November 1, 2018

Edward Sapir is a German-born American linguist, anthropologist, and essayist.


Edward Sapir (1884-1939) Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Edward Sapir
  • Date of Birth: January 26, 1884
  • Place of Birth: Lauenburg, Pomerania, Germany
  • Date of Death: February 4, 1939
  • Place of Death: New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
  • Cause of Death: Stroke
  • Interred at: Sapir Family Cemetery, Alton, Belknap County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
  • Nationality: American
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Religion: Jewish
  • Father: Jacob David Sapir (1861-1931)
  • Mother: Eva Sapir née Seagal (1863-1938)
  • Siblings: Max Sapir
  • Spouse(s):
  1. Florence Delson (b. 1889 d. 1924 m. 1910 to until her death)
  2. Jean Victoria McClenaghan Sapir (b. 1899 d. 1977 m. 1926 to until his death)
  • Children (from first marriage):
  1. Son -  Herbert Michael Sapir(1913)
  2. Daughter-  Helen Ruth Larson(1914)
  3. Son - Philip Sapir
  • Children (from second marriage):
  1. Son - Paul Edward Sapir
  2. Son - J. David Sapir
  • Alma Mater: Columbia University
  • Edward Sapir is known for: Classification of Native American languages; postulation of Linguistic Relativity or Sapir–Whorf hypothesis; ethnolinguistics; development of modern concept of the phoneme.
  • Edward Sapir is criticized for: NA
  • Edward Sapir was influenced by: Franz Boas
  • Edward Sapir influenced: Morris Swadesh, Li Fanggui, Benjamin Whorf, Mary Haas, Harry Hoijer, Zellig S. Harris, G. L. Trager, and Charles F. Voegelin.

Quotes

“Were a language ever completely "grammatical" it would be a perfect engine of conceptual expression. Unfortunately, or luckily, no language is tyrannically consistent. All grammars leak.”  ― Edward Sapir, Language (1921) p. 39

Major Works

  • Time Perspective in Aboriginal American Culture: A Study in Method (1916)
  • Language (1921)

Did You Know?

  • Edward Sapir was born into a Lithuanian Jewish family.
  • His parents emigrated to United States in 1890 when he was only five years old.
  • In the United States his family first started living in Richmond, Virginia and then shifted to Lower East Side of New York City.
  • At the age of fourteen, Sapir won a prestigious Pulitzer scholarship in recognition of his aptitude for academics and languages.
  • After attending Columbia University from 1900-1904 on the previously attained Pulitzer scholarship, Sapir graduated in 1904 with a B.A. in linguistics.
  • In 1905, with Dr. Boas' encouragement, Sapir completed an M.A. in German.
  • Sapir spent 1907-1908 as a research associate at the University of California at Berkeley.
  • He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1909, with a dissertation on the Takelma language of southwestern Oregon.
  • In 1910, he was appointed director of anthropology in the Geological Survey of the Canadian National Museum, a post he held until 1924.
  • His younger brother Max died of Typhoid.
  • Sapir’s parents divorced in 1910.
  • Before going to Canada, Sapir had a short affair with the Anthropologist Margaret Mead.
  • In 1910 Sapir espoused Florence Delson, a distant cousin, who also had Lithuanian Jewish roots.
  • Florence had long been suffered from both physical and mental illness and she died in 1924.
  • After Florence’s death Sapir started to raise his three children alone. However, eventually, his mother aided him in raising the children.
  • He opted to write poetry, compose music, and study psychology to overcome depression ensued from his wife’s demise.
  • In 1925 Sapir accepted the invitation to join the department of anthropology at the University of Chicago.
  • In 1926 he was married again, to Jean McClenaghan who was sixteen years younger than Sapir.
  • From the second marriage Sapir had two children.
  • In 1931, he accepted an offer to become Sterling Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at Yale University.
  • His son, J. David Sapir, is a linguist, anthropologist specializing in West African Languages, especially Jola languages. He is Emeritus professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. Besides, he is also a photographer.
  • Edward Sapir died at the age of fifty five of stroke.

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Edward Sapir (1884-1939)

Edward Sapir (1884-1939)

Edward Sapir (1884-1939)


October 22, 2018

Leonard Bloomfield is a 20th century American linguist and professor of Germanic languages.


