3 Famous Phonologists

Topics: Linguistics, Phonology, Ferdinand de Saussure Pages: 2 (493 words) Published: March 7, 2013
D. Robert Ladd
Robert is a now somewhat retired Phonologist of some fame whom taught phonology and phonetics at the University of Edinburgh for 26 years. His PHD thesis focused on “The structure of Intonational meaning” but he has since “grown out of it” and moved into studying Prosody and Laboratory Phonology in various projects both in Edinburgh and overseas, only revisiting the subject of Intonation infrequently. Such activities include: studies on pitch and segmental alignment in Greek, developing the new field of Laboratory Phonology, stress and tone in Nilotic languages, studies in language in genes by comparing geographical distribution of tone languages vs. geographical distribution of two specific brain size genes, etc. Recently he has mainly spent his time editing papers, overseeing projects and finishing a book he started in 2008 entitled “Simultaneous and sequential structure in language,” which he hopes to be finished early this year. Ferdinand De Saussure (26 Nov 1857 – 22 Feb 1913)

Ferdinand was an original Swiss linguist from Geneva renowned as one of the fathers of linguistics today; introducing for the first time the hypothesis that language was arbitrary. In other words he understood that thinking about language was like thinking about thinking, but his views sided indefinitely with the view that the way of language is completely learnt from birth as opposed to “nature” arguments that current generative theories favour today. His earlier education included a year at the University of Geneva and then another year at the University of Berlin where he achieved his Doctorate in 1880 where he then went onto Paris to lecture on Sanskrit, Gothic and Old High German. In 1891 he was offered a professorship in Geneva where he then continued lecturing. The views made during his life of form-meaning pairs were later carried through structuralism and generative theory even later. He wrote the majority of “A course in General linguistics” which was...
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