The fate of form in the Humboldtian tradition: The Formungstrieb of Georg von der Gabelentz

James McElvenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The multifaceted concept of ‘form’ plays a central tole in the linguistic work of Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835), where it is deeply entwined with aesthetic questions. H. Steinthal's (1823–1899) interpretation of linguistic form, however, made it the servant of psychology. The Formungstrieb (drive to formation) of Georg von der Gabelentz (1840–1893) challenged Steinthal's conception and placed a renewed emphasis on aesthetics. In this endeavour, Gabelentz drew on the work of such figures as August Friedrich Pott (1802–1887), Hans Conon von der Gabelentz (1807–1874) and William Dwight Whitney (1827–1894). In this paper, we examine Gabelentz' Formungstrieb and place it in its historical context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-42
JournalLanguage and Communication
Volume47
Early online date14 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Keywords

  • history of linguistics
  • linguistic form
  • aesthetics
  • Georg von der Gabelentz
  • Wilhelm von Humboldt
  • H. Steinthal

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