By Robert A. Hall Jr.
Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949) was once one of many maximum linguists of the 20th century. He dedicated his complete lifestyles to a thorough-going research of language, its constitution and its use, summed up in masterly type in his e-book Language (1933). After his untimely loss of life on the age of sixty two, his paintings used to be firstly acclaimed as an exemplary software of the medical approach to linguistics, yet then fell into unjustified forget. Now that the centenary of his start has handed, the time has come for the tale of Bloomfield's existence and paintings to be acknowledged in a biography. consequently, basing his dialogue on all on hand fabrics (including a few details no longer available till recently), Professor corridor has awarded Bloomfield's lifestyles historical past in its highbrow and cultural surroundings. This publication is not just a biography, but additionally a private memoir, within which corridor attracts on his contacts with Bloomfield, who was once his instructor at Chicago and a senior colleague at Yale. There emerges from this research a fuller photograph than we now have had heretofore, offering either Bloomfield's well-known success in developing the examine of language as a systematic self-discipline, and the less-known features of his personality and of his own existence, which in yes respects was once very tragic and unhappy.
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Additional info for A life for language : a biographical memoir of Leonard Bloomfield
Their answer was that these were unwritten tongues of savage tribes and unfit to be compared with "languages of civilization" such as Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, or the modern literary standards. The non-specialist reader, on the other hand, tended to react negatively to Bloomfield's uncompromising objectivity and rejection of all mentalistic explanations, above all with regard to meaning. Some critics, particularly specialists in literature, interpreted his avoidance of mentalism as a denial that the phenomena which they regarded as "mental" have any existence at all.
Sayers reports, "money of her own and thus was able to indulge her hobbies without putting undue strain on the family budget". The Bloomfields seem to have been very fond of dogs. Mrs. Sayers describes Leonard's washing their large Irish setter Abdul in the basement of their house in Columbus, and making the dog wildly happy by talking to him in most unflattering terms, saying such things as "You are a dummkopf. You are not a bit of use and a great botheration", but in an extremely lyrical and tender tone of voice.
Léon Després reports that Sapir was very helpful in the establishment of a society for Jewish students at the University of Chicago, and opines that Bloomfield would never have been interested in any such activity. ". One wonders what Sapir's reaction to this story might have been: would he perhaps have thought it blasphemous? Both Bloomfield and Sapir had a thorough command of the grammatical and stylistic resources of English, but each used them in a different way from the other. Sapir's style was much more colorful than Bloomfield's, and he was much more given to inserting "purple patches" containing highly imaginative similes or metaphors.
A life for language : a biographical memoir of Leonard Bloomfield by Robert A. Hall Jr.