XXV. Internationales Kolloquium des ‘SGdS’:

Language and Learning.
The history of linguistics in the context of education

Leiden (NL), 5. – 6. Juni 2014

Veranstalter: SGdS & Universität Leiden (NL)
Organisation: Caspar de Jonge, Gijsbert Rutten & Angelika Rüter

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Maria Chriti (Centre for the Greek Language, Thessaloniki)

Aristotle’s Organon and Neoplatonic curricula.
The concept of ‘metalanguage’

Neoplatonic Schools of Athens and Alexandria functioned under the guidelines of specific curricula; these were structured according to the specific scholars’ interest in explaining Plato on the basis of Aristotle, formulating their approaches and views in the literary genre of commentary on philosophical treatise; in the frame of the specific hermeneutical orientation, a study of the relation between things, concepts and words was developped by the Neoplatonic commentators on Aristotle. The specific linguistic reflexion mainly concerned the subject of each treatise in the Organon, which should be in concordance with their “Neoplatonic” interpretation of Aristotle, ruled by concrete principles. One of the most interesting views their practices of interpretation resulted to, is the concept of ‘language for the language’: Porphyry, whose writings admittedly followed most of the Neoplatonic philosophers in the Schools of Athens and Alexandria, defined the difference between using language to signify things via concepts (the subject of Categories, the first treatise of the Organon) and using language to talk about language (the subject of On Interpretation, the second treatise of the Organon). This “metalanguage” only consists of “names” and “verbs”, the two kinds of spoken sounds which can express all the data of experience according to the Neoplatonics.

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Caroline Cowles (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Accentus est quasi anima vocis.
Different approaches to the teaching of Latin accent in the Late Latin Grammarians

Latin accent has been an issue of debate among the academic community for many years. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the words of the Late Latin grammarians were taken, on the whole, as fact, and they were therefore seen as the authorities on the subject. However, during the twentieth century and beyond the Latin grammarians fell out of favour among classicists. This has been largely due to our more modern understanding of linguistics, as well as problems and inconsistencies found in the grammarians themselves. This does not mean, however, that we cannot learn anything from them. Although not necessarily conveying linguistic fact, we can observe to some extent, what Latin accent meant to them, how they felt it was best taught and the importance it held in the learning of Latin.

This paper will analyse the different approaches to Latin accent found in a selection of the grammarians. This will range from the more romantic and ambiguous such as Pompeius’ definition: accentus est quasi anima vocis “accent is like the soul of the voice” (Keil V, 126), to the perhaps more tangible ideas of graves, acutes and circumflexes. Does a different approach suggest a different understanding of Latin accent, or are they discussing the same thing in a different way?

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Els Elffers (University of Amsterdam)

Traditional grammar and psychology. Early 20th-century Dutch controversies

From +1900 onwards, Dutch traditional grammar became a controversial issue. Part of the criticism of the well-known parts of speech and functional sentence elements continued the general 19th-century trend in historical-comparative linguistics of rejecting the alleged “logicism” and prescriptivism of traditional grammar. But there were also new objections, which were mainly developed by educationists of the idealistic “Taal en Letteren” (“Language and Literature”) movement (e.g. De Vooys, Van den Bosch).

In this talk, I will focus on one of these objections, namely “lack of psychological reality” : language use is said to follow psychological patterns that deviate from the patterns implied by traditional grammar. I will discuss several varieties of this argument, and pay special attention to its role in Martinus Langeveld’s influential book Taal en denken (Language and thought, 1934).

Lack of psychological reality was mostly claimed in a restrictive way. Non-correspondence between grammatical structure and psychological structure was, e.g., only defended for specific grammatical categories (especially subject and predicate), or for specific grammatical constructions (e.g. impersonal sentences).

For Langeveld, the restrictions are related to intellectual development and “levels of consciousness”. He claims that non-correspondence can be found mainly in the speech of primitive people and young children, but also in the speech of absent-minded people and “eloquent stupids”.

Langeveld’s book is extremely critical, even hostile, towards traditional grammar. Surprisingly, Langeveld also defends its pedagogical usefulness. This paradox has always made his work hard to understand. I will argue that the book is, indeed, partially incoherent. On the other hand, understanding can be improved by paying due attention to Langeveld’s complex ways of dealing with the “lack of psychological reality” claim. For Langeveld, non-correspondence does not simply count against traditional grammar; his conclusion is that this grammar should be taught in order to attain correspondence.

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Frances Foster (University of Cambridge)

Teaching Language through Virgil in Late Antiquity

Roman grammatici taught their students a wide range of subjects through the medium of the language of literary texts. An educated Roman was expected to have a good knowledge of the literary language of Cicero and Virgil, as well as command of Greek. By late antiquity, this knowledge had to be taught actively, as everyday Latin usage had changed. Moreover, the split between the Eastern and Western empires meant that knowledge of Greek was no longer as common in the West.

The most famous surviving extended teaching commentary on Virgil from late antiquity is by Maurus Servius Honoratus. Servius lived somewhere between 354 and 430, according to Phillipe Bruggisser (1999) and Alan Cameron (1966), although Charles Murgia has suggested that the commentary was completed by 410 2003). Servius worked as a grammaticus in Rome, where he taught Virgil (among others) to the sons of the elite, and those aspiring to become the elite. In his commentary, he frequently draws comparisons between Virgil's expressions and those in current usage. He points out passages in which Virgil's language can be seen to arise from or respond to Greek idioms. Since he goes on to translate such phrases, we can assume that although his students are learning Greek, they are not yet competent in understanding it.

In this paper, I shall analyse specific passages to illustrate how Servius may have taught language through Virgil, both contemporary and archaic Latin and Greek idiom. I will show instances in which Servius's commentary not only teaches his students Latin usage in their own time, but the literary and archaic usage of Latin and Greek through Virgil's verse. Knowledge of literary and archaic usage of Latin and Greek was a pre-requisite for public office and acceptance into the Roman elite.

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Steven Hagers (Leiden University)

Johann Joseph Hoffmann, learning and teaching Japanese — a case study

Johann Joseph Hoffmann (1805-1878) was a German linguist who in 1830 met Philip Franz von Siebold (1796-1866). He managed to learn Japanese with the mere help of Siebold’s poor knowledge of the language, his Chinese helper who spoke only Malaysian and Cantonese, a few Chinese-Japanese dictionaries Siebold brought back, and some notes of earlier travellers. From 1846 Hoffmann worked for the Dutch government and he became professor of Japanese in 1855. Ever since 1830 he worked on a grammar. On compiling this Hoffmann faced many complications. He had to design a grammatical structure, which made it possible to teach his students Japanese. Hoffmann was rather self-willed on this aspect.

From notes Hoffmann made, it can be deduced that he thought that a grammar should be composed according to the theory of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on the metamorphosis of plants. According to this theory one should ‘ascent from the known to the unknown, from observed facts to concepts, without any classification from above according to a principle previously assumed, but a natural grouping, based on observation and comparison’. In 1857 he was asked to edit the Proeve eene Japansche spraakkunst by J.H. Donker Curtius (1813-1879), which he reluctantly did. He complained about Donker Curtius’ bad insight in linguistics. Finally Hoffmann published his own grammar Japansche Spraakleer in 1868.

Since Hoffmann was member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) he witnessed an important discussion on the topic of language learning and teaching, conducted from 1855 to 1859 in the Academy, mainly between Taco Roorda, an important Javanist, and Matthias de Vries.

In this case study I investigate Hoffmann’s struggles and attempts to reach a coherent grammar of Japanese and the influences he received from other scholars who struggled with comparable difficulties.

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Gerda Haßler (Universität Potsdam)

Die École Normale des Jahres III und Innovation im Sprachunterricht

1795 wurde im spätrevolutionären Frankreich eine Schule gegründet, in der bereits gebildete und verdiente Mitbürger zu Lehrern in den Zentralschulen der Departements herangebildet werden sollten. Diese École Normale des Jahres III funktionierte nur wenige Monate, verfolgte aber ein ehrgeiziges Programm, in dem sich viele Positionen der „Ideologen“ vorgeformt finden. Die Vorlesungen zur Grammatik von Roche Ambroise Cucurron Sicard (1742–1822) zur Grammatik und von Dominique Joseph Garat (1749–1833) wurden ebenso wie die im Anschluss geführten Debatten von Stenografen verschriftet und bald darauf in geringer Auflage publiziert. Sie sind Gegenstand einer wissenschaftlichen Edition (DHOMBRES, Jean / Béatrice DIDIER (éds.) (2008). L'École normale de l'an III : édition annotée des cours de Garat, Sicard, La Harpe et Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. Leçons d'analyse de l'entendement, art de la parole, littérature, morale. Paris: Presses de l’École normale supérieure), die sie der Forschung zugänglich macht.

Ein innovatives Moment der Lehre an der École Normale liegt bereits in der Art des Vortrags. Die Dozenten waren gehalten, ihre Ideen nicht schriftlich vorzubereiten, sondern diskursiv zu entwickeln. Die Mündlichkeit und die gewollte Spontaneität schlagen sich auch in den publizierten Texten nieder. Die gesprochene Sprache (parole) sollte die geschriebene (style) beleben und zugleich durch stilistische Übungen korrigiert werden.

Seine Erfahrungen im Taubstummenunterricht haben Sicard eine Sicht auf die geschriebene Sprache vermittelt, die er mit Aussagen der traditionellen Grammatik verbindet, die ihn aber auch zu einigen begrifflichen Präzisierungen und Neuerungen veranlasst. Diese zeigen sich vor allem in der Auflösung der Linearität der Abfolge von Subjekt, Kopula und Prädikativum sowie in seiner Bestimmung der Eigenschaften des Hilfsverbs und der Ellipse.

Garat stellte seine Überlegungen zur Analyse der Ideen ganz im Sinne der sensualistischen Lehre Condillacs dar, die zur Grundlage der Theorie der „Ideologen“ wurde, von der sie sich aber bald auf unterschiedliche Weise distanzierten. Erste Ansätze und Richtungen einer solchen Distanznahme sind bereits in den Reaktionen der Zuhörer an der École Normale zu erkennen. Von den Hörern Sicards wurden gleichfalls Einwände und weiterführende Gedanken eingebracht. So wendete Pierre Roland François Butet (1769–1825) Condillacs Definition der Hilfsverben nicht nur auf avoir und être, sondern auch auf aller, venir und devoir in Verbalperiphrasen an.

Konnten die innovativen Anstöße aus den Vorlesungen und Debatten an der École Normale des Jahres III jedoch in den später entstandenen Lehrbüchern der Hörer und in ihrem eigenen Unterricht umgesetzt werden? Eine Antwort soll auf der Grundlage einiger Elemente der Textserie erfolgen, die nach der Aufforderung des zuständigen Ministeriums an die Lehrer, ihre im Grammatikunterricht verwendeten Materialen einzusenden, entstanden war.

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Anna Havinga (University of Bristol)

The stigmatization of Austrian German in 18th- and 19th-century textbooks

Formal education is one of the most prominent ways to disseminate language norms. The prescription of such language norms in schoolbooks and grammars usually leads to the stigmatization of ‘other’ linguistic varieties and variants. In the case of 18th-century Austria, it was the (non-Austrian) East Central German variety which was propagated, while Austrian German variants were regarded as ‘inferior’ or ‘incorrect’ (cf. Wiesinger 1995). This development was supported by Empress Maria Theresia (1740-1780), who – with the help of the Prussian educationalist Johann Ignaz Felbiger – introduced compulsory elementary education and standardized curricula to her country in December 1774.

In this paper, I will trace this development by examining a selection of morphological variants in Austrian textbooks from the late 18th and early 19th century. In particular, I will investigate the occurrence and frequency of e-apocope, the loss of the prefix ge- and the use of the ending -t instead of -et in past participles as well as alternative forms of the verb “to be” in the first and third person plural (wir/sie sein/d/t) since these features are considered to be characteristic for the Austrian German variety (cf. Rössler 2005) and address the following questions:


Rössler, Paul. 2005. Schreibvariation – Sprachregion – Konfession. Graphematik und Morphologie in österreichischen und bayerischen Drucken vom 16. bis ins 18. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Wiesinger, Peter. 1995. ‘Die sprachlichen Verhältnisse und der Weg zur allgemeinen deutschen Schriftsprache in Österreich im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert.’ In: Gardt, Andreas et al. (eds.), Sprachgeschichte des Neuhochdeutschen. Gegenstände, Methoden, Theorien. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 319-367.

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Sonya Kirc (University of Nottingham)

Grammar Translation — Tradition or Innovation?

There is a general consensus that the Grammar-Translation method was the dominant means of foreign language instruction until the Reform Movement of the late 19th century (cf. Weihua 2013: 288, Musumeci 2011: 45-46, Mitchell 2009: 81, Farman 2007:8, Harden 2006: 35, Stern 2003: 454, Joseph 2002: 29, Richards & Rodgers 2001: 4, and Grenfell & Harris 1999: 11 et al.). Yet the Grammar-Translation method is often described cursorily, and negatively, by contrast with the more communication-oriented teaching practices developed from the late 19th and early 20th centuries onwards. It is also often claimed that when modern language learning was introduced, the Grammar-Translation method was borrowed from the method used in teaching Latin and Greek (cf. Weihua 2013: 288, Anderman & Rogers 2005: 18, & European Commission 2000: 11, et al.) Yet as Howatt and others have pointed out, the method originated in late 18th century as a ‘methodological compromise’ which began in modern foreign language teaching, rather than in the application of classical language methodology to modern foreign language teaching (Howatt 2009: 467). It was first applied in a French textbook for German learners, rather than in a Latin or Greek textbook; the early names associated with “Grammar-Translation” were all Prussian authors of modern language textbooks (Titone 2013: 387, Decoo 2011: 56, & Howatt 2004: 152).

This paper will re-examine the development and definition of the approach later dubbed by Wilhelm Viëtor and others the “Grammar-Translation method”. Beginning with an overview of the fundamental features of the approach, it will then explore the two key questions suggested by its treatment in secondary literature to date: 1. the evidence for its use in the teaching of the classics in the 19th century, and 2. to what extent the method was innovative in its time, rather than merely conservative and backward-looking, as it is so often portrayed.


Anderman, Gunilla, and Margaret Rogers. English in Europe: For Better or Worse. Edited by Gunilla Anderman and Margaret Rogers. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2005.

Council of Europe and European Commission. Methodology in Language Learning. Council of Europe, 2000.

Decoo, Wilfried. Systemization in Foreign Language Teaching: Monitoring Content Progression. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Farman, Sarah. Der Beitrag der Linguistik zur Grammatikvermittlung - Theoretische und Unterrichtspraktische Ansätze. Nordersteht: GRIN Verlag, 2007.

Grenfell, Michael, and Vee Harris. Modern Languages and Learning Strategies: In Theory and Practice. London: Routledge, 1999.

Harden, Theo. Angewandte Linguistik und Fremdsprachendidaktik. Tubingen: Narr Frank Attempto, 2006.

Howatt, APR, ed. A History of ELT. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

———. “Principles of Approach.” In Handbook of Foreign Language Communication and Learning, edited by Karlfried Knapp and Barbara Seidlhofer, 467–490. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009.

Joseph, John E. “Is Language a Verb? - Conceptual Change in Linguistics and Language Teaching.” In Language in Language Teacher Education, edited by H.R. Trappes-Lomax and Gibson Ferguson. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002.

Mitchell, Rosamon. “Foreign Language Teaching and Educational Policy.” In Handbook of Foreign Language Communication and Learning, edited by Karlfried Knapp, Barbara Seidlhofer, and H.G. Widdowson, 79– 108. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2009.

Musumeci, Diane. “The Context of Second-Language Teaching.” In The Handbook of Language Teaching, edited by Michael H. Long and Catherine J. Doughty. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

Richards, Jack C., and Theodore S. Rodgers. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. 7th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Stern, H.H. Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching. 12th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Titone, Renzo. “History: The Nineteenth Century.” In The Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning, edited by Michael Byram and Adelheid Hu, 386–394. 2nd ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2013.

Weihua, Yu. “Grammar-Translation Method.” In The Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning, edited by Michael Byram and Adelheid Hu, 287–289. 2nd ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2013.

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Ana Kotarcic (University of St Andrews)

Aristotle’s lexis — an early instance of prescriptive language teaching?

In his Poetics and Rhetoric III, Aristotle discusses the notion of lexis at the heart of which lies a theory of language and style. Not only is this concept innovative in 4th century Athens, but it is also clear that it exercised considerable influence on subsequent rhetoricians, such as Cicero and Quintilian, as well as many later linguists and rhetoricians. Given the structure and phrasing of these works, critics have repeatedly pointed out their prescriptive nature. If this verdict were accepted, one would expect to find in them a series of norms regulating language usage. Indeed, the point-by-point treatment of how to construct appropriate, i.e. correct, kinds of lexis clearly speaks in favour of this. However, a close examination of lexis reveals that labelling Aristotle’s exposition of this notion as prescriptive does not do justice to the many facets he attributes to this concept. In this paper, therefore, I will discuss three key issues which help support this claim. First, it is worth considering the circumstances in which these so-called prescriptions have arisen, as well as the audience for which they were intended. Second, given the complexity of Aristotle’s thoughts, an analysis of the various kinds of lexis he describes in the two works will help determine which type(s), if any, his prescriptions apply to. Finally, the criteria governing appropriateness of lexis will be scrutinised in order to establish the source of any normative claims. These considerations will not only allow for a better understanding of Aristotle’s concept of lexis, but will also shed light on methods of early language teaching.

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Han Lamers (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Latin Language Learning and Circuits of Word Circulation in the Neo-Latin world

Neo-Latin World Tracing the history of individual words in early modern Latin may seem an outmoded philological diversion. All the same, this approach may help us to understand important facets of early modern uses of Latin, namely the formation, learning and use, and description of Latin words. In this contribution, I will show how the notion of different circuits of word circulation (in this case language learning and use, textual criticism, and lexicography) may be useful to describe the history of individual word as well as to understand better how different forms of language use and description related in the early modern period. To illustrate this, two or three cases will be presented in some detail.

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Cristina Marras (ILIESI-CNR, Sapienza, Università di Roma)

“De Docendis Linguis” — a manuscript of G. W. Leibniz.

I would like to present, analyse and comment a manuscript of the German philosopher G. W. Leibniz (1646‐1716) entitled De docendis linguis. The manuscript is a short text, in Latin, still unpublished, written by Leibniz in 1678, and it has not been included in the Edition of the Akademie.1 I will present the unedited text, its transcription, its English translation, and how this writing is positioned in Leibniz’s monumental work. In particular, I will focus on to what extent the text is part of the discussion on teaching and learning (languages) in Early Modern period.

The manuscript is apparently devoted only to describe the best way of teaching a language, namely Latin to the Germans. But actually there are many important issues reflecting theories and practices in teaching and learning of Leibniz’s time. I will focus on three of these issues: 1. The teaching method; 2. The Tools for teaching and learning; 3. The recommendations.

I will thus conclude with a reflection on the relation between this text and the other texts concerning a didactic method in Leibniz and in particular those (very few) devoted to learning and teaching languages. These texts as well as many other texts related to the work of Leibniz on languages and language use, are not yet well explored. A careful and close look to language teaching and learning trough the analysis of the manuscript De Docendis Linguis can not only contribute to the Leibniz Sprachforschung but also, and especially, to the reconstruction of the context of education between XVI-XVII Century.

1 I am currently preparing a critical edition, which will be probably ready for the time of the colloquium. The manuscript is in the Ritter Katalogue, signature: LH V, 1, Bl. 3‐4,4.

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Stephanos Matthaios (Aristoteles-Universität Thessaloniki)

Streitigkeiten im Grammatikunterricht.
Zum theoretischen Hintergrund und zu den historiographischen Voraussetzungen der Analogie-Anomalie-Kontroverse

Zu Beginn seines grammatischen Lehrbuchs hat Dionysios Thrax bei der Ablaufbeschreibung einer Unterrichtsstunde das Aufstellen von Analogieschlüssen – den ἀναλογίας ἐκλογισμός – zu einer speziellen Aufgabe des Grammatiklehrers deklariert. Hierin spiegelt Dionysios die Vorgehensweise seiner Schultradition wider, welche, wie die spracherklärende Praxis der alexandrinischen Philologen es auch bestätigt, zwecks Ermittlung einer korrekten Wortform hinsichtlich der Prosodie, Orthographie und Flexion befolgt wurde und, weit über den Einzelfall hinaus, die Analogie zum Hauptkriterium des korrekten Sprachgebrauchs überhaupt erklärte. Die Bedeutung, die dem Analogieprinzip in der Lehre von der Sprachrichtigkeit beigemessen wurde, zeigt sich vor allem in einem lange anhaltenden Streit, der die alexandrinische und pergamenische Philologen- und Grammatikerschulen und ihre Exponenten Aristarch und Krates in zwei Lager gespalten hat. Die Bücher 8-10 von Varros De lingua Latina, aber auch die Darstellung der Hellenismos- und Analogielehre bei Sextus Empiricus (adv. math. 1,176-240) sind die Hauptzeugen der sogenannten Analogie-Anomalie-Kontroverse.

Dieser Streit stellt jedoch nach wie vor eines der umstrittensten Kapitel in der Historiographie der antiken Grammatik dar. Während man sich heute mehr oder minder über die analogistische Ausrichtung der alexandrinischen Philologen und Grammatiklehrer einig ist, erscheint nun Krates’ Position in diesem Streit problematisch. So hat David Blank in einer Reihe von Arbeiten (1994, 1998 und 2005) Varros Glaubwürdigkeit stark angezweifelt und daraus gefolgert, dass Varro die anomalistische Position aus einer empirischen Quelle epikureischer oder skeptischer Herkunft schöpft und fälschlicherweise auf Krates projiziert. Von Blanks These ausgehend, wird der Beitrag der Frage nach dem theoretischen Hintergrund der Analogie-Anomalie-Kontroverse erneut nachgehen und die vorgebrachten Einwände gegen den historischen Wahrheitsgehalt des Streits auf deren Stichhaltigkeit hin überprüfen. Das Augenmerk wird besonders auf die aus Blanks These resultierende Frage gerichtet, ob man berechtigt ist, den Analogie-Anomalie-Streit in Zusammenhang mit der ἐμπειρία-τέχνη-Opposition zu sehen, die Methodencharakter und epistemologischen Wert der antiken gram–matischen Wissenschaft betrifft.

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Tom McKenzie (Oxford University)

Presocratic Linguistic Theory and Practice. Interpretation and Education

This paper will explore how the linguistic theories of Heraclitus, Parmenides and Empedocles influenced the formal, structural and linguistic features of their work. It will be argued that these features serve a didactic function and are designed to bring the implied student to an understanding and acceptance of the philosophical theses advocated. It may therefore transpire that the earliest philosophical linguistic ideas in the Western tradition were a primary factor in the process of education envisaged for the student of these texts.

The three philosophers distinguish divine from human understanding and present humans as incorrectly interpreting the referents of the language they use. Heraclitus presents language as an autonomous system which is analogous to the system of the cosmos as a whole: both are available to mortals, but both are misinterpreted by the masses. As has long been recognised, his use of puns and ambiguous syntax reflect the paradoxes and flux of the universe. For Parmenides and Empedocles, mortals also misinterpret the cosmos, and so mortal language-use reflects such misunderstandings. Their poetic projects therefore involve modifying the student’s intuitive understanding of the referents of mortal language. It will be suggested that Empedocles, like Heraclitus, adopts formal literary techniques – such as word placement, repetition and onomatopoeia – to represent mimetically the cosmos he depicts in a manner which is not dependent upon the literal semantic meaning of the language he uses. Moreover, it will be argued that both Parmenides and Empedocles invite an interpretation of their terminology which, as in the case of early allegorical, oracular and dream interpretation, entails a rejection of its overt semantic meaning in order to reveal its true referents. As a result, we become increasingly aware of the problematic relationship between signifier and signified in everyday, mortal terminology.

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Hendri Schut (Isendoorn College / Leiden University)

“What lovely Oriental Glow enchants and smiles on us!”1
On the legacy of orientalist H.A. Hamaker (1789-1835) as an educator

Hendrik Arent Hamaker (1789-1835) was a Dutch professor of oriental languages in the early nineteenth century. Though an orientalist, he certainly didn’t limit himself, but extended his perspective to a wider range of interests and subjects.

Hamaker’s time constitutes in the history of the humanities a period of transition between generalizing and specializing attitudes, between still traditional and more modern approaches. Scholarly disciplines become more closely or even for the first time defined in their true subject matter and, not the least, methodological approach. New fields of research arise and are institutionalized. In covering a broad field of scholarly pursuit, as well as showing methodological scrutiny, Hamaker may be seen as typical.

Hamaker is credited with re-establishing Holland’s position in the international field of Oriental studies, which had somewhat waned. At the same time he re-gauged his professional subject in his use of a rigorous scholarly method. In doing this he is the first in a line of Dutch oriental scholars and linguists who would be in the first rows of research in the nineteenth century.

In some recent studies Hamaker’s role as an inspiring and influential teacher has been hinted at.2 Yet, much of it remains veiled. Moreover, in recent histories of Oriental scholarship Hamaker is a conspicuous absentee.3 Though Hamaker met with an untimely death, his activities do not justify this absence. As such there is a rather blurred perspective of the history of Oriental linguistics. This contribution tries to recapture Hamaker’s teaching activities and educational habits. It tries to establish the influence he exercised on his students. It looks at the reflection of Hamaker’s teaching in his own works and collects what his students acknowledge as their master’s touch.

1  This title translates a line from Willem Bilderdijk’s poem ‘Op de herbloeiende beoefening der Oostersche talen, aan Leydens Hoogeschool’(‘On the re-flourishing study of Oriental languages at Leyden’s University’), written in 1822, published in his collection of poems Rotsgalmen, Eerste Deel (Part 1), Leyden 1824, pp. 179-181.

2  Summarized in H. Stammerjohann (Ed.), Lexicon Grammaticorum. A Bio-Biographical Companion to the History of Linguistics, Vol. I, Tübingen 2009: “His wide influence in the various branches of lings. rested mainly on his oral teaching method and on his forming of a school. His many different interests, including, and propagating, the newly-founded IE. studies (cf. 1835), are reflected in the bibliography.”

3  E.g. Robert Irwin, For Lust of Knowing. The Orientalists and their Enemies, London 2006.

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Friederike Spitzl-Dupic (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand)

Zur Behandlung der Parenthesen in der deutschsprachigen Grammatikographie des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts

Die deutschsprachige Grammatikographie vom Ende des 18. bis in die 1. Hälfte des 19. Jhs. liefert in Deutschland die Grundlagen der noch heute aktuellen Schulgrammatik. Wenn von letzterer die Rede ist, wird sie in Geschichte und Gegenwart sehr regelmäßig als eine Wort- und Satzgrammatik dargestellt, dies auch in historiographisch ausgerichteten Arbeiten. So heißt es z.B. bei Erlinger (2007: 539):

»Die Grammatik, die wir [...] im muttersprachlichen Unterricht von Becker 'haben', zeigt deutlich seine Unterschrift: Satzlehre, Satzgliedlehre, Wortartenlehre, Formenlehre, Beziehungsbeschreibungen der am Satz beteiligten Elemente.« (ähnlich Knobloch 2000: 104, Linke, Nussbaumer & Portmann 52004: 245.)

Damit wird auch behauptet, dass die deutsche Schulgrammatik von Beginn an nicht nur satzübergreifende und textuelle Perspektiven, sondern auch pragmatische Aspekte aus ihren Überlegungen ausblendet.

Diese Darstellung findet sich indirekt in Arbeiten bestätigt, die die Anfänge der Textlinguistik in Deutschland in den 1960er Jahren verankern (cf. z.B. Glück, 22000: 729) und als Vorgänger ausschließlich Stilistiken und Rhetoriken nennen, aber nicht die Grammatikschreibung (vgl. z.B. Kalverkämper 2000, Sanders 2000).

Tatsächlich lässt sich aber feststellen, dass ab Ende des 18. Jhs. in der deutschen Grammatikographie durchaus sowohl textuellen als auch pragmatischen Aspekten Rechung getragen wird (vgl. z.B. Clarke & Nerlich 1996, Spitzl-Dupic 2010, 2012 und in Vorbereitung). Auch die Behandlung der Parenthese, die seit den Anfängen der deutschsprachigen Grammatikographie im 17. Jh. aus verschiedenen Perspektiven regelmäßig als ein Phänomen beschrieben wird, das außerhalb der Satzstruktur und / oder außerhalb eines als primär angesehenen Sinngeflechts steht, steht der Analyse der Schulgrammatik als einer rein morphosyntaktisch ausgerichteten Grammatikschreibung entgegen.

In meinem Vortrag möchte ich zeigen, wie Autoren deutschsprachiger (Schul-)Grammatiken des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts Parenthesen in syntaktischer, semantischer, typographischer, textueller und pragmatischer Perspektive behandeln, welche Einflüsse der zeitgenössischen sprachwissenschaftlichen Theorien dabei zur Wirkung kommen und welche Entwicklungen zu beobachten sind. Ein besonderes Augenmerk soll dabei auf normative Vorstellungen (vgl. z.B. Becker 21843: 428), auf das Verhältnis Ellipse – Parenthese (vgl. z.B. Herling 1830, 1: 164 ff.) sowie auf die Unterscheidung zwischen grammatischer und logischer Parenthese (vgl. z.B. Götzinger 1839, 1-2: 405 ff.) gelegt werden, da diese Aspekte im Mittelpunkt der zeitgenössischen Überlegungen stehen.


Adelung, J.Chr. 1781. Deutsche Sprachlehre, Leipzig: Breitkopf.

Adelung, J.Chr. 1782. Umständliches Lehrgebäude der deutschen Sprache zur Erläuterung der deutschen Sprachlehre für Schulen, 2 Bde., Leipzig: Breitkopf.

Adelung, J.Chr. 1785. Ueber den deutschen Styl. Bd. I-III, Berlin: Voß & Sohn.

Barbarić, St. 1981. Zur grammatischen Terminologie von Justus Georg Schottelius und Kaspar Stieler. Mit Ausblick auf die Ergebnisse bei ihren Vorgängern, 2 Bde., Bern: P. Lang.

Bauer, H. 1827-33. Vollständige Grammatik der neuhochdeutschen Sprache, Bd.4, Berlin: Reimer.

Becker, K.F. 1827. Deutsche Sprachlehre. Organism der Sprache als Einleitung zur deutschen Sprachlehre, Fankrfurt/Main: L. Reinherz.

Becker, K.F. 1836-37. Ausführliche deutsche Grammatik als Kommentar der Schulgrammatik, Bd. 1 u. Bd. 2, Frankfurt am Main: Hermann.

Becker, K.F. 21843. Ausführliche deutsche Grammatik als Kommentar der Schulgrammatik Bd. 2, neu bearbeitete Aufl., Frankfurt am Main: Hermann.

Becker, K.F. 21841. Organism der Sprache. 2. neubearbeitete Aufl., Frankfurt/M.: G.F. Kettembeil.

Braun, H. 1765. Anleitung zur deutschen Sprachkunst, München: Ott.

Clarke, D.D., Nerlich, B. (1996. Language, Action and Context. The Early History of Pragmatics in Europe and America, 1780-1930, Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Erlinger, H. D. 2007. „Zur Geschichte des muttersprachlichen Unterrichts in Deutschland 18.-20. Jahrhundert“. Schmitter, Peter (Hrsg.). Geschichte der Sprachtheorie (GdS). Sprachtheorien der Neuzeit III/2. Sprachbeschreibung und Sprachunterricht, Teil 2., posthum hrsg., bearbeitet und mit einem Register versehen von Lefteris Roussos. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 526-558.

Gottsched, J.Chr. 1748. Grundlegung einer deutschen Sprachkunst [...], Leipzig: Breitkopf.

Götzinger, M. W. 1836-1839. Die deutsche Sprache und ihre Literatur. Bd. I: Die deutsche Sprache. Theil 1-2, Stuttgart: Hoffmann’sche Verlags-Buchhandlung.

