioux. Villeneuve d’Ascq : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion.

Is there a relation between Glossematic ”Phonematics” and Firth’s ”Prosodies”?
Hans Basbøll University of Southern Denmark

The fathers of Glossematics, Louis Hjelmslev (1899-1965) and Hans Jørgen Uldall (1907-1957), had their début as ”phonematicians” at the Phonetics Congress in London 1935. They postulate a set of 'marginal prosodies', viz., for Danish, h vs. non–h, and stød vs. non–stød (a laryngeal syllable rhyme prosody). 'Marginal prosodies' are different from 'marginal phonemes', viz. consonants, which according to Hjelmslev and Uldall should occur both initially and finally in the syllable. Stød (identified with glottal stop) must also be a prosody since it only occurs, as a linguistically significant element, in the final part of the syllable.

Abercrombie (1980) says that it was from these papers "that Firth got the term prosody, used as a countable noun, as a name for a phonological unit. Firth never acknowledged this, and as far as I know attention has never been drawn to it. Firth certainly listened to both papers." Canalis (2007) gave many interesting examples where well known linguists seem to be influenced by Hjelmslev's and Uldall's points of view, in particular on prosody. But when Firth (1948) said "I suppose Danish is the best European language in which to study the glottal stop from the prosodic point of view", he only refers to Sweet, and neither to Hjelmslev nor Uldall.

I shall discuss these two “phonematics”-papers in the context of (1) Hjelmslev’s other papers on expression analysis (Danish, French), and (2) Firth’s statements on Danish stød, and on /h/ as a prosody, and his (non)references to Glossematics in that respect.

Galanterie et grammaire, ou comment faire la pub de la linguistique : La place du Mercure Galant (1672–1710) dans l’histoire des idées linguistiques au Grand Siècle
Doyle Calhoun Yale University

Fondé en 1672 par Jean Donneau de Visé (1638–1710) — journaliste, historiographe officiel du roi Louis XIV, « entrepreneur de lettres » et « maquilleur » de la monarchie, pour emprunter les caractérisations de Christophe Schuwey (2016, 2018) et de François Moureau (1982) — le Mercure galant est depuis quelques temps considéré comme source documentaire privilégiée pour les spécialistes du XVIIe siècle. Quoique ce périodique ait été examiné par des littéraires, des musicologues et des sociologues, les historiens de la pensée linguistique dans la culture occidentale ignorent en grande partie, et à peu d’exception près, ce bestseller du siècle de Louis Grand. Cependant, plusieurs abrégés de grammaire ainsi que des traités de grammaire universelle, tel que l’Ouverture du secret de l’écriture et de la langue universelles (1681–85) d’Antoine de Vienne-Plancy, ont été publiés dans le Mercure galant et dans son supplément, l’Extraordinaire, faisant ainsi de ce périodique une base de données très intéressante pour les historiens de la pensée linguistique. Le Mercure servit également de lieu de promotion pour des ouvrages grammaticologiques importants tels que les Observations sur la langue française de Gilles Ménage et la Grammaire françoise sur un plan nouveau du Père Buffier. La présente étude poursuit en ce sens une analyse du contenu langagier du Mercure galant afin d’esquisser à grands traits les éventuels apports de ce périodique à l’histoire et la circulation des idées linguistiques en France pendant la seconde moitié du XVIIe siècle et la première décennie du XVIIIe siècle.


Schuwey, Christophe. Jean Donneau de Visé, « fripier du Parnasse », Pratiques et stratégies d’un entrepreneur des lettres au XVIIe siècle (thèse de doctorat). Fribourg/Paris : Université de Fribourg et Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2016.

Schuwey, Christophe. Le Mercure galant, ou l’écriture collaborative du règne de Louis XIV. Le Verger 13 (2018) : 1–12.

Moreau, François. Le Mercure galant de Dufresny (1710–1714), ou le journalisme à la mode. Oxford : Fondation Voltaire, 1982.

Grammar games
Serena Cattaruzza*, Savina Raynaud** *Università degli Studi di Trieste; ** Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Milano

What makes Karl Bühler’s Organonmodell an “unusual model”, yet still able to serve as the basis of a newly modelled grammar? What is the “faith and hope” he reposes in the analysis of the nature of language – to which he dedicates his Sprachtheorie (1934) [– after his first training in psychology according to the Würzburg School of thought]? The answer lies in the instrumental nature of languages, instruments with which living beings are endowed. Who are the professionals to be consulted? Indubitably the linguists. From their theoretical-empirical propositions, rightly integrated with laboratory research, the structural laws characteristic of all languages have to be determined, starting from their two principal fields, the symbolic and the deictic, [which have been studied from the ancient Greek grammarians onwards, as far as Brugmann, Miklosich, and Gardiner]. Unlike the logical languages, however, this distinction – to be found in all branches of the Indo-European - does not exclude functional sematological-grammatical passages, interchanges between the so-called “full words” and the “empty words”. In German, for instance, the deictic particle (dér) can assume a denominative function; similar transfers take place regularly in Latin. A form of indication is also possible by resorting to denominative terms, as occurs in Amerindian languages such as Takelma (described by Sapir in the Boas manual) where, for example, head=above, mouth=in front, nape=behind, etc. Thus certain symbolic traits of the Eskimo languages are largely impressionistic, while those of the Bantu languages are categorial. The Chinese language favours individual things, the Indo-European universal. On this basis Bühler outlines a plan for the universal comparison of human languages, in the spirit of Humboldt’s research program. Like the work of the painter, in fact, each language “visualises” with different eyes the data to represent (vide: the four-leaf clover pattern).

A Time for Space: Did Cognitivists Reinvent the History of English Prepositions?
Lin Chalozin-Dovrat Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University

“The spatial nature of temporal expressions […] is widely recognized,” asserted Elizabeth Traugott (1975: 207) in an influential article. Inspired by the groundbreaking works of Eve V. Clark (1971) and Herbert H. Clark (1973) in the field of child psychology and language acquisition, Traugott applied perceptual principles to the semantics of temporal expressions. Fostering a cognitive perspective regarding grammar, Traugott also joined the growing trend within semantics towards “localism” (Fortis 2018): “the hypothesis that spatial expressions are more basic, grammatically and semantically, than various kinds of non-spatial expressions,” and “serve as structural templates […] for other expressions” (Lyons 1977: 718).

Traugott’s historical arguments for the priority of spatial expressions are among her most cited. Relying on Hill (1968) and on the OED, Traugott maintains that temporal prepositions and particles (like ‘for’ or ‘since’) “derived historically from locatives.” Diachronic evidence, she argues, supports the “asymmetric markedness relationship between space and time,” and explains why temporal meaning is “more difficult,” or marked. While this analysis may seem convincing on the cognitive level, its historical justification is unclear. “Space” is a modern concept, borrowed from Newtonian physics. Speakers of Old English were understandably unfamiliar with either that concept or the corresponding grammatical category (i.e. “spatial expressions”). Can analysis of Old English expressions and Proto Germanic roots achieve reliable results while building on such modern ideas as “spatial expressions” or the parallelism between time and space? I will examine a number of hefty epistemological, historical, and diachronic arguments against Traugott’s claims and will demonstrate the advantages of historical linguistics for understanding the philosophical structure of cognitive semantics.


Clark, Eve V. 1971. “On the Acquisition of the Meaning of Before and After.” Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 10: 266–75.

Clark, Herbert H. 1973. “Space, Time, Semantics, and the Child.” In Cognitive Development and the Acquisition of Language, ed. Timothy E. Moore. New York/London: Academic Press, 27–63.

Fortis, Jean-Michel. 2018. “Anderson’s Case Grammar and the History of Localism.” In Substance-Based Grammar. The (Ongoing) Work of John Anderson, eds. H. van der Hulst and R. Böhm. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 113–98.

Hill, Leslie Alexander. 1968. Prepositions and Adverbial Particles: An Interim Classification, Semantic, Structural and Graded. London: Oxford University Press.

Lyons, John. 1977. Semantics, Vol. 2. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.

Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 1975. “Spatial Expressions of Tense and Temporal Sequencing: A Contribution to the Study of Semantic Fields.” Semiotica 15: 207–30.

History of linguistics in Germany at the turn of 20th century
Beijia Chen Freie Universität Berlin

The late 19th and early 20th century was a critical turning point in the history of linguistics, as it experienced a transition from historical linguistics toward structuralism, which originated from Saussure and has exerted a significant influence upon the modern linguistics ever since. Scholars sought to reveal the emergence of Saussure’s language theory, by exploring its connections with the individual eminent precedents from various disciplines. Yet, the academic discourse among linguists (philologists), or the “Zeitgeist”, in which a vast number of contributors and so their theory formations were involved, was rarely discussed in detail.

Therefore, my research will highlight the academic discourse within the citation network of not only prominent linguists but also the lesser known ones who were active in Germany at the turn of the 20th century. In order to reconstruct this discourse, citations in linguistic journal papers will be collected manually and then analyzed with the help of network tools from both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Finally, by revealing the potential for the emergence of Saussure-like linguistic ideas in the reconstructed scholarly discourse, this study will make some reflections on the circulation and development of linguistic theories. In this talk, I will report some preliminary findings from my current study and discuss the network approach used in this historiographical analysis.

The history of the evolution of speech
Bart de Boer AI-lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

This presentation reviews the history of ideas about the evolution of speech. It focuses on the European linguistic tradition. There, the first seeds of evolutionary thinking were laid with speculative renaissance interest in the origin of vernaculars and with equally speculative eighteenth century interest in the origins of speech and language. In the emerging modern scientific tradition, evolutionary thinking played a role in the interaction between Darwin’s and other nineteenth century scientists' ideas about evolution of humans and evolution of speech (particularly sound change). Once evolution as a process had been established, a debate emerged (which has lasted for about a century), on whether the human vocal tract evolved for speech and whether this has played a crucial role in evolution. Finally, in late twentieth and early twenty-first century thinking, evolutionary theory plays an increasingly important role in understanding cultural processes, and specifically those of phonological change and emergence of systems of signals. Moreover, modern thinking about evolution of speech and language stresses the importance (and the complexity) of co-evolution between biology and culture. Because of the interesting theoretical issues involved, this has drawn attention from theoretical biologists and physicists in addition to that of linguists and cognitive scientists.

A first approach to the Vocabularium Latinum, Hispanicum, et Congense ad usum Missionariorum transmittendorum ad regni Congi Missiones (Congo 1652)
Gonçalo Fernandes Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro

The manuscript Varia 274 of Fundo Minori 1896 from the Italian National Library (Rome) has a copy of a Congolese dictionary written in 1652, titled Vocabularium Latinum, Hispanicum, et Congense ad usum Missionariorum transmittendorum ad regni Congi Missiones [Latin, Spanish and Congolese Dictionary for the use of missionaries to be sent to the Missions in the realm of the Congo]. Joseph van Wing, S.J. (1884–1970) and Constant Penders, S.J. (1893–1985) printed a new unscientific version in 1928, deleting the Latin and Spanish transcriptions, and adding French and Flemish translations while changing the order of the entries, thus creating, as Zwartjes (2011: 297) says, a “misleading piece of work” and “an entire new Congolese-French-Flemish work.” The manuscript has 121 folios and approximately 7,000 entries in Latin and its translation into Spanish and Kikongo or Congolese.[1]

In this talk, I will present a first approach to the manuscript itself, describing its main physical features, the possible date of its composition, its authorship, lexicographic characteristics, and analysing its linguistic relevance for the knowledge of 17th Kikongo and African missionary linguistics.


[1] Zwartjes (2011: 297) is incorrect when states that “it comprises 169 folios”. He used secondary sources, as he said (ibid., footnote 47). It ends at the folio 121 recto with the prayer extracted from II Corinthians 1:3 “Sit benedictus Deus et pater domini nostri Jhesu Chisti. Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis” (Anonymous 1652: 121r.) followed by an illegible signature.


Anonymous. 1652. Vocabularium Latinum, Hispanicum, et Congense ad usum missionariorum transmittendorum ad regni Congi missions. Rome: Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele, Ms.Varia 274 of Fundo Minori 1896.

Fernandes, Gonçalo. 2018. “The Oldest Extant Bantu Dictionary”. Paper presented at the Conference A host of tongues...” Multilingualism, Lingua Franca and Translation in the Early Modern Period (NOVA FCHS, Lisbon, December 14).

Fernandes, Gonçalo. 2019, in press. “Missionary and Subsequent Lexicography in Africa”. In: Cambridge World History of Lexicography, ed. By John Considine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Manus Online = Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle Biblioteche Italiane. 2018. Manuscript description: Roma, Biblioteca nazionale centrale Vittorio Emanuele II, Varia, Varia 274. https://manus.iccu.sbn.it//opac_SchedaScheda.php?ID=67552&lang=en

Van Wing, Joseph & Constant Penders. 1928. Le plus ancien dictionnaire bantu / Het oudste Bantu-woordenboek. Vocabularium P. Georgii Gelensis. Louvain: Imprimerie J. Kuly-Otto.

Zwartjes, Otto. 2011. Portuguese Missionary Grammars in Asia, Africa and Brazil, 1550–1800. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Did Czech secondary school students in the eighteenth century learn from comparative grammars?
Alena A. Fidlerová Charles University, Prague

The aim of the paper is to analyse Czech-language secondary school textbooks of elementary Latin grammar, issued in the Habsburg Empire between 1764 and 1780 and containing also passages teaching the grammar of Czech. Since the 1730s, the rulers of the Habsburg Empire carried out a series of school reforms. One of their most important goals was to replace Latin as the language of instruction with German and temporarily also with selected other vernaculars spoken in the Empire. However, the position of Latin as an important subject remained unshaken. Thus, the 1764 school reform brought about a brand new phenomenon in the history of secondary school education in the Empire: textbooks aiming at teaching grammar of a foreign language (Latin) and a mother tongue (German, Czech etc.) at once. The paper will analyse the Czech version of these textbooks, entitled in the first edition Kratká Prawidla k Latinské Ržeči, gakož také přiložená některá Poznamenánj na Cžeskau Slowárnu (Prague 1764) and repeatedly reissued in the same or re-worked form until 1780. It will concentrate on the location, length and content of the passages concerning Czech grammar, on their relation to the passages on Latin grammar and on their origin (taken from older works vs. newly written). It will try to answer the question, whether it is possible to call these textbooks elementary grammars built on the comparative principle, or whether they are just “two in one” books, where passages on Czech and Latin alternate, but have hardly anything in common.

Ideas of linguistic purity in Joseph Bosworth’s A Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon Language
Rachel Fletcher University of Glasgow

Joseph Bosworth’s A Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon Language, first published in 1838, is less well known than his later work, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, which was completed after his death by Thomas Northcote Toller. However, it is especially interesting for its long preface, which was later published separately as The Origin of the English, Germanic and Scandinavian Languages and Nations. As this title implies, the preface is ambitious in scope, going considerably beyond the immediate requirement of introducing the dictionary to its users. For this reason, it offers a valuable insight into Bosworth’s understanding of the language known to him as Anglo-Saxon, and how he perceived the relationship between that language and the wider field of historical Germanic linguistics.

In this paper, I examine how Bosworth’s preface represents the limits of Anglo-Saxon, distinguishing it from other languages and from other periods of English. Both in his description of the scope of his dictionary and in his contextualising historical-linguistic narrative, Bosworth employs the concept of (im)purity as a model for understanding the linguistic variety he encounters in historical texts. By labelling atypical or transitional texts as “impure”, Bosworth can acknowledge the complexity of the historical and textual record while justifying the exclusion from his dictionary of material that resists traditional classification. I discuss the implications of this model for his dictionary’s portrayal of language variation and change, the historical context of the Anglo-Saxon language, and the status of the Anglo-Saxon period as a distinct linguistic unit.

From oddity to central notion
Camiel Hamans University of Amsterdam & Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań

In his seminal book Word Formation in Generative Grammar (1976) Mark Aronoff called clippings, acronyms and blends oddities, which did not deserve a place in morphology. However, in current morphological research blends, clippings and acronyms are seen as language data which can be studied seriously.

This presentation wants to show how phenomena which at best were seen as eccentric now occupy a much more central place. To make this clear a brief history of modern morphology is required. In this connection special attention will be given to the emergence of a fairly recent branch, that of prosodic morphology.

In addition, the distinction which was made between productive and creative word formation or between unconscious word formation and conscious word manufacturing will be discussed and it will be shown that where in older theories an absolute notion of productivity was used nowadays a more gradual development is accepted.

In his classical overview of English word formation, The Categories and Types of Present-Day English Word-Formation (1969²), Marchand calls the study of clipped forms a lexicological matter. In addition, blending has only stylistic and no grammatical status according to him. Marchand also refers this phenomenon to lexicology.

Because of Marchand’s clear reference of these phenomena to lexicography, this presentation will also address the difference between morphological research and lexicographical description and how that difference has changed over the years.

Constructions in Classical Grammar, Classical Rhetoric, and Current Linguistics
Randy Allen Harris University of Waterloo
[Commutatio] occurs when two discrepant thoughts are so expressed by transposition that the latter follows from the former.
—Pseudo-Cicero (1954 [c80 BCE]:325)

Construction Grammar arose largely in reaction to the axiomatic systems of generative grammar, alongside the increasingly semiotic approach of Cognitive Linguistics. But Mark Turner noticed early on that "justifications for construction grammar are essentially identical to those for the [ancient] rhetorical program of analyzing figures" (1997:56). By figures, Turner does not just mean what most linguists mean by the term, a few tropes (metaphor, metonymy), but the whole extensive catalogue of ancient figures, like commutatio (reverse lexical repetition), mesodiplosis (medial lexical repetition), and parison (structural repetition), all of them on display in these famous instances:

  1. [T]ous pour un, un pour tous. (Dumas 1849:129)
    Antimetabole: tous / un; un / tous
    Mesodiplosis: A pour B, B pour A
    Parison: [N [P [N]NP]PP]NP [N [P [N]NP]PP]NP
  2. Women are changing the universities and the universities are changing women. (Greer 1988: 629)
    (Explication omitted to maintain word count)

The basis of Turner's argument is that figurative expressions are form / meaning pairs, as in Construction Grammar. This particular complex—the collocation of antimetabole, mesodiplosis, and parison—reverses the predicate relations of two terms, and therefore expresses reciprocality. Instance #1 expresses reciprocal obligation; instance #2, reciprocal influence.

Turner's insights have not been pursued (see also Fahnestock 1999); further, such constructions were not just part of an ancient "rhetorical program." Ancient Grammar also analysed what we now regard as exclusively "rhetorical" figures. My paper will chart some of the overlaps of Classical Grammar, Classical Rhetoric, and contemporary Construction Grammar with regard to a small set of formal figures (i.e., not tropes).

The metaphors applied to the sentence in the 20th century
Sophie Jollin-Bertocchi Université Paris-Saclay

Among the metaphors used to pinpoint linguistic concepts, the present talk examines those applied to the sentence by grammarians, linguists, critics or writers in the field of French studies. As evidenced by Alain Berrendonner, the metalanguage of language exegetes does not indeed shun subjectivity.

This survey will first explore conventional metaphors, from the 17th to the 20th century, that globally target the French language, stressing the myth of clarity and vital metaphors. We will then examine the different semantic areas attached to the metaphorical terms from architecture to personification and psychologization ; the distinction between the weight of tradition and the aspect of innovation ; the lexicalization of some metaphors making them imperceptible. Our approach will more specifically link the scientific trends of metaphorical designation to the social and cultural context.


BERRENDONNER, Alain, L’Éternel grammairien, Peter Lang, 1982.

COHEN-VIDA, Marion, « La métaphore dans le métalangage linguistique », Diacronia http://www.diacronia.ro/ro/indexing/details/A3361/pdf.

HASSLER, Gerda, « Les métaphores physiologiques comme désignations de concepts linguistiques », dans Anne-Marie Chabrolle-Cerretini (dir.), Romania : réalités) et concepts actes du colloque international des 6 et 7 octobre 2011, Université Nancy 2, Limoges, Lambert-Lucas, 2013.

NORMAND, Claudine, « Le cours de Linguistique générale, métaphores et métalangage, Langages n°120, 1995, p. 78-90. https://www.persee.fr/doc/lgge_0458-726x_1995_num_29_120_1732.

SWIGGERS, Pierre, « À l’ombre de la clarté française », Langue française n°75, 1987, p. 22-35.

Influence of Anton Marty's Semantics on Professor Kobayashi Chikahira in Japan
Kenichi Kadooka

This is a study of the influence of Anton Marty's semantics on Professor Kobayashi Chikahira in Japan. We will review how the European linguistics had been accepted in Japan in the first half of the twentieth century.

Anton Marty (1848 - 1914) is a Swiss linguist who established semantics as one of the linguistic branches. He followed Franz Brentano (1838 - 1917) from the field of psychology, arguing against Humboldt, Steinthal, de Saussure and Wundt on the other hand. Marty’s ideas were inherited by Otto Funke (1885–1973).

The most significant and interesting point in this paper is Marty's great influence in Japan, which is verified by the work on semantics with the title of Marty’s Linguistics (written in Japanese, published in 1937) by Professor Kobayashi Chikahira, an associate professor at Tokyo Higher Normal School (later Tokyo University of Education, current Tsukuba University). Below are the contents introduced in the book. In the preface of the book, Professor Kobayashi refers to de Saussure, evaluating that ‘I was surprised by his lucid methodology and orderly system, and I followed those ways on the one hand. But I could not but have a doubt on them, on the other hand.’ The main point of his discontent was that Saussurean semantics does not take ‘lively meaning of every day words’ into account.

Then Professor Kobayashi continues to assess Marty as ‘not having the flash of talent as in the Swiss Romande school, either the shrewd tactics as in the British-American school, but having earnest spirit of the German-Austrian school.’

Professor Kobayashi points out in the preface of his book that the first point of primary importance of the Marty semantics is the bifurcation of the semantic phenomena into two categories such as follows, in addition to another important concept of inner speech (Innersprach):

  • noun (Namen), predicate (Aussage), emotive (Emotion)
  • synsemantic (Synsemantika, order mitbedeutenden Ausdrücken) and autosemantic (Autosemantika, order selbstbedeutenden Ausdrücken)

Nouns for Namen should be interpreted as content words. Predicate can be paraphrased as the judgment of the sentence: e.g. He sits down. Emotive is the expression of the speaker’s emotion: e.g. Sit down!

Below are the classification of autosemantics (Kobayashi 1937: 42):

  1. Practical autosemantics (praktliche Autosemantika)
    1. actual discourse (wirklihe Rede): predicate (Aussage), emotive (Emotive)
    2. fictitious discourse (fingierte, order fiktive Rede) image-suggestive expression (vorstellungs-suggestive Ausdrucksmittel)
  2. theoretical autosemantics: nouns (=image-suggestive expression)

I hypothesize that in the first half of the twentieth century, the influence of the European linguistics on that of Japan was larger than the American counterpart. This is based on the fact that the first translation of Cours de linguistique Générale was made into Japanese, and the acceptance of Marty linguistics by Professors Kobayashi, as shown in this paper, and Fumio Nakajima. In the American linguistics, on the other hand, Language by Sapir was published in 1921, and the same title by Bloomfield in 1933. Toward the middle of the twentieth century, more focus had been put on syntax than ever before, leading to the emergence of Generative Grammar. With this transition, linguistics in Japan was more influenced by the American linguistics than by the European counterparts.

Grammaticalisation clines: A brief conceptual history
Martin Konvička Freie Universität Berlin

In this paper, I want to briefly sketch the conceptual history behind the notion grammaticalisation clines. Prominent in the grammaticalisation research, grammaticalisation clines are “metaphor[s] for the empirical observation that cross¬-linguistically forms tend to undergo the same kinds of changes or have similar sets of relationships, in similar orders” (Hopper & Traugott 2003: 6). An example, taken from Hopper and Traugott (2003: 7), is given in (1).

(1) content word > grammatical word > clitic > inflectional affix

The aspects of this concept that I want to discuss are the following. First, I will present the research contexts in which the concept first appeared – in grammaticalisation and typological research.

Second, I will expound on the combination of the synchronic typological perspective and the diachronic perspective of historical linguistics on the one hand and on the combination of a functional perspective of a shift from lexical to grammatical and a formal perspective of a shift from a free to a bound morpheme on the other.

Third, I will analyse the implications of the cline concept. Many researchers have based a number of further concepts on it: grammaticalization (Hopper & Traugott 2003), lexicalization (Kuryłowicz 1965: 69), degrammaticalization (Norde 2009), primary and secondary grammaticalization (Traugott 2002), antigrammaticalization (Haspelmath 2004), exaptation (Vincent 1995), lateral shifts (Joseph 2006), functional renewal (Brinton & Stein 1995), and regrammaticalization (Greenberg 1991) are based on the concept.

I will conclude by discussing the few proposals (e.g. Andersen 2006; von Mengden 2016) for dismantling the cline model as a conceptual unity of form and function on the one hand and of the synchronic, typological and diachronic perspectives on the other hand.


Andersen, Henning. 2006. Grammation, regrammation, and degrammation: Tense loss in Russian. Diachronica 2(2006). 231–258.