Leonard Bloomfield Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Leonard Bloomfield
  • Date of Birth: April 1, 1887
  • Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Date of Death: April 18, 1949
  • Place of Death: New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • Cause of Death: Illness caused by a stroke
  • Zodiac Sign: Aries
  • Nationality: American
  • Ethnicity: Jewish-Germanic
  • Father: Sigmund Bloomfield
  • Mother: Carola Buber Bloomfield
  • Spouse: Alice Sayers
  • Alma Mater: Harvard College, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, University of Leipzig, and University of Göttingen
  • Leonard Bloomfield is known for: scientific systemization of linguistic study and presentation of rigorous model for linguistic description.
  • Leonard Bloomfield is criticized for: his dismissal of serious study of meaning in linguistics.
  • Leonard Bloomfield was influenced by: Eduard Prokosch, August Leskien, Karl Brugmann, Hermann Oldenberg, and John B. Watson
  • Leonard Bloomfield influenced: Charles Hockett, and Zellig Harris

Quotes

“The totality of utterances that can be made in a speech community is the language of that speech community.” ― Leonard Bloomfield, An introduction to the study of language

Major Works

  • Introduction to the Study of Language (1914)
  • Tagalog Texts with Gramatical Analysis (1917)
  • Menomini Texts (1928)
  • Sacred stories of the Sweet Grass Cree (1930)
  • Language (1933)
  • The Stressed Vowels of American English (1935)
  • Linguistic Aspects of Science (1939)

Did You Know?

  • Bloomfield was born in a Jewish-Germanic family.
  • When he was nine his family moved to the village of Elk-hart Lake, Wisconsin.
  • In Wisconsin his father was the proprietor of a hotel.
  • His uncle, Maurice Bloomfield, was professor of comparative philology and Sanskrit at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
  • Bloomfield studied at local school in the village of Elk-hart Lake, where he failed to get promotion to the next grade due to opposing the existing teaching method.
  • After passing high-school entrance examination with the help of his mother’s tuition he returned to Chicago to attend the North Division School for his secondary studies.
  • In 1903 he attended Harvard College and graduated three years later.
  • He completed his post-graduate studies at University of Wisconsin (1906-1908) and University of Chicago (1908-1909) and obtained the doctorate degree in 1909.
  • At University of Wisconsin he met Eduard Prokosch who inspired him to be a linguist.
  • In 1909 he started as Assistant professor of German at University of Cincinnati.
  • In 1910, he joined as an associate professor of German and comparative philology at University of Illinois.
  • In 1921 Bloomfield worked as Professor at Ohio State University.
  • In 1927 Bloomfield moved to University of Chicago, where he worked as a professor of German Philology till 1940.
  • He became president of the LSA in 1935.
  • In 1940 he became Edward Sapir’s successor at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, as the Sterling Professor of Linguistics.
  • In 1914 he published his first book entitled Introduction to the Study of Language which was published by the Publisher Henry Holt in New York.
  • His 1933 book Language paved the way for creating the field of linguistics as a branch of science.
  • Bloomfield was one of the main figures behind the American structural approach to linguistics.
  • Bloomfield thought of language in strict scientific terms rather than in any philosophical way.
  • Although Bloomfield’s earlier works reflects his interest in the psychological theories of Wilhelm Wundt, his later philosophical position was less dogmatic, and he showed much interest in behaviourism as posited by A.P. Weiss.
  • Many critics consider him as anti-mentalist. 
  • The influence of Bloomfieldian structural linguistics declined in the late 1950s and 1960s after development of generative grammar by Noam Chomsky.
  • Much of his works were published posthumously.
  • Leonard Bloomfield died at the age of 62, after suffering nearly three years of a paralyzing stroke.

October 10, 2018

Eric Lenneberg (1921 –1975) was a 20th century linguist, neurologist, and educator.

Eric Lenneberg Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Eric Heinz Lenneberg
  • Date of Birth: September 19, 1921
  • Place of Birth: Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  • Date of Death: May 31, 1975
  • Place of Death: White Plains, Westchester, New York, USA
  • Cause of Death: Unknown
  • Interred at: Unknown
  • Zodiac Sign: Virgo
  • Nationality: NA
  • Ethnicity: Jewish
  • Father: NA
  • Mother: NA
  • Siblings:  Helmut Lenneberg
  • Spouse(s):
  1. Edith Maria Lenneberg née Salomon (1923-2005)
  2. Elizabeth Lenneberg née Smith(1933–2007)
  • Children:
  1. Daughter-  Miriam Lenneberg
  2. Son-  Roger Lenneberg
  • Alma Mater: University of Chicago, Harvard University
  • Eric Lenneberg is known for: pioneering the biological approach to the study of human language.
  • Eric Lenneberg is criticized for: not being able to put forward substantial proof against his claim regarding start of lateralization.
  • Eric Lenneberg was influenced by: NA
  • Eric Lenneberg influenced: Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker
  • Awards: Guggenheim Fellowship for Social Sciences, US & Canada

