William Dwight Whitney and the Science of Language
By (author) Stephen G. Alter
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William Dwight Whitney and the Science of Language by Stephen G. Alter
Book DescriptionLinguistics, or the science of language, emerged as an independent field of study in the nineteenth century, amid the religious and scientific ferment of the Victorian era. William Dwight Whitney, one of that period's most eminent language scholars, argued that his field should be classed among the social sciences, thus laying a theoretical foundation for modern sociolinguistics. William Dwight Whitney and the Science of Language offers a full-length study of America's pioneer professional linguist, the founder and first president of the American Philological Association and a renowned Orientalist. In recounting Whitney's remarkable career, Stephen G. Alter examines the intricate linguistic debates of that period as well as the politics of establishing language study as a full-fledged science. Whitney's influence, Alter argues, extended to the German Neogrammarian movement and the semiotic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure. This exploration of an early phase of scientific language study provides readers with a unique perspective on Victorian intellectual life as well as on the transatlantic roots of modern linguistic theory.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801880209
(229mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Stephen G. Alter
Darwinism and the Linguistic Image, Paperback (June 2002)» View all books by Stephen G. Alter
Alter examines how comparative philology provided a genealogical model of language that Darwin, as well as other scientists and language scholars, used to construct rhetorical parallels with the common-descent theory of evolution.
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Author Biography - Stephen G. Alter
Stephen G. Alter, professor of history at Gordon College, Massachusetts, is the author of Darwinism and the Linguistic Image, also available from Johns Hopkins.
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