Brinton, Laurel & Dieter Stein. 1995. Functional renewal. In Henning Andersen (ed.), Historical Linguistics 1993. Selected Papers from the 11th International Conference of Historical Linguistics, UCLA, 33–47. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Greenberg, Joseph H. 1991. The Last Stages of Grammatical Elements: Contractive and Expansive Desemanticization. In Elisabeth Closs Traugott & Bernd Heine (eds.), Approaches to Grammaticalization, Vol. I., 301–314. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Haspelmath, Martin. 2004. On directionality in language change with particular reference to grammaticalization. In Olga Fischer, Muriel Norde & Harry Perridon (eds.), Up and down the cline: The nature of grammaticalization, 17–44. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hopper, Paul J. & Elizabeth Closs Traugott. 2003. Grammaticalization. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Joseph, Brian D. 2006. How accommodating of change is grammaticalization? The case of “lateral shifts.” Logos and Language. Journal of General Linguistics and Language Theory 6(2). 0–8.

Kuryłowicz, Jerzy. 1965. The Evolution of Grammatical Categories. Diogenes 13(51). 55–71.

Mengden, Ferdinand von. 2016. Functional changes and (meta-)linguistic evolution. In Muriel Norde & Freek Van de Velde (eds.), Exaptation in Language Change, 121–162. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Norde, Muriel. 2009. Degrammaticalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 2002. From etymology to historical pragmatics. In Donka Minkova & Robert Stockwell (eds.), Studies in the History of the English Language, 19–49. Topics in. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Vincent, Nigel. 1995. Exaptation and Grammaticalization. In Henning Andersen (ed.), Historical Linguistics 1993. Selected Papers from the 11th International Conference of Historical Linguistics, UCLA, 433–445. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

The emergence of segmentation in descriptions of Tibeto-Burman languages of Nepal
Aimée Lahaussois HTL (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot)

In this presentation, I describe how segmentation of annotated data is treated in descriptions of Tibeto-Burman languages of Nepal from the 1850's until the 1930's. Segmentation of transcribed data by a linguist is a fundamental, and theoretically very telling, step in the analysis of the language.

Nepalese Tibeto-Burman languages, which are agglutinative and therefore capable of being segmented, lend themselves to this study well, especially as they have no written tradition and therefore no pre-established transcription system to influence the linguists' analysis of the language.

I document the evolution of segmentation across a number of early descriptions, from the first grammars of Kiranti languages by Hodgson (1850's) through comparative wordlists and sketches, ending with the short descriptions by Wolfenden (1930's). Throughout I will pay particular attention to:

  1. the presence of segmentation in the transcribed data (glossaries, grammars and texts);
  2. the correspondence between the segments of the transcription and their glosses and/or translations;
  3. the consistency of the segmentation – and therefore how strongly it can be supposed to be a representation of the linguist's analysis of the language – across a single description;
  4. the metacommentary and terminology accompanying issues related to segmentation in the texts or notes of the descriptions.

The goal of this presentation is to document the emergence of practices of segmentation of Tibeto-Burman languages, and to connect these with the development of an analytical framework for studying agglutinative languages (such as Wolfenden 1929).


Campbell, G. 1874. Specimens of Languages of India Including the Aboriginal Tribes of Bengal, the Central Provinces, and the Eastern Frontier. Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Press.

Grierson, G.A., ed. 1909. Linguistic Survey of India Vol. III.1 Tibeto-Burman Family: General Introduction, Specimen of the Tibetan Dialects, The Himalayan Dialects, and the North Assam Group. Vol. 3.1. Delhi, Varanasi, Patna: Motilal Banarsidass.

Hodgson, Brian H. 1857a. “Comparative Vocabulary of the Languages of the Broken Tribes of Nepal [Vocabulary and Grammar of the Vayu Tribe].” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 26: 317-522 [372-485].

Hodgson, Brian H. 1857b. “Comparative Vocabulary of the Languages of the Broken Tribes of Nepal [Vocabulary of the Bahing Tribe].” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 26: 317-522 [486-522].

Hodgson, Brian H. 1858. “Comparative Vocabulary of the Languages of the Broken Tribes of Nepal (Contined from Vol 26) [Grammar of the Bahing Tribe].” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 27: 393-456 [393-442].

Hunter, W. W. 1868. A Comparative Dictionary of the Languages of India and High Asia with a Dissertation, Based on the Hodgson Lists, Official Records, and MSS. London: Trübner and Co.

Wolfenden, Stuart. 1929. Outlines of Tibeto-Burman Linguistic Morphology, with Special Reference to the Prefixes, Infixes and Suffixes of Classical Tibetan and the Languages of the Kachin, Bodo, Naga, Kuki-Chin and Burma Groups. London: Royal Asiatic Society.

Wolfenden, Stuart. 1935. “A Specimen of the Thūlung Dialect.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 67 (4): 629–53.

Understanding of Voice Production through the 19th century Invention of the Laryngoscope
Marjorie Lorch Birkbeck, University of London

The location of the vocal folds, hidden from view by the tongue and epiglottis, impeded investigation of the human voice for centuries. Although since Classical times writers showed great interest in vocal quality, there was limited understanding of how vocal fold movements contributed to vocalization. The development of the laryngoscope in the 1860s, provided the novel opportunity to view the dynamic movements of the larynx in living speakers. This new tool was initially employed to aid the diagnosis of voice disorders previously determine solely on changes in sound and to inform vocal technique in singers.

Histories of the development of the laryngoscope typically recount the foundational efforts of the clinicians Ludwig Türck (1810-1868) and Johann Czermak (1828-1873). This paper examines the contributions of a London based network of clinicians, scientists and musicians who employed this new instrument to develop more a more detailed picture of the contribution of vocal fold movement to voice quality in the second half of the 19th century.

This paper will consider how application of the laryngoscope materially contributed to the knowledge creation in basic vocal fold structure and function and its contribution to the more detailed descriptions of voice production and variation in voice quality. The objective is to detail the significance of the novel visualization it afforded, and to trace its impact on the understanding of the movements of the vocal folds which served as an early contribution to phonetic science.

A brief history of linguistics at Western Australia’s first university
David Moore University of Western Australia

Just over a century ago a new university was established in Western Australia, Australia’s largest and most isolated state. In 1913 ‘tin and jarrah’ buildings were hastily erected in the centre of Perth before lectures began at the University of Western Australia (UWA). When the inaugural chairs were established, the founders favoured Geology. Civil Engineering and Agriculture over the humanities. Language education was represented by lectureships in Classics and Modern Languages (Alexander 1963). As languages of Australia and its Asian neighbours were not taught until after the fiftieth anniversary of the university, those interested in studying Asian languages left Australia to study them in the United Kingdom. Aboriginal languages were first studied until the 1960s in Anthropology courses. In this International Year of Indigenous Languages this paper examines the foundation of a department of linguistics at UWA and the beginning of an interest in Australian Aboriginal languages.


Alexander, Fred (1963). Campus at Crawley: A narrative and critical appreciation of the first fifty years of the University of Western Australia. Melbourne: FW Cheshire for the University of Western Australia Press.

Malcolm, Ian G. (1991). Linguistics in the service of society: Essays to honour Susan Kaldor. Institute of Applied Language Studies, Edith Cowan University.

Morphological descriptions of historical teaching materials for German as a foreign language: challenges and difficulties
Melinda V. Prather Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen

When describing historical grammars (not only) for GFL, linguists often meet terminological difficulties. The descriptions are rather unspecific respectively prescientific, and thus differ a lot from today’s much concreter terminology. Analyses meet the challenge of trying to, on the one hand, offer a concrete and linguistically correct description and, on the other hand, cope with the historic character of the texts.

The special case outlined here is about the gender assignment rules for German nouns. Early Modern Age grammars used to apply the classical grammatography and, thus, the gender assignment rules for the Latin language, e.g. the assignment by semantic groups, not by morphological rules (“All the Proper names of Gods (...) are (…) of the Masculine Gender.” Offelen 1688:24).

Other rules are more problematic. A closer look shows different terms for the same aspect: “syllabes“ (Perger 1681:48) like heit, keit, or “particules“ (Léopold 1690:59) like thum, schafft (all “suffixes” today) or “termination“ (Offelen 1686:26). However, “termination” means different things: 1. single letters (“Nouns ending in ‘a’ are all of the Feminine Gender“, Offelen 1686:26), 2. grapheme combinations ( with the phonetic realisations of either [ç] (“Stich“, stitch) or [χ] (“Bach”, creek)), 3. letter combinations (like <el>) for which no linguistic term exists, 4. typographic ligatures (<ſt>) without a morphological relevance.

Especially challenging is the question of how to deal with the different terms when the analysis is focusing on grammars written in different languages.


Léopold, C.. 1690. L'art de parler allemand, Dedié a Monsieur le Duc de Bourgogne. Vol. 1. Paris.

Offelen, Henry. 1687. A Double Grammar for Germans to Learn English and the Englishmen to Learn the German Tongue. London.

Perger, Jean. 1681. La veritable et unique grammaire alemande, Exactement corrigée & augmentée de plus d'un tiers dans cette nouvelle Edition. Divisée en cinq parties. Paris.

Responding to Otto Jespersen’s Linguistic Evolution in Nationalist China (1911-1949): A linguistic and extralinguistic history
Changliang Qu Dalian University of Foreign Languages

When Otto Jespersen proposed that languages evolve towards regularity, morphological simplicity and analytic word order, he may not have expected to become a focus among the Chinese linguists. The decline of the Manchu-dominated Qing Dynasty coincided with the thriving of European historical-comparative linguistics, in which the view of the “primitive Chinese grammar” constantly annoyed the Chinese scholars. In the wake of the collapse of the Manchu regime in 1911 and the establishment of the Republic of China, linguists were encouraged by Jespersen as Hu Yilu (1888-1917), a Saussure-like linguistic mentor at Peking University eulogized Jespersen’s unorthodoxy in his posthumous A Draft of the Study on the Chinese Language (1923). He was echoed by the versatile Lin Yutang (1895-1976), the successful experimental phonetician Chiu Bien-Ming (1891-1984), and some descriptive grammarians. These Chinese linguists of the nationalist republic (1911-1949) reflected concerns true to their epoch: eagerness to be rid of the Manchurian shadow, promotion of Chinese distinctiveness, active participation in global academic discourse, and fear of another foreign dynasty imposed by the invading Japan. Based on the textual evidence, this essay explores the entanglement of the linguistic sense and the extralinguistic (especially nationalist) sensibility in a highly fruitful section of the 20th century history of linguistics in China.

L’article dans quelques grammaires de l’italien et du français (XVIe-XVIIe siècle)
Norma Romanelli Université de Paris Diderot – CNRS HTL

Il est bien connu que dans les premières grammaires des langues vernaculaires l’article possède un statut problématique. Il s’agit en effet d’une catégorie absente en latin classique, même si les grammairiens latins – et plus tard les grammairiens humanistes – l’évoquent quand ils comparent leur système grammatical à celui du grec qui fournissait les bases conceptuelles et terminologiques de la description du latin. Dans cette communication nous nous intéressons au traitement de l’article dans quelques grammaires de l’italien et du français publiées de la moitié du XVIe siècle à la fin du XVIIe siècle. Issues du même modèle de la grammaire latine étendue, les grammaires françaises et italiennes présentent des points en commun, mais également des divergences. Dans les deux cas l’article est vu comme une marque casuelle permettant la déclinaison du nom, sa présentation suivant donc l’ordre canonique des six cas latins, avec des formes agglomérées indiquant le genitif, le datif et l’ablatif. Il s’agit d’un modèle qui aura une longévité exeptionnelle, même si la non existence des cas est reconnue assez tôt, pour l’italien comme pour le français. Contrairement aux grammairiens italiens, qui parlent de l’articolo tout court, en France une distinction s’établit dans les grammaires entre l’article défini et une deuxième forme, à laquelle on attribue l’étiquette terminologique d’article indéfini, qui ne correspond pas aux formes un et une du paradigme « moderne ». En effet, nous verrons que, en Italie comme en France, l’opposition entre « article défini » (le, la, les) et « article indéfini » (un et une) sera officiellement reconnue seulement à partir de la fin du XIXe siècle.

Bronislaw Malinowski, a Polish anthropologist among British linguists
Angela Senis Sorbonne Nouvelle University (Paris III)

The close relationship between Malinowski, polish anthropologist, and Firth's London School raises issues. They shared a common interest for "meaning". However, at the beginning of the 20th century the London School was looking forward to freeing itself from the 19th century german philology and was trying at the same time to assert its place in a tacit sharing of competences and geography from the American anthropo-linguists. This calls for a closer look at the place, skills and achievements of Malinowski in that specific context.