Quotes

“The central nervous system and other tissues in the body develop simultaneously and influence one another continuously during morphogenesis.”  ― Eric Lenneberg, Biological Foundations of Language (1967) p. 28
“Animals develop as an integrated whole including structure, function and behavioral capacities.” ― Eric Lenneberg, Biological Foundations of Language (1967) p. 240
“All animals have the ability to group together stimulus configurations which may be physically totally different from each other; however, the animal makes an identical response to certain ones and thus treats them as if they were similar in some respect; we cannot escape the conclusion that for the animal, some similarity exists among such stimuli.” ― Eric Lenneberg, Biological Foundations of Language (1967) p. 298

Major Works

  • The language of experience (1956)
  • New directions in the study of language (1964)
  • Biological Foundations of Language (1967)

Did You Know?

  • At the age of twelve Eric Lenneberg left Germany with his parents to live in Brazil.
  • He came to the United States in 1945 and served in the Army for one year.
  • Lenneberg married twice.
  • He pioneered the notion that human capacity for language could be explained only on the basis of the biological properties of the brain and vocal tract.
  • He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.
  • Lenneberg obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in psychology and linguistics in 1956.
  • He attended Harvard Medical School to study neuroscience.
  • After earning his Ph.D. he held faculty posts at Harvard University.
  • From 1964-1965 Lenneberg was a visiting professor of psychology at the University of Zurich.
  • From 1967–1968 he was a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.
  • In the fall of 1968 became professor of psychology and neurobiology at Cornell University and Medical School.
  • He was a visiting professor at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.
  • He was an invited lecturer at the Academia Nacional de Neurologia do Brasil.
  • He conducted research at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston for locating children with extraordinary language disabilities or living in unusual circumstances to elaborate his theory of language development.
  • With his wife, Elizabeth, he edited a book for UNESCO entitled Foundations of Language Development: A Multidisciplinary Approach.
  • His experiments and views were encapsulated in his 1967 book, Biological Foundations of Language.
  • His Biological Foundations of Language reflected his interest and expertise in both language and psychobiology.
  • His ideas were subsequently adopted by Noam Chomsky and popularized by Steven Pinker in his book, The Language Instinct.
  • Lenneberg died prematurely at the age of 53.
  • Before his demise Lenneberg had been working at Cornell University as the professor of psychology and neurobiology.
  • He died in White Plains, where he had been working on a, clinical research project in neuropsychology at the WestChester Division of New York hospital‐Cornell Medical Center.

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Eric Lenneberg

Eric Lenneberg

Eric Lenneberg


October 6, 2018

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a 20th century Swiss biologist, philosopher, psychologist, and educator.


Jean Piaget Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Jean William Piaget
  • AKA: Jean William Fritz Piaget
  • Date of Birth: August 9, 1896
  • Place of Birth: Neuchatel, Neuchâtel, Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • Date of Death: September 16, 1980
  • Place of Death: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Cause of Death: Unknown
  • Interred at: Cimetière des Rois (Cemetery of Kings)
  • Zodiac Sign: Leo
  • Nationality: Swiss
  • Father: Arthur Piaget
  • Mother: Rebecca Jackson
  • Siblings: Madeleine Vautheir
  • Spouse: Valentine Piaget née Châtenay
  • Children:
  1. Daughter-Jacqueline Piaget
  2. Daughter - Lucienne Piaget
  3. Son- Laurent Piaget
  • Alma Mater: University of Neuchâtel (1918), University of Zurich, University of Geneva
  • Jean Piaget is known for: Constructivism, Genevan School, genetic epistemology, theory of cognitive development, object permanence, and egocentrism.
  • Jean Piaget is criticized for: not considering sociocultural or geographical differences among children.
  • Jean Piaget was influenced by: Immanuel Kant, Henri Bergson, Pierre Janet, Alfred Binet, Théodore Simon, Sabina Spielrein, and James Mark Baldwin.
  • Jean Piaget influenced: Rabbi ShlomoWolbe, BärbelInhelder, Jerome Bruner, Kenneth Kaye, Lawrence Kohlberg, Robert Kegan, Howard Gardner, Thomas Kuhn, Seymour Papert, Lev Vygotsky, Jordan Peterson, and John Flavell.

