By Joanna Radwanska-Williams
The final idea of language of Mikołaj Kruszweski (1851-1887) is, this booklet argues, a “lost paradigm” within the background of linguistics. the idea that of 'paradigm' is known in a extensively construed Kuhnian feel, and its applicability to linguistics as a technology is tested. it really is argued that Kruszewski's conception used to be a covert paradigm in that his significant paintings, Ocerk nauki o jazyke ('An define of the technology of Language', 1883), had the capability to be seminal within the background of linguistics, i.e. to accomplish the prestige of a 'classical text', or 'exemplar'. This strength used to be now not discovered simply because Kruszewski's impression was once hindered through a number of old components, together with his early dying and the simultaneous consolidation of the Neogrammarian paradigm, with its emphasis on phonology and language swap. The ebook examines the highbrow history of Kruszweski's inspiration, which was once rooted, partially, within the culture of British empiricism. It additionally discusses Kruszewski's courting to his instructor Jean Baudouin de Courtenay (1845-1929), his perspective in the direction of the Neogrammarian move in linguistics, the ambivalent reception of his conception by means of his contemporaries, and the impression of his paintings at the linguistic thought of Roman Jakobson (1896-1982).
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Additional info for A Paradigm Lost: The linguistic thought of Mikołaj Kruszewski
Besides communications of his own research, he read reviews of those books and articles which he was studying in order to familiarize himself with the scientific literature. All of Nikolaj Vjačeslavovič's reviews bore the mark of talent; he astonished us by the mass of what he managed to read, and he was always able to discern what was most essential. (Bogorodickij 1891:249) 42 A PARADIGM LOST In a report to the faculty council on the progress of his studies from December 15, 1878 to October 1, 1879, Kruszewski (1882a:33-34) gives a list of all the linguistic works reviewed by him during the Saturday meetings.
Indeed, Baudouin's discussion of the structure of grammar would not seem out of place in a textbook on linguistics written in 1970; what is remarkable is that it was written in 1870. This would date the beginning of structuralism as simultaneous with the beginning of the neogrammarian movement, and not in opposition to the neogrammarian movement (at least not at its inception); we can only speculate whether Baudouin's ideas would have had a greater impact in the 38 A PARADIGM LOST West if he had published his lectures in a systematic form.
He was identified with the 'new movement in linguistics' represented in the West by the Neogrammarians; this movement, as Baudouin writes in his 1884 letter to Techmer, was carried on concurrently and partly independently of the West in Russia and Poland (Baudouin 1897: 31): I cannot understand at all, why the claim the new movement arose relatively independently in Russia (and Poland) should be disputed so bitterly. After all, the ability to think is not the exclusive domain of one nation or another, nor of one or another scientific circle.
A Paradigm Lost: The linguistic thought of Mikołaj Kruszewski by Joanna Radwanska-Williams