His contribution extends from the "context of situation", basis of Firth's contextual theory of meaning, to the testimony of remote languages through their translation in English, emphasising the pragmatic dimension of language. Convinced by the complementarity of domains such as ethnography and philology, Malinowski developed linguistic insights. However, his perspective did not fit in with the linguistics Firth was currently trying to foster throughout Great Britain. Firth therefore put some distance despite manifest connections. He criticises Malinowski's methodology, his lack of scientific rigour, and the limits of translation.

Firth couldn't deny some sort of porosity between the different scientific domains, but he was urged by his desire to have linguistics recognised as an autonomous field. Finally, Malinowski passed away in 1942, i.e., two years before the creation of the first chair of General Linguistics. Malinowski and Firth's perspective eventually correspond to two complementary facettes of linguistics that we would nowadays define as applied and theoretical linguistics.

George Grey as a Language Collector
Floris Solleveld KU Leuven

George Grey (1812-1898) was something of a caricature of the ideal colonial administrator. As governor of New Zealand and South Africa, he repressed Maori and Xhosa uprisings but insisted on the civil rights of colonial subjects, and pursued a politics of assimilation and land purchase while collecting Maori folklore and learning Maori. From his expeditions in Western Australia as a young officer onward, he collected botanical specimens and language materials – resulting, eventually, in the 19th century’s largest store of information on African, Oceanic, and Australian languages, bequeathed to libraries in Cape Town and Auckland.

Grey’s collections were mainly made known through the raisonné catalogue that his Cape Town librarian Wilhelm Bleek (1827-1875) made, which in turn was the basis for Bleek’s comparative grammar of the Bantu languages. Bleek did not finish that work, giving priority to writing down Bushman folklore before he died of tuberculosis. Less known, or unknown so far is that Bleek was also working on a grammar of Oceanic languages. Several chapters of it are in the Auckland Public Library Special Collections.

My presentation compares Grey’s and Bleek’s research agendas, especially as regards cross-continental cultural and linguistic comparisons. On the level of knowledge production, their relationship can be described as symbiotic: Grey furnished materials, Bleek supplemented and processed them and put his stamp of scientific approval on them. But their aims were different: Grey wanted to spread Christianity and civilization, while Bleek wrote primarily as a professional linguist and adhered to evolutionist perspectives on language and race.

Australian and North American Indian languages and the notion of a ‘primitive’ language
Clara Stockigt, Marcin Kilarski The University of Adelaide, Adam Mickiewicz University

In this paper we compare the attitudes towards the Indigenous languages of Australia and North America, as illustrated in primary and secondary references to these languages in 19th and early 20th century scholarship.

We focus particularly on the depiction of features that are ‘exotic’ from a European standpoint, and which were commonly described as ‘peculiar’ in the primary literature. These include aspects of the sound systems, e.g., the presence/absence of individual sounds, lexicon, e.g., numerals, counting practices, and abstract and generic terms, and morphosyntax, e.g., agglutinative and polysynthetic word structure, and clause structure.

We discuss the evaluation of these features made both by the authors themselves and by philologists interpreting the source material in terms of the relative complexity or ‘richness’ of the languages, as measured impressionistically on the basis of these ‘exotic’ features. We investigate the interface between these evaluations and ideas about non-European Indigenous people, including the assumed relative intellect of speakers of different languages, and the cognitive and cultural correlates of linguistic structure, where, e.g., real or assumed lexical deficiencies provided evidence of the early forms of speech and civilizational development.

Finally, we draw analogies in the treatment of these examples in Australian and North American Indian languages with attention to attitudes towards Indigenous people, as well as the different histories of language study in Australia and North America.

Brokers, mediators, and ‘forest diplomats’: Europeans who learned Native American languages during the colonial period
Margaret Thomas Boston College

The presentation will survey the record of oral communication, such as it was, between European settlers and Native Americans on the eastern coast of North America to around 1800. During this period, there were famous instances of Native Americans who were tutored in a European language in the course of evangelization and then served as translators or interpreters. There were also Indians who were adopted or enslaved by colonists, so that they acquired English through informal interaction. But my focus is on the converse group: (ex-)Europeans who learned Native American languages. What was their experience, and what contributions did that experience make? Specifically, for colonists who learned (say) Onondaga or Mohawk, what were their initial motivations; how did they get access to the language(s) they needed; by what means did they acquire them; to what purposes did they put their skills; and what effects on relationships between the two groups did their acquisition have? Is there any evidence that learning a Native American language affected their implicit notions of the nature of language?

There is a small secondary literature on my topic, sampled below. Primary sources, in the form of diaries and records kept by explorers, traders, missionaries, and those involved in the construction of treaties, are plentiful but often inexplicit when it comes to language issues, as if the matter were of minor significance. A point of particular interest to me is to read between the lines to better understand colonists’ implicit conceptualization of what it means to learn, and to know, a language with no written form that displayed features at all levels of organization that diverged from the familiar Indo-European models.


Axtell, James (1975). ‘The white Indians of colonial America’, The William and Mary Quarterly 32: 55–88.

Hagedorn, Nancy L. (1995). ‘Brokers of understanding: interpreters as agents of cultural exchange in colonial New York’, New York History 76: 379–408.

Howard, Joy A. J. (2015). ‘Rebecca Kellogg Ashley: Negotiating identity on the Early American borderlands, 1704–1757’, in Thomas A. Foster (ed.), Women in early America. New York: New York University Press, 118–138.

Kidwell, Clara Sue (1992). ‘Indian women as cultural mediators’, Ethnohistory 39: 97–107.

Sturtevant, William C. (2005). ‘History of research on the native languages of the Southeast’, in Heather K. Hardy and Janine Scancarelli (eds.), Native languages of the southeastern United States. Omaha, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 8–68.

Tiro, Karim M. (1999). ‘James Dean in Iroquoia. New York History 80: 391–422.

Vaughan, Alden T. and Daniel K. Richter (1980). ‘Crossing the cultural divide: Indians and New Englanders, 1605–1763’, Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 90: 23–99.

Kawashima, Yasuhide (1989). ‘Forest diplomats: The role of interpreters in Indian-White relationships in the early American frontier’, American Indian Quarterly 13: 1–14.

Latin grammar in Finnish: the case of grammatical gender
Jaana Vaahtera University of Turku

My purpose is to examine how grammatical gender is presented in Latin school grammars in Finnish, which itself is a genderless language lacking even gendered pronouns. Johan Gabriel Geitlin (Latinan kielioppi, 1888) left little to be added to his account of grammatical gender, whether we look at the general presentation, the section of declensions, or the syntax. He was, in fact, a linguist specialized in the history of grammar and especially the Latin school grammars. Adolf V. Streng (Latinan kielioppi kouluja varten, 1906) used mnemonic rhymes for the rules and exceptions of gender. He was first and foremost a teacher who had firm ideas about how Latin grammar should be taught. Weikko Pakarinen (Latinan kielioppi, 1916), in speaking about natural gender (8 §), adds further information in a footnote. He states that contradiction of meaning and form is the result of a change of meaning and ventures also to suggest that the exceptional gender of a word might be the result of the influence of another word of similar meaning (e.g. virus ʽpoisonʼ is neuter because of venenum). His preface, indeed, reveals that, despite the need to keep the grammar short, he aims at illustrating the development of the linguistic phenomena in order to help the understanding. In these and other Latin grammars in Finnish, even the single case of grammatical gender reflects the writer’s pedagogical views and, of course, the position of Latin in Finnish schools at different times.

Transatlantic exchanges and the birth of the Americanist tradition in the United States
Micaela Verlato Independent researcher, Göttingen

This paper focuses on the formation of the North American tradition of linguistic anthropology during the decades following the foundation of the United States. During this time, scholarly interest shifted from the “great question” of the origin of the American indigenous peoples (Jefferson 1787: 162) to the discussion of the grammatical structure of their languages leading to the postulation of an American “polysynthetic” type (Duponceau 1819). The aim of this paper is to show how this development was shaped by the interactions of American and German linguists. Alexander von Humboldt played a seminal role by collecting a large number of grammars and dictionaries of indigenous languages during his South American voyage of discovery (1799-1804). This data base was used by Friedrich Schlegel, Johann Severin Vater, and Wilhelm von Humboldt. Vater is especially important as a go-between since his observations on the “general tendency” of verbal conjugations in American languages influenced Duponceau’s notion of polysynthesis as well as Humboldt’s concept of incorporation. The discussion of these connections here aims to shed some new light on convergences and divergences in the description and evaluation of Native American languages in the work of Humboldt and his contemporaries.


Duponceau, Peter Stephen. 1819. “Report”. American Philosophical Society: Transactions of the Historical and Literary Committee, I: xvii-xlvi.

Jefferson, Thomas. 1787. Notes on the State of Virginia, London: Stockdale.

Vater, Johann Severin. 1810. Untersuchungen über Amerika’s Bevölkerung aus dem alten Kontinente, Leipzig: Vogel.

A Historiography of the methodology of 19th-century philology
Frank Vonk HAN University of Applied Sciences, Arnhem/Nijmegen

In a way, any historiographical approach has a productive (creative) side. Past stages and events, texts and developments of language, politics, literature, sciences or religion – to name just a few objects of philological research – do not reproduce “the” past but are produced or constructed pasts. Methodologically, a historiographical approach produces a new future in which from its objects and conceptualizations the past becomes a new construction which will be meaningful in contemporary and future research in what we label “philology”. There are no longer literary traditions or fixed aspects of whatever past event is topicalized: texts, stories, buildings, art or archaeological work become part of a new narrative, which as such is embedded in particular time-space-frame. And thus can be re-arranged or reframed based on the topical discourses. Philology thus creates, by unearthing or selecting from whatever philology might address, a new, yet unknown future (under construction). “Past events or objects” thus become embedded in a scientific development which as such does not distinguish between past-present-future but selects whatever seems relevant to a research paradigm which is continuously “under construction”. It is impossible that any object or method of philological thought – even the concept of philology itself (cf. Eto 2003; Turner 2014; Schmitter 1982; 2003) – does not change over time and is re-interpreted based on changing conceptual frameworks. Philology therefore is more dependent upon the “moment of interest” which can be framed in many ways: (not) being part of a university curriculum for instance or political reasons to unearth “classical” ideas, texts, etc.

In my paper I will address some contemporary frames of 19th-century philological work, linked to their methodological and historiographical “moments of interest”.

Towards a Philological History of the Sumerian Question
Gordon Whittaker Universität Göttingen

One of the earliest, and most enduring, controversies in modern scholarship has been the so-called Sumerian Question, the question as to whether the Sumerians of Southern Mesopotamia were the original, or sole pre-Semitic, population of the region or whether they were late arrivals from areas unknown. Until the 1940s academic inquiry revolved around archaeological, genetic (skull morphology), and art-historical speculation, none of which has any significant bearing on such issues. Similarly fruitless have been the myriad attempts to find a genetic affiliation for Sumerian, most of which, right down to the present day, have been championed by non-specialists.

Beginning with Benno Landsberger’s essay on “The Beginnings of Civilization in Mesopotamia” (1944), philology entered the fray and quickly established itself as the primary field of battle, one fought between, on the one hand, those denying the existence of linguistically relevant data and, on the other, those who sought to identify elements in the Sumerian lexicon suggestive of a foreign origin — that is, loanwords — and polysyllabic place names lacking a plausible Sumerian or Semitic etymology. This presentation will discuss the changing nature of the evidence brought to bear on the Sumerian Question and the heated, often undisciplined, philological debate swirling around it.


Landsberger, Benno. 1944. Die Anfänge der Zivilisation in Mesopotamien. Ankara Üniversitesi, Dil ve Tarih-Cografya Dergisi 2: 431-437. Ankara.

Whittaker, Gordon. 2005. The Sumerian Question: Reviewing the Issues. In: Wilfred H. van Soldt (ed.), Ethnicity in Ancient Mesopotamia. Papers read at the 48th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Leiden, 1-4 July, 2002, pp. 409-429. Leiden.

Separable complex verbs and lemmatisation in Thesaurus Theutonicae linguae (1573)
Elizaveta Zimont Université de Liège

The present contribution offers an attempt at reconstructing the early history of the controversial notion of separable complex verb (SCV). Late Renaissance dictionaries of Dutch, which list great numbers of SCVs, lemmatise and represent them as words, not as syntactic constructions. However, material collected from Thesaurus Theutonicae linguae (Antwerp, 1573) allows to hypothesise that at least some of such ‘verbs’ are artificial constructs, whose proper interpretation depends on the meaning of the term praepositio.