Quotes

“I know some very intelligent philosophers, not at all dogmatic, who believe that “science” cannot introduce the concept of finality in the analysis and explanation of vital processes, but that “philosophy” equally cannot arrive at an adequate concept of organic life without introducing finality. It is not a question here of moral or other values, but rather of a concept peculiar to philosophical biology as opposed to biology. Indeed, one such philosopher concluded, drawing inspiration from Merleau-Ponty, that science can “never” give an adequate explanation of the concept of the “whole structure” of the organism.” ― Jean Piaget, Insights and Illusions of Philosophy

Major Works

  • The Language and Thought of the Child (1923)
  • The Child's Conception of the World (1926)
  • Child's Conception of Physical Causality (1927)
  • Judgment and Reasoning in the Child (1928)
  • The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932)
  • The Origins of Intelligence in Children (1936)
  • The construction of Reality in the Child (1937)
  • The Child's Conception of Number (1941)
  • Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood (1945)
  • The psychology of intelligence (1947)
  • Logic and Psychology (1953)
  • The Child's Conception of Space (1956)
  • Six psychological Studies (1964)
  • Insights and Illusions of Philosophy (1965)
  • Sociological Studies (1965)
  • The Psychology of the Child (1966)
  • Mental imagery in the child: a Study of the Development of Imaginal Representation (1966)
  • Biology and Knowledge: An Essay on the Relations Between Organic Regulations and Cognitive Processes (1967)
  • Memory and intelligence (1968)
  • Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child (1969)
  • The Child's Conception of Time (1969)
  • Genetic Epistemology (1970)
  • Psychology and Epistemology: Towards a Theory of Knowledge (1971)
  • OuVaL'education (1972)
  • Equilibration of Cognitive Structures: The Central Problem of Intellectual Development (1975)
  • The Essential Piaget (1977)
  • The Child and Reality: Problems of Genetic Psychology (1973)
  • To understand is to invent: The Future of Education (1973)
  • Success and Understanding (1974)
  • Understanding Causality (1974)
  • The Origin of the Idea of Chance in Children (1975)
  • Behaviour and Evolution (1976)
  • Language and Learning: The Debate Between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky (1979)
  • Adaptation and Intelligence: Organic Selection and Phenocopy (1980)
  • Psychogenesis and the History of Science (1982)

Did You Know?

  • He was the eldest son born to Arthur Piaget and Rebecca Jackson.
  • His father was a professor of medieval literature at the University of Neuchâtel.
  • Much of Piaget's childhood was influenced by his father, who was profoundly dedicated to his studies and work.
  • He made his first publication at the age of 10 and continued working until his death at the age of 84.
  • At the University of Neuchâtel, he finished natural science studies in 1916 and earned a doctoral degree for research on mollusks in 1918.
  • Piaget is famous for his learning theories based on different stages in the development of children's intelligence, which are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational.
  • Piaget’s theories on child development are collectively called "genetic epistemology."
  • Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 and directed it until his death in 1980.
  • His work with children and focus on child development lead to many of the early education reform movements.
  • From 1925 to 1929 Piaget was professor of psychology, sociology, and the philosophy of science at the University of Neuchâtel.
  • Piaget made many impressive guest appearances at conferences concerning childhood development and learning.
  • He authored more than 50 books and hundreds of papers.
  • Piaget was the recipient of honorary degrees from Oxford and Harvard universities.
  • He is the recipient of many the prestigious accolades, such as Erasmus (1972) and Balzan (1978) prizes.
  • He died in Geneva and to be concurrent with his request he was buried with his family in an unmarked grave in the Cimetière des Rois.

Media Gallery

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Jean Piaget (1896-1980)

Jean Piaget (1896-1980)

Jean Piaget (1896-1980)

Jean Piaget (1896-1980)

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October 3, 2018

Stephen Krashen (b. 1941) is an American Linguist, educational researcher, political activist, and professor emeritus at the University of Southern California.


