Leonard Bloomfield  

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"To study this co-ordination of certain sounds with certain meanings is to study language' (Bloomfield 1933: 27).


"Two twentieth-century American linguists have been particularly influential in shaping a "linguistics without meaning": Leonard Bloomfield and Noam Chomsky." --Semantics: Primes and Universals, 1996, Anna Wierzbicka


"After Ferdinand de Saussure, the history of structural linguistics branches off in two separate directions. First, in America, linguist Leonard Bloomfield's reading of Saussure's course proved influential, bringing about the Bloomfieldean phase in American linguistics that lasted from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s. Bloomfield bracketed all questions of semantics and meaning as largely unanswerable, and encouraged a mechanistic approach to linguistics. The paradigm of Bloomfieldean linguistics was replaced by the paradigm of generative semantics with the publishing of Chomsky's Syntactic Structures in 1957." --Sholem Stein

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Leonard Bloomfield (April 1, 1887 – April 18, 1949) was an American linguist who led the development of structural linguistics in the United States during the 1930s and the 1940s. His influential textbook Language, published in 1933, presented a comprehensive description of American structural linguistics. He made significant contributions to Indo-European historical linguistics, the description of Austronesian languages, and description of languages of the Algonquian family.

Bloomfield's approach to linguistics was characterized by its emphasis on the scientific basis of linguistics, adherence to behaviorism especially in his later work, and emphasis on formal procedures for the analysis of linguistic data. The influence of Bloomfieldian structural linguistics declined in the late 1950s and 1960s as the theory of generative grammar developed by Noam Chomsky came to predominate.

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