The initial design of Dutch-French-Latin Thesaurus, which has often been regarded as the first fully-fledged dictionary of Dutch, was intended to meet the needs of Dutch learners. Accordingly, Dutch grammar occupies a prominent place in it. Yet, the bulk of grammar comments found in Thesaurus deal with praepositiones. The great interest which Early Modern Flemish lexicographers show in this word category, can only be explained by taking into account the role of praepositiones within verbal morphology/syntaxis. A closer examination of praepositio in Thesaurus reveals that this term encompasses multiple syntactic patterns, thus explaining how a word group such as SCV could be assimilated to a lexeme.

Although never reprinted, Thesaurus constituted the principal source of several Renaissance dictionaries, thus imposing its conception of praepositio and complex verb on later generations.


Booj, Geert (2001). "From syntax to morphology : separable complex verbs". In: Schaner-Wolles, Chris et al. (eds.), Naturally! Linguistic studies in honour of Wolfgang Ulrich Dressler presented on the occasion of his 16th birthday, 59-64. Rosenberg & Sellier.

Claes, Frans (1972). "De Thesaurus Theutonicæ linguæ: Inleiding". In: Claes, Frans (ed.), De Thesaurus van Plantijn van 1573, 7-32. Mouton.


Papers in panels are listed in the order in which they will be presented.

Formal Models in the History of Arabic Linguistic Tradition Raoul Villano

The birth and early development of Arabic Linguistic Tradition has been the subject of much scholarly debate, especially in relation to the existence of possible external influences coming from other, earlier, linguistic traditions and/or scholarly disciplines and with regard to the formation of both Classical Arabic and Arabic Linguistic Tradition.

The aim of the panel is to explore the evolution and development of formal models adopted by Arab grammarians while defining the structure of Classical Arabic with the main purpose of discovering the presence of possible external (from other traditions) and/or internal (from other disciplines, such as, e.g., exegesis, philology, philosophy and logic) influences in the birth, development and formalization of both Arabic Linguistic Tradition and Classical and/or Qurʾanic and Poetic Arabic, as well as the real entity of autonomous, innovative, contributions developed by Arab grammarians themselves for the production of unusual or unexpected models in the formalization and description of Classical Arabic language.

Where is Classical Arabic? The linguistic norms of the Arab grammarians and the Qurʾanic reading traditions
Marijn van Putten Leiden University

There is virtual unanimity among western scholars of the Arabic language: the language of the Qurʾān is Classical Arabic (e.g. Rabin 1955: 21; Blau 1977: 15), which is envisioned as a fairly homogenous linguistic system standardized already by Sībawayhi at the end of the 8th century. Despite its frequent repetition, there are surprisingly few studies that assess this claim: this paper hopes to fill this lacuna.

I will first show that Sībawayhi and later Arab grammarians admit an astounding amount of linguistic variation, and that from these descriptions one could only deduce a multitude of different norms, rather than a single standardized language. Moreover, I will show that despite the admission of an astounding breadth of linguistic variation among the grammarians, the Qurʾanic reading traditions have linguistic features that fall well outside the possibilities of “Arabic” as described by these grammarians. As such, the often-repeated claim that the language of the Qurʾān is “Classical Arabic”, even in the broadest definition, is not backed up by the linguistic evidence present in the Qurʾanic readings.


Blau, J. 1977. “The Beginnings of the Arabic Diglossia. A Study of the Origins of Neoarabic”, Afroasiatic Linguistics (4.3): 175-202.

Rabin, C. 1955. “The Beginnings of Classical Arabic”, Studia Islamica (4): 19-37.

Speakers, Texts, Orality: Description and Norm in the Early Arabic Linguistic Thinking
Giuliano Lancioni Roma Tre University

Early Arabic linguistic discussion, as organized and witnessed in Sībawayhi’s Kitāb consistently refers to spoken texts: grammarians analyze ‘utterances’ that speakers ‘pronounce’, they discuss features of ‘discourse’; both God (in the Qurʾān) and poets ‘say’ verses. Yet most of these texts, while passing through stages of relative or absolute orality, where already fixed in writing by that period, and utterances attributed to speakers present features that are unlikely to have been in use in an age where witnesses show quite clearly that spoken Arabic already had defining features summarized by (Ferguson 1959), most prominently the lack of case and mood endings that (Owens 1998a, 1998b) argued might be an old feature of (some) spoken varieties across Semitic languages.

The paper will address the issue of diversity in linguistic reality analyzed in the Kitāb by presenting and analyze a number of passes where different linguistic features are referred to different groups of speakers, explicitly or implicitly defined (the latter usually with the formula ‘people who say so and so’), and will try to assess how much concurrent theories about the nature of linguistic data in Early Arabic linguistic thinking are consistent with internal evidence in the text.


Ferguson, Ch. A. 1959. “Diglossia” Word (15.2): 325–340.

Owens, J. 1998a. “Case and Proto-Arabic, Part I.” BSOAS (61.1): 51-73.

Owens, J. 1998b. “Case and Proto-Arabic, Part II.” BSOAS (61.2): 215–227.

Grammar, Philology and Exegesis: The Formation of Classical Arabic and Arabic Linguistic Tradition
Raoul Villano Roma Tre University/University of Bologna

While it is generally accepted, by now, that the development of Arabic Linguistic Tradition was parallel to the very formation of Classical Arabic itself, it is still not really clear whether external (from other traditions) or internal (from other disciplines) influences may be said to have played a more or less decisive role in the formalization of models according to which Classical Arabic is explained and standardized by Arab grammarians.

The paper aims at studying affinities and divergences between three fundamental, indigenous and strongly interrelated scholarly disciplines: Arabic grammar (naḥw), Qurʾanic philology (qirāʾāt) and Qurʾanic exegesis (tafsīr), showing that they were originated, indeed, in the same scholarly milieu and that they were practiced at such right by the same scholars.

Evidence will demonstrate that the language of the Qurʾān reflects a super-tribal and preexisting Poetic Koinè and that there was a strong awareness, between Arab grammarians and Qurʾanic scholars of the huge amount of linguistic variation that was to be found within Qurʾanic Arabic and Poetic Koinè. Moreover, a functional and context-oriented control of this same linguistic variation is the main character of what is later technically defined as the most eloquent (fuṣḥā) expression of Classical Arabic.

Arabic grammatical terminology: internal development and influences from other traditions
Simona Olivieri Freie Universität Berlin

The Kitāb Sībawayhi, produced in the 8th century and considered the first complete and the most representative treatise of Arabic grammar, introduces for the first time an almost full repository of linguistic and grammatical terms.

Assuming that it was not Sībawayhi himself who invented each and every single term, more needs to be done to investigate the historical models through which such specific terminology was introduced. As summarized by Versteegh (1993), there might be parallel ways out of which grammatical terms developed, as for instance (i) out of non-technical terms, later specialized by scholars, or (ii) composed by gleaning from a foreign model from which single items as well as full concepts are borrowed or calqued.

Studies on the ways grammatical terminology was firstly introduced in the Arabic linguistic tradition are still very few, and this contribution aims at presenting an overview of the main Arabic grammatical terminology, introducing theories on the evolution of this model from both internal and external perspectives.


Versteegh, C. H. M. (1993). Arabic grammar and Qur’anic exegesis in early Islam. Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill.

The distinction between the general and the specific as a methodological tendency in al-Astarābāḏī’s writing
Beata Sheyhatovitch Tel Aviv University

Raḍī l-Dīn al-Astarābāḏī (d. c. 688/1289) was a highly perceptive and original grammarian, who combined in his writing terms and methodology developed in other Islamic disciplines, such as logic, philosophy, theology and jurisprudence (see, e.g., Larcher 2000, Larcher 2014, Sheyhatovitch 2018). The distinction between the general and the specific as a methodological tendency is a telling example of these influences. I study this tendency by focusing on a set of terms in which it is manifested. Such terms appear in al-Astarābāḏī’s Šarḥ al-Kāfiya in various discussions and on various levels of linguistic analysis, and include, e.g., iṭlāq “absoluteness”, taqyīd “limitedness/limitation”, ʿumūm “generality”, ḫuṣūṣ “specificity”, and taʿyīn “particularization”. These terms are not unique to al-Astarābāḏī, but the frequency of their use in his book allows distinguishing between them.

In this talk I will present context-based explanations of these terms and demonstrate how a close look into terminology may deepen the understanding of a complicated grammatical text.


Larcher, P. 2000. “Les relations entre la linguistique et les autres sciences dans la société arabo-islamique”, in History of the Language Sciences, eds E.F.K. Koerner et al., Berlin and New York, Walter de Gruyter & Co, 2000, I, p. 312-318.

Larcher, P. 2014. Linguistique arabe et pragmatique, Beyrouth – Damas, Presses de l’Ifpo.

Sheyhatovitch, B. 2018. The Distinctive Terminology in Šarḥ al-Kāfiya by Raḍī al-Dīn al-Astarābāḏī, Leiden, Brill.

AGT treatment of ʾin conditional systems: traces of an external influence?
Manuela E.B. Giolfo & Wilfrid Hodges University of Genoa/IREMAM Aix-Marseille Université & The British Academy

What leads us to investigate whether we can hypothesize traces of an influence of Aristotle logic in AGT is an intriguing correspondence between AGT development of ʾin systems and the development of Aristotle modal logic. For Sībawayhi and Ibn Ğinnī “uncertainty” represents the fundamental sine qua non component of conditional expressions, so that they exclude tout court any apodictic propositions from the domain of conditionality. Interestingly, Aristotle erroneously asserted in De Interpretatione that “possibility” implies “non-necessity”. The exclusion of apodictic propositions from the category of “possible” propositions seems then to be a common trait of the first Aristotle and the two grammarians. On the other hand, Zamaḫšarī, Ibn al-Ḥāğib and Ibn Mālik would include “necessarily true” propositions even in their ʾin systems. Interestingly, we see that in a second time Aristotle himself includes apodictic propositions among “possible” propositions. Already in De Interpretatione he realizes that necessity implies possibility, and definitively corrects his assertion in Analytica Priora.

Is there any continuity between naḥw and ‘ilm al-ma‘ānī in ‘Abd al-Qāhir al-Ǧurǧānī’s linguistic thinking?
Maurizio Bagatin University of Bergamo

‘Abd al-Qāhir al-Ǧurǧānī (d. 1078) is today known for being the author of two fundamental works: Dalā’il al-’i‘ǧāz and ’Asġār al-balāġa. The first is a treatise on ‘ilm al-ma‘ānī, a discipline focused on the relationship between the variation of the syntactic structure and meaning and labeled by some scholars as “syntax semantics”, “grammatical semantics”, “syntax stylistics” and even as “functional grammar”. Through it, the author attempted to establish a theory of linguistic / literary composition (naẓm) from a semantic-oriented perspective. The second work is a study of ‘ilm al-bayān, i.e. eloquence, probably one of the first Arab treatises on rhetoric and literary criticism. However, most of al-Ǧurǧānī’s work consists of treatises on grammar in the traditional sense: about the theory and the use of “operators” (‘awāmil), about noun and verb morphology, or as a commentary to the Kitāb al-’Īḍāḥ by ‘Abū ‘Alī al-Fārisī (m. 987). As a rule, ancient and modern scholars have kept these two approaches separate: the semantic-oriented approach, of which al-Ǧurǧānī is considered among the pioneers or the first theorist, and the grammatical approach. Thus, his works would have been addressed to various kinds of readers and have known a different fortune depending on the time, the geographical area and the cultural environment. It is however possible to suppose, as it was suggested in the past, a continuity of thinking in al-Ǧurǧānī’s linguistic speculation. Following this line of inquiry, within the grammatical treatises one is supposed to find the germs of the discourse theory as it has been formulated in the treatises of ‘ilm al-ma‘ānī and ‘ilm al-bayān.

Women pioneers of language studies at Edinburgh John E. Joseph

Academia flatters itself into believing that it is a force for social change. Yet history shows that it has always been highly retrograde, reacting to progressive changes only after years, even decades of delay. The entry of women into the academy, as students, then as junior members of staff and finally as professors and research leaders, faced stubborn resistance, varying by subject area and by institution. The history of the women who bore the brunt of this resistance and wore it down is not only of great interest but also of use in the ongoing struggles for academic equality.

The list of publications by members of staff in the University of Edinburgh for 1953 – at the beginning of the reign of the present monarch – numbers in the hundreds but includes entries by only two women in language-related fields: Dominica Legge in French, and Betsy Uldall in phonetics. In addition much invisible work was being carried out by ‘hidden figures’ who were not credited, particularly in dialect atlas research and lexicography. These are the subjects of the three papers making up this panel on women pioneers of language studies in the University of Edinburgh in the middle decades of the 20th century and after, which we hope will inspire similar panels with a local focus at future meetings of the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas – of which one of the founders, Vivian Salmon, was herself a key figure in the study of language at Edinburgh.