Stephen Krashen Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Stephen Krashen
  • Date of Birth: 1941
  • Placf Birth: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Alma Mater: University of California, Los Angeles
  • Stephen Krashen is known for: work in establishing a general theory of second language acquisition, as the cofounder of the Natural Approach, and as the inventor of sheltered subject matter teaching.
  • Stephen Krashen is widely criticized because: his theories lack substantial empirical content and have limited explanatory power.
  • Krashen is influenced by: Professor Jim Cummins

Quotes

“Language is best taught when it is being used to transmit messages, not when it is explicitly taught for conscious learning.―  Stephen Krashen, The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom (1983)

Major Works

  • Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning (1981)
  • Language Two (1982)
  • Child-adult Differences in Second Language Acquisition (1982)
  • Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition (1982)
  • Language Two (1982)
  • The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom (1983)
  • Writing--research, theory, and applications (1984)
  • The input hypothesis (1985)
  • Inquiries & Insights: Second Language Teaching: Immersion & Bilingual Education, Literacy (1985)
  • Language Acquisition and Language Education (1989)
  • Fundamentals of language education (1992)
  • The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research( 1993)
  • Under Attack: The Case against Bilingual Education 1996)
  • Every Person a Reader: An Alternative to the California Task Force Report on Reading (1996)
  • The Case for Late Intervention: Once a Good Reader, Always a Good Reader (1996)
  • Sheltered English/ ESL Manual (1997)
  • Foreign language education the easy way (1997)
  • Three Arguments Against Whole Language & why They are Wrong (1999)
  • Condemned without a Trial: Bogus Arguments against Bilingual Education (1999)
  • Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use (2003)
  • Power of Reading: Insights from the Research 2nd Edition (2004)
  • Summer Reading: Program and Evidence (2008)
  • Free Voluntary Reading (2011)
  • Fourth Estate, Fall 2016: Developing Esol Language Proficiency (2016)
  • Comprehensible and Compelling: The Causes and Effects of Free Voluntary Reading (2017)

Did You Know?

  • Stephen Krashen received his doctorate degree from the University of California in the year 1972.
  • Krashen is chiefly noted for postulating a number of SLA theories such as the Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis, the Input Hypothesis, the Monitor Hypothesis, the Affective Filter Hypothesis, and the Natural Order Hypothesis.
  • Krashen based many of his ideas on the theories of Professor Jim Cummins of the University of Toronto.
  • He founded the Natural Approach (1983) in association with Terrell.
  • His Bilingual Education is widely used in ESL classrooms in California, USA.
  • Krashen's Bilingual Education earned him a lot of money.
  • Despite its influence across the country, the bilingual education is heavily criticized for its lack of scientific evidence and de-emphasis on English phonics, grammar, spelling, reading, or writing.
  • Before proposing bilingual education, Krashen was an advocate of "structured immersion" English-language training for children.
  • He spends hours on the Internet to respond numerous queries regarding his theories.
  • Krashen has authored numerous books and articles contributing to the fields of second language acquisition, bilingual education, and literacy.

Media

Photos
Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen
 
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October 1, 2018

Larry Selinker (1937) is an American linguist and the world’s most influential Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theorist.


Larry Selinker Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Larry Selinker
  • Date of Birth: September 19, 1937
  • Zodiac Sign: Virgo
  • Nationality: American
  • Spouse: Phyllis Selinker
  • Children: Mike Selinker
  • Alma Mater: Brandeis University, The American University, Georgetown University.
  • Larry Selinker is known for: his concept of interlanguage which helped to found the field of Second Language Acquisition.
  • Larry Selinker is criticized for: limited explanatory power of his interlanguage theory.
  • Larry Selinker was influenced by: Pit Corder.

Quotes

“[t]he process of learning a second language (L2) is characteristically non-linear and fragmentary, marked by a mixed landscape of rapid progression in certain areas but slow movement, incubation or even permanent stagnation in others. Such a process results in a linguistic system known as ‘interlanguage’.” ― Larry Selinker, “Interlanguage” (1972)

Major Works

  • “Language Transfer” (1969)
  • “Interlanguage” (1972)
  • Workbook in Second Language Acquisition (1984)
  • Rediscovering Interlanguage (1991)
  • Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course (1993)
  • The Current State of Interlanguage: Studies in Honor of William E. Rutherford (1995)
  • Second Language Learning Data Analysis : Teachers Manual (1998)

Did You Know?