Glück, H. 22000. Metzler Lexikon Sprache, 2. überarbeitete, erw. Aufl, Stuttgart &Weimar, Metzler.

Heinze, J.M. 1759. Anmerkungen über des Herrn Professor Gottscheds Deutsche Sprachlehre nebst einem Anhange einer neuen Prosodie, Göttingen / Leipzig: Kübler.

Herling, S.H.A. 1830. Die Syntax der deutschen Sprache: Syntax des einfachen Satzes, Bd. 1, Frankfurt/Main: Hermann.

Kalverkämper, H. 2000, Vorläufer der Textlinguistik : die Rhetorik, dans Brinker, Kl., Antos, G., Heinemann, W. & Sager, S. F., Text- und Gesprächslinguistik / Linguistics of Text and Conversation. Ein internationales Handbuch zeitgenössischer Forschung / An International Handbook of Contemporary Research, HSK 16.1. Berlin & New York, de Gruyter, 1-17.

Knobloch, C. 2000. „Schulgrammatik als Modell linguistischer Beschreibung“. Morphologie/Morphology. Ein internationales Handbuch zur Flexion und Wortbildung. 1. Halbband. Hrsg. von Geert Booij, Christian Lehmann, Joachim Mugdan unter Mitarbeit von Wolfgang Kesselheim, Stavros Skopeteas, Berlin & New York, de Gruyter: 104-117.

Linke, A., Nussbaumer, M. & Portmann, P. R. 52004. Studienbuch Linguistik, 5. erw. Aufl., Tübingen: Niemeyer (Reihe germanistische Linguistik 121).

Pudor, Chr. 1672. Der teutschen [deutschen] Sprache Grundrichtigkeit und Zierlichkeit, Cölln a. d. Spree.

Schottelius, J.G. 1663. Ausführliche Arbeit von der teutschen HaubtSprache, Braunschweig.

Spitzl-Dupic, F. 2010. « La connexivité extra- et intratextuelle dans la grammaticographie allemande (début XVIIIe siècle - 1ère moitié du XIXe siècle. » Cahiers du LRL 4, sous la dir. de L. Fraczak, 2010, 127-159.

Spitzl-Dupic, F. 2012. « La notion de ‘Nachdruck’ dans la réflexion linguistique des XVIIIe–XIXe siècles ». In : Approches théoriques de la linéarité linguistique, Themenheft, hrsg. von F. Spitzl-Dupic Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft, 22-1., 1-8., 67-94.

Spitzl-Dupic, F. in Vorbereitung. « L’émergence et l’évolution d’une visée discursive, énonciative et pragmatique sur l’adjectif dans la grammaticographie allemande » dans Cahiers du LRL.

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Toon Van Hal (KU Leuven)

Sprachen, die Geschichte schreiben.
Zum Ursprung und frühesten Werdegang der sprachwissenschaftlichen Paläontologie vor Leibniz

1710 veröffentlichte Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz einen Aufsatz („Abriß meiner Studien zu den Ursprüngen der Völker, vornehmlich auf sprachlicher Grundlage“) mit dem folgenden Eröffnungssatz:

„Da die fernen Ursprünge der Völker über die Anfänge der historischen Überlieferung hinaus zurückreichen, ersetzen uns die Sprachen alte Denkmale“

Laut Leibniz lässt sich den Sprachen die Vorgeschichte entnehmen. Die Auffassung, dass Sprachen ‚Geschichte schreiben‘ können, ist heutzutage in der Sprach- und Geschichtswissenschaften ein bekanntes Prinzip. Obwohl manchmal die Meinung vertreten wird, Leibniz gelte als Vater dieser linguistisch-paläontologischen Methode, hat der Basisgedanke, dass Sprachen für die Vorgeschichtsforschung besonders aufschlussreich sein können, eine wesentlich längere Geschichte.

Ziel meines Vortrags ist es, sowohl den Ursprung als auch den Werdegang der linguistisch-paläontologischen Idee kurzgefasst darzustellen, bevor diese Idee zu einem Schwerpunkt im Leibniz' historischen Forschungsprogramm wurde. Nach einem kurzen Blick auf die Antike will ich die Aufmerksamkeit vor allem auf verschiedene Gelehrte aus dem 16. und 17. Jahrhundert lenken.


Bodinus, Joannes. 1566. Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem. Paris: Apud M. Iuvenem

Dutz, Klaus D. 1989. “‘Lingua Adamica nobis certe ignota est’. Die Sprachursprungsdebatte und Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.” In Theorien vom Ursprung der Sprache, herausgegeben von Joachim Gessinger und Wolfert von Rahden, I:204–240. Berlin-New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Gensini, Stefano. 1991. Il naturale e il simbolico. Saggio su Leibniz. Roma: Bulzoni.

Goropius Becanus, Johannes. 1569. Origines Antwerpianae, sive Cimmeriorum Becceselana novem libros complexa, Atuatica, Gigantomachia, Niloscopium, Cronia, Indoscythica, Saxsonica, Gotodanica, Amazonica, Venetica et Hyperborea. Antverpiae: ex officina Christophori Plantini.

Vermeulen, Han F. 2008. Early History of Ethnography and Ethnology in the German Enlightenment: Anthropological Discourse in Europe and Asia, 1710-1808. Leiden: Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation.