Elizabeth T. Uldall: Innovations in Phonetic Method and Theory
Lauren Hall-Lew & Alice Turk University of Edinburgh

Elizabeth Theodora ‘Betsy’ Uldall (1913-2004) was a pioneering phonetician highly respected for having a keen ear for the subtleties of speech production and a great insight into the articulatory correlates of speech sounds. An American, well-travelled due to her work with the British Council during and after the war, she trained with Daniel Jones at University College London and then spent most of her career in phonetics at the University of Edinburgh (Abercrombie 1984). Her research covered both segmental and suprasegmental phonetics. She was perhaps best known for her work on intonation and speech rhythm, being one of the first to do empirical work on the stress-timing hypothesis and was influential in showing that intuitions of perceptual isochrony do not match the physical facts. But she also is remembered by her contemporaries as revolutionizing their own thinking about the phonetic description of vowels and consonants. Many of these contemporaries and students (e.g., Bill Hardcastle, John Esling, John Laver, Suzanne Romaine) are among the most influential phoneticians and linguists of the late 20th century. Many of the high quality speech recordings she made between the 1940s and 1960s have been digitally archived and are still used in contemporary research (e.g., Kirby and Hall-Lew 2015).

Although she is fairly well known in phonetics, sociolinguists remain largely unaware of her prescient paper from 1960, ‘Attitudinal Meanings Conveyed by Intonational Contours’. The paper presents an analysis of listener attitudes towards a set of syntactically contrastive spoken sentences, highly controlled for lexical stress and syllabicity, that were artificially synthesized with sixteen different intonational contours. Listeners then rated each sentence according to ten different seven-point semantic differential scales, e.g. sincere/insincere, deferential/arrogant. In effect, Uldall (1960) represents an incredibly early sociophonetic perception study, done two decades before the term ‘sociophonetics’ would even be coined, and done in the ‘Matched Guise’ paradigm that in sociolinguistics is nearly categorically attributed to Wallace Lambert and colleagues (1960) in their work on attitudes towards Canadian French versus Canadian English. The particular innovation of Uldall (1960) to use acoustically synthesized stimuli rather than verbally manipulated stimuli is one that is much more often associated with research in the 21st century (e.g., Fridland, Bartlett & Kreuz 2004; Plichta & Preston 2005).


Abercrombie, David. 1984. E.T. Uldall. In Higgs & Thelwall (eds.), i-ii.

Fridland, Valerie, Kathryn Bartlett & Roger Kreuz. 2004. Do you hear what I hear? Experimental measurement of the perceptual salience of acoustically manipulated vowel variants by Southern speakers in Memphis, TN. Language Variation and Change 16: 1-16.

Higgs, Jo-Ann W. & Robin Thelwall (eds.) 1984. Topics in Linguistic Phonetics: In Honour of E. T. Uldall. (Occasional Papers in Linguistics and Language Learning, no. 9.) Coleraine: New University of Ulster.

Kirby, James & Lauren Hall-Lew. 2015. Studying socially stratified linguistic variation in the Edinburgh Phonetics Recording Archive. Presented at Modeling Variability in Speech, 1-2 Oct., Stuttgart, Germany.

Lambert, Wallace E., R. C. Hodgson, R. C. Gardner & S. Fillenbaum. 1960. Evaluational reactions to spoken languages. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 60(1).44-51.

Plichta, Bartek & Dennis R. Preston. 2005. The /ay/s have it: The perception of /ay/ as a North‐South stereotype in US English. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 37. 243-285.

Uldall, Elizabeth. 1960. Attitudinal Meanings Conveyed by Intonational Contours. Language and Speech 3(4): 223-234.

Professor Mary Dominica Legge (1905-1986)
Philip Bennett University of Edinburgh

Mary Dominica Legge, always known as Dominica, was the daughter of James Granville Legge, Director of Education in Liverpool, and granddaughter of James Legge, the first professor of Chinese at Oxford University. The whole family was very gifted: Dominica and her sister, Beatrice Pompilia, were both good violinists and her brother Harry, founder of the Edinburgh Rehearsal Orchestra, was a distinguished conductor and educator. Dominica took her degree in French at Somerville College, Oxford, where she specialised in philology, and particularly in Anglo-Norman, under M. K. Pope. She published a large number of books and articles, many devoted to the language and culture of Anglo-Norman England. She was instrumental in the founding of the Anglo-Norman Text Society, to champion works by medieval authors whom continental scholars tended to dismiss and refused to publish in the two main series, Société des Anciens Textes Français and Classiques Français du Moyen Âge. As well as being a significant editor of texts Dominica promoted the idea of the “ancestral romance”, works sponsored by noble Anglo-Norman families to celebrate often mythical ancestors to tie themselves more deeply into English society. In recognition of the importance of her work Oxford University awarded her a DLitt and Somerville College made her an honorary fellow in 1968.

The Role of Women in Lexicographical and Atlas Projects
Margaret A. Mackay University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has been the locus for several major lexicographical and atlas projects in the 20th and 21st centuries. These are associated with the names of their originators and their successors but along with these it is important that we record and salute the work undertaken by women, sometimes as volunteers and often as salaried and senior staff. A number of them are noted figures in lexicographical innovation.

The online Dictionary of the Scots Language/Dictionair o the Scots Leid (www.dsl) combines the multi-volume contents of DOST, A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (Scots from the earliest times to 1700) and the SND, The Scottish National Dictionary (Scots from 1700 to the present), unique resources. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd (SLD Ltd) was created when the two bodies came together in 2002 to carry on their lexicographical work in the 21st century, with the DSL and the second edition of the Concise Scottish Dictionary as its first major projects.

Both DOST and the SND were largely produced in the days of the paper slip and relied on volunteer excerpters to note items and their contexts from texts selected for the purpose. It was not uncommon for family members to be drawn into the ranks of volunteers who undertook this painstaking work, augmented by supporters of the dictionary projects, who were sometimes subscribers as well.

With the advent of courses and degree programmes in English and Scots Language, graduates of these were attracted into careers as lexicographers and editors while lexicographers trained in posts elsewhere were drawn into teams working on Scots material. Among these were a number of women. Women were also responsible for the work which produced the one-volume Concise Scots Dictionary (CSD), which drew on both DOST and SND, in its first edition (1986) and its second (2017).

In the move into dictionary-making in the electronic world women scholars have played and are playing a major role, including the provision of online resources for Scottish schools. Two are currently involved, one leading and the other advising, in the UHI-based project to produce a Scottish Gaelic dictionary on historical principles, both having been on the staff of DOST and CSD Ltd in past years.

Reference will also be made to the work of Margaret (Meg) Laing in the team creating the Linguistic Atlases of Early and Late Middle English in the Institute for Historical Dialectology at the University of Edinburgh and the role of women in place-name research at its School of Scottish Studies.

Reform Movement Klippel / Linn / Smith
A trumpet blast for applied linguistics? The origins, nature and impact of Wilhelm Viëtor’s (1882) Der Sprachunterricht muss umkehren!
Richard Smith University of Warwick

The 1882 publication of Wilhelm Viëtor’s Der Sprachunterricht muss umkehren! – under the pseudonym Quousque Tandem – is typically viewed as the starting-point of the late-19th-century Reform Movement in modern language teaching, a ‘trumpet blast’ or ‘clarion call’ for change which was followed up in various ways by various actors in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. In its turn, the Reform Movement can be viewed as a defining period in the ‘pre-history’ of applied linguistics, when insights from the new science of phonetics were recommended for application to language teaching. Without denying the validity of the latter view, this paper indicates some ways in which linguistic sources of Reform Movement principles were complemented with educational, practice-derived and psychological insights. Also, the pamphlet’s influence and impact are considered, especially for the four-year period before the 2nd edition of 1886 in whose foreword Viëtor both named himself as the pamphlet’s author and appeared to baptise the ‘Reform Movement’ (‘Reformbewegung’) to which it had contributed.

These goals will be pursued partly through an analysis of the sources cited by Viëtor in his pamphlet; via description of the biographical origins of the pamphlet; by means of an overview of its contents; and through contextualization in relation to some near-contemporary works including Karl Kühn’s (1883) Zur Methode des französischen Unterrichts, Felix Franke’s (1884) Die praktische Spracherlernung auf Grund der Psychologie and der Physiologie der Sprache dargestellt and Henry Sweet’s (1884) ‘The practical study of language’. Moving still further from the pamphlet itself, what happened to justify the designation ‘Reformbewegung’ in the four years from 1882 to 1886 is the second major focus of the paper: to what extent did Viëtor’s pamphlet, alone or with other writings, exert ‘influence’ (as might be described in a history of linguistic ideas) and to what extent did it/they have ‘impact’ (as in applied linguistic histories concerned also with practices, or actions)? Developments in journals, congresses, associations, learning materials and classroom experimentation will form part of the answer.

Fireworks in 1886: Eavesdropping on someone else’s conference…
Andrew Linn University of Westminster

The Reform Movement of the 1880s was a highly charged chapter in the history of linguistics. Key figures such as Wilhem Viëtor, Hermann Klinghardt, Paul Passy and Otto Jespersen were all under forty years of age and were fired by an evangelistic zeal for the principles of the new science of phonetics and for the need to reform how modern languages were taught. Several of the figures (e.g. Jespersen in Denmark, Lundell in Sweden and Passy in France) were the first professors of modern languages in their home countries, driving forward the scientific study of language at university as well as at school level. Many of these were isolated beacons of Reform principles and were reliant on the burgeoning journals and associations for a sense of community and shared purpose. When they actually met face to face, there was a sense of breathless excitement and endless possibility.

In this paper I will present and discuss one of these encounters: the third Scandinavian philologists’ meeting held in Stockholm in August 1886. Debate spilled across two days and resulted in the foundation of Quousque Tandem (‘the Scandinavian Society for Improved Language Teaching’), named after Viëtor’s 1882 pamphlet of that name. By being “an eavesdropper on the intellectual conversations of the past” (Whatmore 2016: 99), I will explore the role of the historian of linguistics as “a sort of go-between, bringing to life the voices of the past” (Cuttica 2014: 198).


Cuttica, C. 2014. Eavesdropper on the past: John W. Burrow (1935-2009), intellectual history and its future. History of European Ideas 40:7, 905-924.

Whatmore, R. 2016. What is Intellectual History? Cambridge: Polity.

The IPA and the Reform Movement
Michael Ashby & Patricia Ashby University College London & University of Westminster

Today we principally associate the International Phonetic Association (founded 1886) with the upkeep and development of its phonetic alphabet, but far more important among its original priorities was a set of revolutionary pedagogical principles for language-teaching, which were essentially those of the Reform Movement. Many of the leading figures who guided and inspired that movement were also the creators of the International Phonetic Association itself—Henry Sweet, Paul Passy, Wilhelm Viëtor and Otto Jespersen, for example. It is plain that well into the twentieth century most ordinary members of the IPA were teachers of modern languages, and the association’s journal continued to publish phonetically transcribed teaching materials as late as the 1930s.

In this paper we employ the membership records of the early IPA to trace the careers of a selection of individual language teachers in both secondary and tertiary education and across a variety of countries. We also consider the Certificate Examination of the IPA, introduced in 1908 in the three languages English, French and German, for which many teachers entered, and which functioned for a time effectively as a language-teaching qualification. The early examination results were regularly published, making it possible to trace many of the candidates and determine the contexts in which they applied their training.

The aims of phonetics continued to change and evolve throughout the twentieth century, and by the 1970s the unique link with foreign language teaching had all but disappeared. The teaching of pronunciation had become just one possible application of a science whose main concerns lay elsewhere.

Much ado about nothing? The impact of the Reform Movement on (northern) German English language teaching
Tim Giesler University of Bremen

The 19th century reform movement is often regarded as a ‘language teaching innovation’ (Richards & Rodgers 2001: 7) or as a contribution to ‘a questioning and rejection of the Grammar-Translation Method’ (ibid.). This view usually fails to explain that ‘direct methods’ focusing on functional aspects of language teaching had already been in use for centuries, while Grammar-Translation Methods are still widely popular. One possible solution may be looking at different ‘layers of curriculum’ (Cuban 2012) to understand why there was a substantial influence on the theoretical level while not necessarily a similar impact on language teaching.

