Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 23:23:43 -0700 From: Rudy Troike Subject: A.A. Hill Festschrift reference re traditional grammarians For those interested, the Arch Hill Festschrift reference is: Linguistic and Literary Studies in Honor of Archibald A. Hill. Mohammad Ali Jazayery, Edgar C. Polome, and Werner Winter, eds. Vol. I: General and Theoretical Linguistics. [there are 3 vols.] Lisse: Peter de Ridder Press, 1976. The article in question is "Lest the wheel be too oft re-invented: Towards a reassessment of the intellectual history of linguistics", pp. 297- 303. It includes a "revisionist" consideration of the work of traditional grammarians, arguing that Charles Fries created a "devil image" of them, which was accepted within the linguistics profession and repeated from one book to another. When I was a grad student, this was the received view, with no audible dissent (one, by J.R. Hulbert in PMLA in 1947, was ignored, probably because he was a "philologist" -- a dirty word at the time). Only when a teacher in one of my classes gave me an 1835 grammar she had picked up at a yard sale, and I started to read it, did I discover that things were very different from what I had been taught. Because of the disparagement of these grammarians, people have been discouraged from reading them, either to avoid contamination or because they were presumably totally benighted. It is also interesting to discover that sentence diagramming was an American invention, by practical-minded teachers seeking a way to make grammatical structure visible (one of the first visual aids), instead of going through the catechism of "parsing", still used in the rest of the English-speaking world (including Canada) and in other countries for Spanish, etc. I argue that Chomsky would likely not have come up with his tree- diagrams if he had grown up in another country. --Rudy Troike (rtroike[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]