Language: Communication and Human Behavior

The Linguistic Essays of William Diver

Editors: Alan Huffman and Joseph Davis
William Diver of Columbia University (1921-1995) critiqued the very roots of traditional and contemporary linguistics and founded a school of thought that aims for radical aposteriorism in accounting for the distribution of linguistic forms in authentic text. Grammatical and phonological analyses of Homeric Greek, Classical Latin, and Modern English reveal language to be an instrument whose structure is shaped by its communicative function and by the peculiarly human characteristics of its users. Diver's foundational works, many never before published, appear here newly edited and annotated, with introductions by the editors. The volume presents for the first time to a wide audience the depth and originality of Diver's iconoclastic thought.
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Biographical Note

William Diver, Ph.D. (1953) in Linguistics, Columbia University, was Professor of Linguistics at Columbia University and the intellectual founder of the Columbia School of Linguistics. He was Professor Emeritus until his death in 1995.

Alan Huffman, Ph.D. (1985) in Linguistics, Columbia University, is Professor of Linguistics and English in The City University of New York. He is the author of The Categories of Grammar: French lui and le (John Benjamins, 1997), and many articles on Columbia School linguistics.

Joseph Davis, Ph.D. (1992) in Linguistics, Columbia University, is Associate Professor of Linguistics in the School of Education, The City College of New York. He was co-editor of Advances in Functional Linguistics: Columbia School Beyond its Origins (John Benjamins, 2006).

Table of contents

Introduction: The Enduring Legacy of William Diver
Alan Huffman

PART I: INTRODUCTION TO DIVER’S THOUGHT
1. Substance and Value in Linguistic Analysis
William Diver
2. The Nature of Linguistic Meaning
William Diver
3. The Elements of a Science of Language
William Diver

PART II: GREEK
4. The Dual
William Diver
5. Putting the Horse Before the Cart: Linguistic Analysis and Linguistic Theory
William Diver
6. The System of Relevance of the Homeric Verb
William Diver
7. Spheres of Interaction: Linguistic Analysis and Literary Analysis
William Diver

PART III: LATIN
8. The Subjunctive Without Syntax
William Diver
9. Latin Voice and Case
William Diver and Joseph Davis
10. Avoidance of the Obvious: The Pronoun as a Minimax Solution
William Diver
11. The Latin Demonstratives
William Diver
12. Latin se
William Diver

PART IV: PHONOLOGY
13. Phonology as Human Behavior
William Diver
14. The Phonology of the Extremes Or, What is a Problem?
William Diver and Joseph Davis
15. The Phonological Motivation for Verner’s Law and Grimm’s Law
William Diver and Alan Huffman

PART V: LINGUISTIC THEORIES
16. Traditional Grammar and Its Legacy in Twentieth-Century Linguistics
William Diver, Joseph Davis, and Wallis Reid
17. Theory
William Diver

Part VI: RECAPITULATION: THE HISTORY OF LINGUISTICS
18. The History of Linguistics in the West: How the Study
of Language Went Wrong in the Western Tradition
William Diver

Bibliography of William Diver
General Bibliography

Readership

Linguists, scholars and students with an interest in linguistic theory, functional linguistics, historical linguistics, history of linguistics, phonology, grammars of English, Homeric Greek, and Latin; and classicists.

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