Rülcker investigated the impact of reform methodology on French language teaching by analyzing German school programmes (Schulprogramme). He states that in spite of some traces of it, French language teaching until the First World War was still mainly based on grammar and translation (Rülcker 1969: 35ff.). In my paper, I take a similar view by looking at the reform movements’ impact on English language teaching in different schools in Northern Germany. One major question is whether there are stronger traces of reform methodology to be found. This seems plausible as Bremen schools were the first to introduce English as a first foreign language with a traditionally stronger functional focus (cf. Giesler 2018). Oral language fluency had long been a mandatory demand in the northern German merchant cities. Compared to modern curricula, which only show desired methodological designs, school programmes could be understood as more closely resembling actual teaching practices.


Cuban, Larry (2012): The Multi-Layered Curriculum: Why Change is often Confused with Reform. Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice. https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/the-multi-layered-curriculum-why-change-is-often-confused-with-reform/

Giesler, Tim (2018): Die Formation des institutionellen Englischunterrichts. Englisch als erste Fremdsprache in Bremen (1855-1873). Trier: WVT.

Hunter, Duncan & Smith, Ricard (2012): Unpackaging the Past: ‘CLT’ through ELTJ Keywords. ELT Journal 66(4): 430-39.

Rülcker, Tobias (1969): Der Neusprachenunterricht an höheren Schulen. Frankfurt: Diesterweg.

Reform and reaction after 1900
Friederike Klippel LMU Munich

Whereas the 1880s and 1890s saw the heyday of the Reform Movement in modern language teaching with a wealth of publications - theoretical as well as practical - and heated debates at meetings and in journals, the positions of reformers and anti-reformers both consolidated in the first decade of the new century and led to several compromises and mediating positions. The period between 1900 and the outbreak of World War I illustrates which reform ideas successfully entered foreign language teaching in terms of curriculum and methodology, which were partially accepted and adapted in state curricula or professional discourse, which were fought against on theoretical or political grounds, and which were simply not working in practice, because of the prevalent conditions regarding schools and universities.

My paper aims to take stock of the achievements of the Reform Movement by (mainly) looking at the German context.

HoLLT Rolf Kemmler
Jacob Bensabat's Portuguese, English, French and Italian grammars and manuals: a comparative study.
Claudine Beltram Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia, Campus Bento Gonçalves

The purpose of this paper is to study grammars produced in Portugal in the 19th century by Jacob Bensabat (1823-1916), analyzing their parts and concepts, especially concerning pedagogical and methodical ideas.

The Corpus is composed of four grammars written in Portuguese that have a very important position in the scope of the history of foreign language learning and teaching in 19th and 20th century Portugal, particularly in renewing the theory and the examples or in introducing comments on the use of the Portuguese language. The analyzed manuals are: Grammatica Ingleza Theorica e Pratica: um curso completo de exercícios (1878), O Inglês sem Mestre em 50 lições (2015), O Francês sem Mestre em 50 lições (2011), O Italiano sem Mestre (1951). It is understandable that the study of Jacob Bensabat's work is part of a cultural history; that is why this paper intends to observe how they were elaborated, understood and written. In these manuals, a comparison of definition, parts of speech and examples will be made. Our paper intends to offer an insight on whether the individual works of the corpus may or not be integrated in the grammatically oriented teaching methodology to teach foreign languages that spread all over the world especially in the XIX century, nowadays known as Grammar Translation Method.

The Reception of Grammar-Translation in late 19th and early 20th century German school programs (Schulprogrammschriften)
Sabine Doff Universität Bremen

In the debates about languages education at secondary schools for both boys and girls in Germany in the second half of the 19th century, not only the choice of languages (classical languages for boys, modern languages for girls) were stereotyped. The same applies to methods: while at the classical Gymnasium, Latin and Greek were traditionally taught via grammar-translation, the methods often applied in secondary schools for girls (which only became state schools after 1872) had a special focus on literature in the original language and speaking. This paper demonstrates how grammar‐translation was received in the accompanying debates and how a mix of methods finally resulted in new language teaching curricula for the main school types at the beginning of the 20th century.

Grammar translation method - foreign languages - history of foreign language teaching and learning: towards a revision of these concepts
María José Corvo Sánchez Universidade de Vigo

Knowing about the global development of the history of foreign language teaching and learning in Western Europe, I cannot help but feel a certain astonishment whenever I hear or read in different academic forums that the history of this discipline begins with the Grammar Translation Method in the eighteenth century, the century of the Enlightenment, emphasizing from there on a history of methods for teaching grammatical contents, fundamentally.

In my opinion, the explanation of this belief can only be given if: (1) we understand that the history of foreign language teaching and learning has traditionally been observed from a place that does not correspond to it: from the point of view of language sciences or of education sciences, either through the relationship between linguistics and language teaching or through language didactics; (2) we assume the error of equating the term “language didactics” with that of “foreign language didactics”, moved by a not always correct interpretation of the term “foreign language”; (3) we do not understand what we mean when we speak of the grammar-translation method.

Therefore, I propose to carry out a revision of these concepts, in order to properly understand the thousand-year history of the teaching and learning of foreign languages in Europe and the two great traditions that define it from its most remote origins to the present day: grammatical and non grammatical or conversational traditions.

French grammars in England 1660-1820: Changes in content and contexts paving the way to the ‘practical’ grammar-translation manual
Simon Coffey King’s College London

This paper presents an analysis of a corpus of nineteen grammars written for learning French in England from 1660 to 1820. The aim of the analysis was to identify some key shifts in the formulation of content during this period, sometimes referred to euphemistically as the ‘long century’, which saw language teaching evolve in response to broader social and epistemological developments, namely the increased codification of vernacular grammar against a backdrop of scientific rationalism and the greater institutionalisation of school-based pedagogies. The two aims of the analysis are: to identify key changes in overall structure and ordering of sections, including differences in grammatical nomenclature; and to consider the changing role of the grammarian-teachers as demonstrated in the way they position themselves as authors to different publics. For this presentation I will focus on the production of the first ‘practical exercises’ that appeared from the middle of the century, in particular Wanostrocht’s (1780) A practical grammar of the French Language, which may be the first French grammar to combine interlinear translation exercises in the same volume.

Towards a Classification of GTM Characteristics in Manuals for Language Learning and Teaching: the case of the earliest manuals of German for a Portuguese target audience
Rolf Kemmler Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro / CEL

The so-called 'Grammar Translation Method' (GTM) was arguably the most important teaching method for modern foreign languages on a world-wide scale from the late 18th to the mid-20th century, which is why most of the textbook authors during this period are more or less explicitly committed to one or the other teaching concept belonging to.

One might presume that modern researchers have no problem in attributing individual metalinguistic works to the GTM. Or do they? In our recent Ph.D. thesis (Kemmler 2018) we have undertaken a diachronic and synchronic consideration of the scientific evaluation of the GTM by modern research literature (also see Kemmler 2019b: 41-52). While it seems fair to state that not all modern takes on GTM may be viewed as equally objective, we propose that it is possible to isolate some characteristics that may allow for an adequate analysis of whether individual works are to be viewed as belonging to GTM or not (also see Kemmler 2019b: 52-59). Together with our proposal for a specific interlingual classification of historical metalinguistic manuals (Kemmler 2019a: 88-101), we hope to offer a useful tool for triage and classification of GTM manuals for further studies, exemplifying our model based on the earliest manuals of German for Portuguese learners.


Kemmler, Rolf. 2018. "Die Anfänge des Deutschlernens und -lehrens in Portugal: die frühesten Deutschlehrwerke (1863-1926) als Reflex der 'Grammatik-Übersetzungsmethode'?". Ph. D. thesis. Universidade de Vigo, Escola Internacional de Doutoramento, in: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/1093.

Kemmler, Rolf. 2019a. Die frühesten portugiesischen Deutschlehrwerke (1863-1926). Vila Real: Centro de Estudos em Letras; Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Coleção Linguística; 12) ISBN: 978-989-704-363-5, in: http://hdl.handle.net/10348/9050.

Kemmler, Rolf. 2019b. Die 'Grammatik-Übersetzungsmethode' in den ältesten portugiesischen Deutschlehrwerken. Vila Real: Centro de Estudos em Letras; Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Coleção Linguística; 13), ISBN: 978-989-704-365-9, in: http://hdl.handle.net/10348/9051.

The oldest grammar book of Portuguese language for Germans: Portugiesische Grammatik (1778) by Johann Andreas von Jung
María del Mar Martínez Domínguez

This research presents a study of the oldest known grammar book conceived as the first Portuguese handbook for a German audience. It was produced in the second half of the 18th c. as a manual of foreign languages for German native speakers entitled: Portugiesische Grammatik (1778) by Johann Andreas von Jung, printed in Frankfurt an der Oder by Carl Gottlieb Strauss.

Starting from a historical contextualization, a descriptive analysis of this work is proposed respecting its structural and content peculiarities, including all the linguistic and cultural elements that are integrated in this grammar. The presentation of this handbook and its historical context allows us to understand the different reasons that motivated its creation like the German military’s need to learn Portuguese in the war conflicts of that time.

This work is highly unknown and barely studied, therefore this research confers a very original contribution in the branch of German-Portuguese Linguistic Historiography. The final objective of this paper is to present awareness of this original and extraordinary material from a historical, linguistic and cultural point of view.

Political conceptualization of linguistic thought Ji Ma

Instead of focusing entirely on the scientific content of historical writings on language, this panel discussion aims to highlight how the ideology and rhetoric of linguistic ideas were informed by the theory and practice of politics in history. There are at least five ways in which linguistic ideas are connected to politics. First, the emergence of a linguistic idea is often motivated by a certain political purpose. Second, a scholar’s linguistic thought may be influenced by his political stance or prejudice (as some scholars have argued in the case of Wilhelm von Humboldt). Third, a scholar’s political motivation (e.g. colonial or post-colonial control) exerts an influence on his grammatical description of a certain language (which might be described in other ways if not for that political purpose). Fourth, a certain political theory is used as a metaphor in expounding a certain linguistic theory. Fifth, a popular political metaphor or a pre-existing political rhetoric is brought into linguistic texts to explain an idea about language.

Linguistic Field Work at the End of Empire: British Officials and American Structuralists
Richard Steadman-Jones University of Sheffield

In 1959 the British novelist, Anthony Burgess, published Beds in the East, the final volume of a trilogy set in Malaya during the dying days of British colonial rule. Burgess took a strong amateur interest in academic linguistics and subsequently published two book-length works (Language Made Plain and A Mouthful of Air) interpreting contemporary linguistic research for a popular audience. This interest is already evident in Beds in the East, towards the end of which Burgess stages an encounter between two linguistic ‘experts’: a British official in the ‘Department of Aborigines’ (responsible for the orang asli or indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaya) and a linguist from a US university who is ‘trying to give the Temiars an alphabet’. Burgess’s satirical writing deftly sketches in two very different traditions of scholarly practice and political intervention at a moment when one species of imperialism is in the process of ceding to the other. This paper will take Burgess’ fictional encounter as a starting point for an exploration of British colonial scholarship and American structuralism as alternative, and even competing, modes of engagement in a rapidly changing political landscape. In particular it will focus on different understandings of ‘field work’ as the space in which linguistic science and political action most closely intersect.

The politics of Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India
Javed Majeed King’s College London

This paper considers how Grierson’s approach to Panjabi, Siraiki and Assamese may have been influenced by his political views of India. These views are particularly evident in his reflections on Hindi and Urdu, in which he echoed the ‘two nation theory’ of Muslim separatists and Hindu nationalists. In fact, there are two versions of India in Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India, one a version in which religion is the key axis of identity, and the other in which languages defined group identity, and the tensions between these affected how he categorised the languages cited above. Moreover, Grierson’s own subject position as Anglo-Irish may also have played a role in his approach to India as a whole.

The LSI therefore raises acute questions about how the politics of language in South Asia today may have been partly shaped by the colonial production of linguistic knowledge. The LSI also exemplifies the complex relationship between politics and knowledge production in colonialism itself, since Grierson’s politics by no means invalidated the entirety of the LSI, which, with its 723 linguistic varieties, and lexical and grammatical information for 268 varieties of the major South Asian language families, remains a key reference work and has influenced many subsequent studies of the language situation in India. Finally, we also need to consider not just how politics, in the formal sense of the word, can affect linguistic ideas, but also how the personal identities and subject positions of linguists can affect their approach to language situations in which they are invested not just professionally but personally and emotionally as well.