  • Larry Selinker is chiefly noted for his concept of interlanguage theory, which paved the way for laying the foundation of modern research into SLA.
  • He proposed his interlanguage theory in his paper “Interlanguage” which appeared in the January 1972 issue of the journal International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching.
  • His paper, “Language Transfer” first appeared in a 1969 edition of General Linguistics.
  • His interlanguage theory is also known as compromise system, approximative system, idiosyncratic dialect, learner language, and transitional competence.
  • Although Selinker has been credited for postulating the interlanguage theory, in essence, he based it upon Pit Corder's previous work on the nature of language learners' errors.
  • Selinker’s interlanguage focuses on the linguistic and psychological aspects of SLA research.
  • Selinker earned his doctorate degree from Georgetown University in 1966.
  • He was the assistant professor of linguistics and the director of English for foreign students from 1966 to 1975 in the University of Washington.
  • Selinker held the position of director of the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute from 1977 to 1982.
  • At University of Michigan he designed a course entitled “The Good and Bad Language Learner” which was widely popular amongst undergraduate students.
  • He was also a Professor of Linguistics in the University of Michigan until his retirement in 1993.
  • After his retirement the Regents of the University of Michigan awarded Professor Selinker an emeritus title.
  • His son Mike Selinker is a well-known game designer and puzzle maker.
  • His wife, Phyllis Selinker is an attorney specializing in pro bono services.

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Larry Selinker

Larry Selinker

Larry Selinker
 
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September 26, 2018

Ferdinand de Saussure (1857 –1913) was a Swiss linguist from the early 20th century who is deemed by many as the chief forerunner of the structural linguistics.


Ferdinand de Saussure Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Ferdinand Mongin de Saussure
  • Date of Birth: November 26, 1857
  • Place of Birth: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
  • Date of Death: February 22, 1913
  • Cause of Death: NA
  • Place of Death: Vufflens-le-Château, Vaud, Switzerland
  • Place of Burial: NA
  • Ethnicity:  NA
  • Nationality:  Swish
  • Father:  Henri Louis Frédéric de Saussure (1829-1905)
  • Mother: Louise Elisabeth de Pourtalès (1837-1906)
  • Siblings:
  1. Brother - Horace de Saussure (1859-1926)
  2. Sister -  Albertine Adèle de Saussure (1861-1940)
  3. Sister - Elisabeth Théodora de Saussure (1863-1944)
  4. Brother - Léopold de Saussure (1866-1925)
  5. Brother - René de Saussure (1868-1943)
  6. Sister - Jeanne de Saussure (1869-1900)
  7. Brother - Louis Octave de Saussure (1871-1943)
  8. Brother - Maximilien de Saussure (1873-1875)
  • Spouse: Marie de Saussure (Marie Eugénie Faesch) (1867-1950)
  • Children:
  1. Son - Raymond Maximilien Théodore de Saussure (1884-1971)
  2. Son- Jacques Alexandre Benedicte de Saussure (1892-1969)
  3. Son-André Victor de Saussure (1895-1895)
  • Alma Mater: University of Geneva, Leipzig University (PhD, 1880), University of Berlin
  • Ferdinand de Saussure is known for: initiating a new approach to linguistics called the structural linguistics.
  • Ferdinand de Saussure is criticized because: many of his ideas are now proven wrong.
  • Ferdinand de Saussure was influenced by:  Émile Durkheim, August Leskien, Heinrich Zimmer, Hermann Oldenberg
  • Ferdinand de Saussure’s works inspired:  Émile Benveniste, Walter Couvreur, Nikolay Trubetzkoy, Roman Jakobson, Leonard Bloomfield, Eugene Nida , Bernard Bloch , George L. Trager , Rulon S. Wells III, Charles Hockett, and Noam Chomsky .

Quotes

“Speech has both an individual and a social side, and we cannot conceive of one without the other.”
- Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics

Major Works

  • Mémoire sur le systéme primitif des voyelles dans les langues indoeuropéennes (1879)
  • Cours de linguistique générale (1916)

Did You Know?

  • Ferdinand de Saussure was the eldest son born to Henri Louis Frédéric de Saussure and Louise Elisabeth de Pourtalès.
  • His father was a mineralogist, entomologist, and taxonomist.
  • His brother René de Saussure was a linguist and Esperantist.
  • Saussure’s another brother Léopold de Saussure was a scholar of ancient Chinese astronomy.
  • His eldest son Raymond de Saussure was a psychoanalyst.
  • Saussure hardly published any remarkable work during his lifetime except the Mémoire sur le systéme primitif des voyelles dans les langues indoeuropéennes (1879).
  • His most naotable work Cours de linguistique générale was published posthumously in 1916.
  • Cours de linguistique générale contains his lectures about important principles of language description in Geneva between 1907 and 1911 which were collected by his pupils.
  • Saussure is generally considered the founder of modern linguistics for giving three key directions in the study of language, such as the distinction between Synchrony and Diachrony, between langue and parole, between signified and signifier.
  • Saussure is the first linguist to emphasize the importance of viewing language as a living phenomenon.
  • He was awarded his doctorate at Leipzig in 1880.

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Ferdinand de Saussure

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