Adam Smith om språket
Adam Smith on language. Like most 18th century scholars, Adam Smith was not restricted to one field. One of his interests, besides economics, was language, which may partly be a consequence of his Scottish origin and the low standing of the Scottish dialect. Smith's Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres deals with various aspects of language. Smith appears to be a purist, critical of French influence on the English language. Concerning rhetoric, different rules prevail for different kinds of presentation. In the long essay Considerations Concerning the First Formation of Languages and the Different Genius of original and compounded Languages Smith concludes that the first words were probably verbs. Furthermore, when old languages with complex morphologies were in contact, new languages with simpler morphologies but more complex syntaxes developed. As with his approach to the economy, Smith saw languages as systems of interdependent parts.
|Date of creation:||09 Dec 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Økonomi og tid. 18 essays i Pufendorf-tradisjon, Knudsenand, J.P., Sødal, S. (eds.), 2010, pages 123-131, Fagbokforlaget, Bergen.|
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