How Latin grammar turned Chinese: rethinking the grammatics of Chinese
Edward McDonald

The process of adapting Latin grammar to Chinese by Ma Jianzhong 馬建忠 (1845-1900) launched the grammatics (語法學) of Chinese, a sub-discipline now barely a century old, which as currently practiced has few roots in native Chinese traditions. The history of modern Chinese grammatics has been one of continual adaptation (Ma 1898; Li 1924; Chao 1948; Li 1952; Lu 1964; Chao 1968; Lu 2003/2013) and critique (Chen 1943; Lü 1979; Shen 1989; Xu 1997) of these conceptual borrowings. The current study picks up on some of the issues raised during the two significant periods of self-critique in the history of Chinese grammatics, the ‘Grammatical Renewal’ wénfă géxīn 文法革新 debates of 1938-1941 (Chen 1943) and the ‘Chinese Cultural Linguistics’ Zhōngguó wénhuà yǔyánxué 中國文化語言學 movement of the 1980s–1990s (McDonald 1995; McDonald & Zeng 2005) in order to identify what have been the key issues for Chinese linguists in conceptualizing the grammatics of Chinese, and uses as guides two more recent critiques of the Chinese linguistic tradition, Shen Xiaolong (1989) and Chen Baoya (1999/2015). Going back to the “invention of Chinese grammar” (cf. Mair 1997), and reappraising Ma’s pioneering work from the viewpoint of the history of linguistics, both European and Chinese, has much light to throw, not simply on the usually unquestioned Western bases of modern linguistics, but on the descriptive and ideological challenges for developing a grammar of Chinese.

Retour de Benveniste sans retour à Benveniste. Plaidoyer pour la linguistique générale
Irène Fenoglio Institut des Textes et Manuscrits modernes (CNRS-ENS), Paris

L’enjeu sera de faire apparaître une sorte de distorsion historique. Depuis que quelques rares chercheurs (et nous devrions dire chercheuses) ont « découvert » au sens propre du terme, c’est à dire mis au jour, les archives et manuscrits que Benveniste a légué à la BnF et qui dormaient depuis plus de 30 ans, une sorte de maelström – à amplitude cependant limitée – s’est développé. Depuis les années 2005 on travaille Benveniste de plus en plus précisément : exploitation des archives avec éditions d’inédits (sur le discours poétique, sur l’écriture, sur l’expression linguistique du nombre), analyses génétiques précises et articulées, traductions nombreuses et inattendues. Or, parallèlement à cette ardeur, parfois médiatisée (par exemple, 2 pages dans Le monde des livres, 2 pages dans Libération, 1 page dans La quinzaine littéraire, lors la sortie des Dernières leçons en 2012, chose qui ne s’était plus vu depuis les années 1970 pour la linguistique en France), la linguistique de Benveniste ne circule pas dans les cursus universitaires actuels. On pourrait même dire que la « linguistique générale » n’est plus enseignée en priorité, apparaissant comme superfétatoire après les nécessaires linguistique appliquée, didactique, linguistique neuro-cognitive, qui se proposent, au pire, des objets partiels détachées de leur environnement disciplinaire et de leur contexte historiographique, au mieux des faits linguistiques inclus dans des cadres d’ensemble prédéterminés a priori et prédéterminant. On assiste, en quelque sorte, à un retour de Benveniste mais sans retour à Benveniste.

Il s’agira donc, après avoir évoqué l’actualité sur Benveniste aujourd’hui, et après avoir exposé les éléments programmatiques de sa linguistique générale, de montrer combien celle-ci fait actuellement défaut à la linguistique enseignée et pratiquée.

Emile Benveniste’s work on Tlingit language
Chloé Laplantine Laboratoire Histoire des Théories Linguistiques, Paris

During the summers of 1952 and 1953, Emile Benveniste, at that time one of the leading figures in the fields of Indo-european and general linguistics, undertook linguistic investigations on the Haida and Tlingit languages, but also on Gwich’in, Tutchone and Inupiaq, at various locations in the Pacific Northwest. The notes he compiled have not yet been studied or published. This presentation will focus on Benveniste’s work on Tlingit. We’ll try to explain shortly the context of his research (his growing interest in American linguistics and American languages), we’ll present the linguistic and ethnographic materials available at this time on Tlingit, and then the notes and fiedlnotes Benveniste took in 1953. During the month of July 1953 Benveniste worked with 5 different informers ; we’ll analyse his fieldwork method (for example the constant use and discussion of Franz Boas’ grammar), and try to show which aspects of the language retain his attention. During the academic year 1953-1954 Benveniste gave a course at the Collège de France on the languages of the Pacific Northwest : we’ll see that most of the classes were dedicated to the description of Tlingit, and in particular to the problem of the verb.

Benveniste and the origins of enunciation
John E. Joseph University of Edinburgh

In the late 1960s Émile Benveniste (1902-1976) projected a linguistics of énonciation that would include both the product of language use and those taking part in the discourse. The received history (Normand 1986, Ono 2007) is that the concept began taking shape in Benveniste’s papers of the late 1940s, though the terms énonciation and énoncé didn’t get a clear definition from him until 1968-9; and that their heritage goes back principally to the use of ‘utterance’ by Malinowski, Bloomfield and Austin.

Yet in 1958 Jacques Lacan was using these terms in a way akin to Benveniste’s. Arrivé (2007) finds this ‘disturbing’, but concludes that they have ‘an entirely different sense’ in Lacan. He points too to the use of énonciation by Bally and by Damourette & Pichon (cited by Lacan), again dismissing any direct affiliation to Benveniste. There is additionally the question of how énonciation and especially énoncé came to be such central terms for Foucault (1969), when they scarcely figured in his earlier work.

Although it is very common to read statements such as ‘Lacan borrows the notion of enunciation from Benveniste’ (Mitelman 2015), Fenoglio (2017) notes that no study has yet been done of what Lacan took from Benveniste, comparable even to Milner’s (2002) brief examination of indications that Benveniste read Lacan, with whom he had a close association in the 1950s. My paper will survey and assess the sources of enunciation in Benveniste’s work.

The chronology of early European dictionaries. Looking at ‘man’ and ‘woman’ Alina Villalva
LandLex promotes the study of the landscape lexicon in European dictionaries, aiming to understand the relationships between neighboring and less close languages through in-depth analysis of words and word stories. This panel proposal deals with the human facet of the landscape: it gathers six presentations that look at the equivalents of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in five quite different languages through the eyes of early reference dictionaries. We will then try to establish lexicographic influences from language to language.
Homme & femme, by Furetière and Basnage
Geoffrey Williams & Alina Villalva Univ. Bretagne Sud & Univ. Lisboa

The history of French lexicography is long, but the 17th century is particularly rich and a key period in the development of both monolingual dictionaries and with encyclopaedia. Amongst the plethora of works compiled in the century, one in particular stands out: the Dictionnaire Universel of Antoine Furetière.

Despite being a member of the Académie Française, Abbé Furetière went against their ethos of creating a normative dictionary of polite usage and strove to create a dictionary covering all the words used in the French language including terms from the arts and sciences. His work was published posthumously (Netherlands, 1690) with a new fully revised and greatly expanded second edition under the editorship of Henri Basnage de Beauval in 1701.

In this paper, we shall concentrate on two words: femme and homme so as to look at what the dictionary tells us about the status of the two sexes in the late seventeenth century. Our aim is to build a lexicographical prototype so as to typify and compare the entries in the two editions and also to allow comparison with later works in other languages. The entries in the two dictionaries differ in length, and also in the way the sexes (Furetière was a Catholic priest; Basnage a protestant married man). Through a detailed analysis, we hope to open the way to seeing whether the dictionary influenced lexicographers in other countries, notably in Portugal where Bluteau produced a similarly encyclopaedic dictionary.

Portraits of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in early Portuguese dictionaries
Alina Villalva, Laura do Carmo & Esperança Cardeira Univ. Lisboa, Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa, Brazil & Univ. Lisboa

Portuguese lexicography begins in the 16th century and it develops for two centuries around bilingual dictionaries that aimed to help to read and write in Latin.

Bluteau’s Vocabulário, published between 1712 and 1728, is a landmark for Portuguese lexicography, a status that is due, at least, for two reasons: although announced as a bilingual dictionary, it may be considered the first ‘monolingual’ dictionary of Portuguese; and his encyclopaedic vocation, which is why it also emerges as a witness of his time.

António de Morais Silva pursued Bluteau’s lexicographic craftsmanship. The first edition of his Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa was published in 1789. Although it was presented as a new edition of Bluteau’s Vocabulário, Morais’ dictionary has a quite different character. It is strictly monolingual and no longer encyclopaedic. At the same time, it updates the definitions and he adds many concepts, as well as new words and phrases. This dictionary is ranged as the first piece of the modern Portuguese lexicography.

In this presentation, we will consider the lexicographic registers of the words homem ‘man’ and mulher ‘woman’ in the above-mentioned dictionaries, with a special emphasis on Bluteau’s Vocabulário and the first edition of Moraes. Bluteau offers long entries that we will analyse, paying a particular attention to the list of authors that he quotes and to the opinions that he formulates or endorses. We will then observe Morais’ adaptations, choices, deletions and inclusions of information, that are quite relevant, especially considering that only 60 years separate them.

The human factor in lexicography of the landscape: Mann and Frau in early German lexicography
Wiebke Blanck Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Landscape words have always been a part of lexicography as the landscape has shaped human beings like hardly anything else. But apart from typical landscape elements, which are easy to imagine on a lexical level (e.g. hill, river or plant names), human beings are themselves an element and even a shaping factor of the landscape. The rather dichotomous word pair man and woman can thus be counted as landscape words and will be explored in this talk, with a focus on their German equivalents in early German lexicography (ca. 1590-1750).

Lexicography of that time very much reflects the structure of society: dictionaries are written by male professors or teachers, whereas women of a comparable societal rank are bound to the domestic area. This talk poses the question whether dictionary entries of different words for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ – especially the definition part – also reflect the different positions of the sexes in society. Therefore, I will explore entries for Mann (en. man) and Frau (en. woman) in a number of dictionaries of that time, e.g. Frisch, Steinbach and Stieler. The findings shall then be compared to equivalents in other European languages within the panel, so as to create a common structure of the human factor (i.e. words for ‘man’ and ‘woman’) within the European landscape.

Finnic words for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in historical dictionaries
Vilja Oja Institute of the Estonian Language, Tallinn

In the Finnic branch of the Uralic family there is a group of close cognate languages, including two literary languages: Finnish and Estonian. The history of their lexicography begins quite late compared to many other European languages. The first dictionaries were published in 1637: Latin-Swedish-Finnish dictionary in Stockholm and German-Estonian dictionary in Reval (= Tallinn). The keywords of the 17th century dictionaries are in a foreign language (Swedish, German, Latin). Dictionaries with Estonian and Finnish keywords appear in the 18th century. Bilingual dictionaries (containing Estonian or Finnish) dominate in Finnic lexicography until the 20th century.

The presentation of the Estonian and Finnish words for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in two dictionaries compiled in the second part of the 18th century will be compared in more detail. These dictionaries are: Finnish-Latin-Swedish dictionary by Christfrid Ganander Nytt Finskt Lexicon I–III (1787–1788) and Estonian-German dictionary by August Wilhelm Hupel, Ehstnische Sprachlehre für beyde Hauptdialekte, den revalschen und den dörptschen; nebst einem vollständigen Wörterbuch, published in 1780. Besides the description of the dictionaries entries ‘man’ and ‘woman’ the analysis focuses on the etymology and semantic relationships of the words. Attention will be also paid to the Indo-European influences in historical dictionaries. Most of the influences came from Germanic languages, especially from German to Estonian and from Swedish to Finnish.

Quotations in lexicographic sources
Alina Villalva & Simeon Tsolakidis Univ. Lisboa & Univ. Patras

Quotations in dictionary entries are interesting pieces of information. Definitions are typically concise; therefore quotations should be considered per se and also as cultural indexes. The analysis of quotations gives us a glimpse of the references of each author and it allows the comparison with other dictionaries. It will also allow us to assess the accuracy of its use.

In this presentation, we will discuss some quotations that can be found in Bluteau’s Vocabulário (1712-1728), s.v. molher. The first quotation (‘while I was still searching but not finding, I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all’ www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+7&version=NIV) can be found in Ecclesiastes 7.28. The meaning of the original quote is still open to controversy, but the Portuguese translation provides a negative insight of women.

The second quotation (‘a good goat, a good mule, and a good woman are three bad beasts’) is more problematic. According to Cicero, Diphilus was a very bad architect in Roman times, but none of his writings survived from antiquity (if he ever wrote anything). Bluteau might intend to refer to another Diphilus, a theatre comedy play writer, but nothing similar can be found in his work (ia800504.us.archive.org/35/items/comicorumatticor02kockuoft/comicorumatticor02kockuoft.pdf). The quotation is nevertheless close to a proverb that appears in the Alphabet de l'imperfection et malice des femmes, by Jacques Olivier, 1685 (books.google.es/books?id=twdTAAAAcAAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=pt-PT&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false).

For the third quotation, no exact or close match could be found in the Perseus database or in Google books, though Bluteau assigns it to Socrates.