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Raf Van Rooy (KU Leuven)

Byzantine attitudes towards the notion of dialektos and the traditional Greek dialektoi.
The case of Michael Psellos

“Ταύτην μοι μόνην δίωκε, τῶν δ’ ἄλλων καταφρόνει (Follow this one alone indeed [sc. the koinè], and look down upon the others [sc. dialects])”; that is the prescriptive advice the Byzantine chronographer and philosopher Michael Psellos (ca. AD 1018–1078/81) gives to his readership at the beginning of his long didactic poem on grammar (Poemata, 6, 25; Westerink 1992). The first lines of this often overlooked poem not only reflect his answer to the diglossia of his time (he promotes the koinè, though he himself uses a polished mix of Attic, koinè, and later Byzantine varieties; Horrocks 2010: 233-236); they also shed light on his attitude towards the traditional Greek dialektoi. After offering a brief introduction to Psellos as a ‘guardian of language’ and his apparent ‘metalinguistic awareness’, my paper will examine the poem’s relevant parts in order to:

  1. (partially) reveal Psellos’ conceptualization of the notion of dialektos and of other terms that are connected with it (cf. Lambert 2009);
  2. gain insight as to which attitudes he adopts towards the traditional Greek dialektoi;
  3. contextualize Psellos’ stances against the background of Greek and Byzantine views on dialektos/dialektoi (cf. Morpurgo Davies 1987 and Hainsworth 1967 respectively).


Hainsworth, J. B. 1967. “Greek Views of Greek Dialectology”. Transactions of the Philological Society 65: 62–76.

Horrocks, Geoffrey. 2010. Greek. A History of the Language and Its Speakers. Second edition. Malden, Oxford & Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lambert, Frédéric. 2009. “Les noms des langues chez les grecs”. Histoire Épistémologie Langage 31 (2): 15–27.

Morpurgo Davies, Anna. 1987. “The Greek Notion of Dialect”. Verbum 10: 7–28.

Westerink, Leendert Gerrit. 1992. Michaelis Pselli Poemata. Stutgardiae et Lipsiae: in aedibus B.G. Teubneri.

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Christine Wallis (University of Sheffield)

Monasteriales Indicia: Teaching Monastic Sign Language in Anglo-Saxon England.

The text known as the Monasteriales Indicia survives in one eleventh-century manuscript (British Library, Cotton Tiberius A.iii), and describes the sign language to be used by the monks of an Anglo-Saxon monastery during times of silence. The practice of monastic silence originated in continental monasteries such as Cluny and Fleury, and made its way to Anglo-Saxon England under the influence of the tenth-century Benedictine reform. A number of sign language lists survive from the period, but the Monasteriales Indicia is the only one belonging to an Anglo-Saxon monastery, and the only one from this period in the vernacular. It gives us information about the sign system it describes, and also about the interaction between the sign system and the vernacular language used to describe it.

This paper examines how the Monasteriales Indicia teaches the signs by comparing its presentation of them, both with Continental texts from a similar period, and with later English lists from Bury St Edmunds and Syon Abbey. The presentation and make-up of the signs varies considerably, with later lists making greater use of signs made by compounding two or more smaller elements. Differences between the texts also show that the writer of the Monasteriales Indicia made less effort to explain the rationale behind its signs, creating a far less flexible sign system. Finally, I consider the ways in which the text was used, discussing questions such as, who read the list, how it may have aided learning, why the list was committed to writing, and how effective an aid it would have been in learning the signs.


Banham, Debby. 1996. Monasteriales Indicia: The Anglo-Saxon Sign Language. Hockwold-cum-Wilton: Anglo-Saxon Books.

Bruce, S. G. 2007. Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism: The Cluniac Tradition c.900-1200. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jarecki, W. 1981. Signa Loquendi: Die cluniacensischen Signa-Listen eingeleitet und herausgegeben. Baden Baden: Verlag Valentin Koerner.

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John Walmsley (Universität Bielefeld)

Parallel Grammar Series

A key area in the interaction between linguistics and education is the form (textual) in which information is encoded and presented. The usual assumption is that linguistic information is transported into foreign-language teaching (FLT) in the form of categories and the rules needed to ensure their satisfactory combination. Less obvious is the way in which teaching in turn exerts a retroactive influence on linguistics.

One kind of interface between linguistics and FLT is a parallel grammar series (PGS). By parallel grammar series is meant the encoding of two or more languages to-be-taught within a single unified grammatical framework. The most comprehensive example of a scheme of this kind is the Parallel Grammar Series of textbooks initiated by E.A. Sonnenschein (1859-1929). This series of grammar textbooks (it was actually named Parallel Grammar Series by Sonnenschein and his associates) initially comprised twenty-two volumes covering six languages (English, French, German, Greek, Latin and Spanish) published between 1888 and 1894 (although it was later to be significantly augmented). The fundamental assumption underlying the series was that „all the languages taught in schools . . . should be taught on the basis of a common system of grammatical classification and nomenclature.“

However, Sonnenschein's PGS was not the first of its kind. Over 250 years earlier, Wolfgang Ratke (1571-1635) had published a series of grammrs for five languages on almost identical principles. Despite proceeding from different philosophical viewpoints and in different historical contexts, the two series reveal remarkable similarities.

Relatively unexplored, however, remains the further question of the way in which such grammars themselves influence subsequent linguistic descriptions of language and languages. In the case of modern English, the retroactive insertion of specific grammatical categories into the general linguistic descriptive apparatus can be illustrated in detail.

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Rundbrief Studienkreis Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft (ISSN 0938-0361): 44/2014 – Tagungen des SGdS (Abstracts)
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