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16674Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien, Barfield---and contemporary linguistic theory???

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  • John D Rateliff
    Jun 1, 2006
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      Interesting field of inquiry, and I hope you'll let us know what you
      turn up (or at least where you publish your end results). I did want
      to note though that there's a major assumption in your query, when
      you refer to "the theory of language held by Tolkien, that of
      Barfield". While this has been suggested in the past (most notably in
      V.F.'s SPLINTERED LIGHT), it has by no means been proven that Tolkien
      adopted Barfield's theories. So long as you distinguish "was aware
      of, and influenced by" from "accepted", I think you'll be okay.
      A quick google search turned up a presentation by one Joseph
      Subbiondo ("The Semantic Theory of Owen Barfield: The Study of
      Consciousness in Linguistic Theory") that might be a start along the
      lines you're investigating, assuming it's been published. Here's the
      link: http://linguistlist.org/~naahols/Newsletter18.html
      --JDR


      On May 31, 2006, at 3:14 PM, Kevin Bowring wrote:
      > Can anyone point me towards something to read evaluating the theory
      > of language held by Tolkien, that of Barfield, in comparison with
      > contemporary linguistics? I suspect that Tolkien and Barfield are
      > rather wildly out of step with contemporary theory. I noticed in
      > the Bibliography at the elvish.org website, for instance, a book by
      > Jean Aitchison called Language Change: Progress or Decline?, but
      > the bibliography is not annotated, so who knows what to do with it?
      > If there is someone more knowledgeable than myself who has ever
      > delved into these deep waters, I would greatly appreciate your advice.
      > Kevin Bowring



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