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Book Information


Title: From Whitney to Chomsky
Subtitle: Essays in the history of American linguistics
Written By: John E. Joseph
Series Title: Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 103

What is ‘American’ about American linguistics? Is Jakobson, who spent half his life in America, part of it? What became of Whitney’s genuinely American conception of language as a democracy? And how did developments in 20th-century American linguistics relate to broader cultural trends?
This book brings together 15 years of research by John E. Joseph, including his discovery of the meeting between Whitney and Saussure, his ground-breaking work on the origins of the ‘Sapir­Whorf Hypothesis’ and of American sociolinguistics, and his seminal examination of Bloomfield and Chomsky as readers of Saussure.
Among the original findings and arguments contained herein:
-- why ‘American structuralism’ does not end with Chomsky, but begins with him;
-- how Bloomfield managed to read Saussure as a behaviourist avant la lettre;
-- why in the long run Skinner has emerged victorious over Chomsky;
-- how Whorf was directly influenced by the mystical writings of Madame Blavatsky;
-- how the Whitney­Max Müller debates in the 19th century connect to the intellectual disparity between Chomsky’s linguistic and political writings.

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): History of Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588113493
ISBN-13: 9781588113498
Pages: viii, 240 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 142
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027245924
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: viii, 240 pp.
Prices: EUR 85.00
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1588113507
ISBN-13: 9781588113504
Pages: viii, 240 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 54
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9027245932
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: viii, 240 pp.
Prices: EUR 40.00