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By John E. Joseph

What's ‘American’ approximately American linguistics? Is Jakobson, who spent part his existence in the United States, a part of it? What grew to become of Whitney’s surely American belief of language as a democracy? and the way did advancements in 20th-century American linguistics relate to broader cultural trends?This publication brings jointly 15 years of study by means of John E. Joseph, together with his discovery of the assembly among Whitney and Saussure, his ground-breaking paintings at the origins of the ‘Sapir-Whorf speculation’ and of yankee sociolinguistics, and his seminal exam of Bloomfield and Chomsky as readers of Saussure.
Among the unique findings and arguments contained herein:

• why ‘American structuralism’ doesn't finish with Chomsky, yet starts off with him;
• how Bloomfield controlled to learn Saussure as a behaviourist avant los angeles lettre;
• why in the end Skinner has emerged positive over Chomsky;
• how Whorf used to be at once stimulated by means of the paranormal writings of Madame Blavatsky;
• how the Whitney–Max Müller debates within the nineteenth century connect with the highbrow disparity among Chomsky’s linguistic and political writings.

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Yale University, W. D. Whitney Family Papers, Box 32, File 924. 'THE AMERICAN WHITNEY' 39 If the young Swiss scholar failed to make much of an impression on Whitney — whose nature was by all reports benevolent and generous, but who after all was very pressed to complete his work despite recurring bouts of illness — it is perhaps more surprising that Saussure nowhere recorded their meeting, for instance in his notes for the Whitney Memorial Meeting Paper; his Souvenirs end just too early, in 1878.

In his own series of lectures, Whitney did not come out fighting. He dances around the ring for the whole of the first round and half of the second. In fact his 'THE AMERICAN WHITNEY' 23 first lecture, which opens with a consideration of claims that the investigation of language merits "the rank and title of a science" (Whitney 1867:1), seems to be following closely in Müller' s tracks. Whitney too concludes that, after long ages of pre-scientific development, the study of language has at last reached a stage at which it deserves to be called a science.

Upon Fröhde's death, Bezzenberger not only wrote his obituary for the Liegnitzer Tageblatt (11 juli 1895), but paid him the unusual tribute of writing a second obituary and publishing it, together with a bibliography of his writings and seven of his previously unpublished articles, in his Beiträge (vol. 21 (1896), 317330), which did not normally carry obituaries or other personalia. The inclusion here of Bury, who later achieved great renown as a historian, is surprising because he was only twenty years old at the time.

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