Gabelentz and the Science of Language
Gabelentz and the Science of Language
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Table of Contents
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Contents 1. Introduction James McElvenny 2. The Gabelentz family in their own words Annemete von Vogel & James McElvenny 3. Georg von der Gabelentz as a pioneer of information structure Els Elffers 4. The Basque-Berber connection of Georg von der Gabelentz Bernhard Hurch & Katrin Purgay 5. Phenomenological aspects of Georg von der Gabelentz's Die Sprachwissenschaft Klaas Willems 6. Content and Form of Speech Georg von der Gabelentz, James McElvenny & Manfred Ringmacher

Reviews and Features

"The book consists of five chapters written by specialists in 19th-century German linguistics and offers as a final chapter a bilingual edition of a major section of Die Sprachwissenschaft of Gabelentz (published in 1891, a second edition published in 1901, cf. Gabelentz 2016 [1891]. [...] In addition to the five previous chapters, each of which illuminates one facet of Gabelentz's multiple gifts, the critical and bilingual edition of J. McElvenny is particularly welcome."
- Jacques François, Université de Caen Normandie, Historiographia Linguistica, volume 47:2/3 (2020)

"L’ouvrage ici présenté exprime une double ambition. Il participe d’une part de cette volonté de situer Gabelentz tout à la fois dans son univers culturel et par rapport aux préoccupations des linguistes d’aujourd’hui. Mais il fournit simultanément au lectorat non germaniste un accès direct à l’œuvre elle-même, puisque la plus grosse partie du livre (p. 132-313) est constituée d’une édition bilingue (anglais-allemand) d’un chapitre important de Sprachwissenschaft.
- Didier Samain, Sorbonne Université, HTL, Histoire Épistémologie Langage, 42/2 (2020)

James McElvenny (ed.)

Gabelentz and the Science of Language

The German sinologist and general linguist Georg von der Gabelentz (1840—1893) occupies a crucial place in linguistic scholarship around the end of the nineteenth century. As professor at the University of Leipzig and then at the University of Berlin, Gabelentz was present at the main centers of linguistics of the time. He was, however, generally critical of the narrow, technical focus of mainstream historical-comparative linguistics as practiced by the Neogrammarians and instead emphasized approaches to language inspired by a line of researchers stemming from Wilhelm von Humboldt. Gabelentz’ alternative conception of linguistics led him to several pioneering insights into language that anticipated elements of the structuralist revolution of the early twentieth century. Gabelentz and the Science of Language brings together four essays that explore Gabelentz’ contributions to linguistics from a historical perspective. In addition, it makes one of his key theoretical texts, ‘Content and Form of Speech’, available to an English-speaking audience for the first time.

James McElvenny

James McElvenny is an intellectual historian specializing in the history of linguistics. He is currently Newton International Fellow in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh.