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16679Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien, Barfield---and contemporary linguistic theory???

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  • Larry Swain
    Jun 2, 2006
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      I need to reread Splintered Light, I guess, but I had always thought that Tolkien was influenced by late 19th century philologists and early 20th century philologists who looked for ur-language and were more interested in concrete concepts than abstract, still under the influence of medieval thought that the name, the word, has the essence of the thing. Have I missed something?

      Larry Swain


      >
      >
      > John,
      > I agree with you about the relationship between Barfield and
      > Tolkien--that is why I did not say "Tolkien AND Barfield." I have
      > always thought the Prof. Flieger overstated the case. I suspect
      > that a closer look at Tolkien will show up important distinctions
      > from Barfield; I am quite sure that he would not accept the
      > Steinerian twist on "evolution of consciousness". Fleshing out the
      > differences would, I am sure, be illuminating. I have just read
      > Poetic Diction for about the fifth time--a book I really love, but
      > one that in some ways drives me crazy--and was struck by the
      > prominence of the evolutionary theme, which I had really missed the
      > first time or two through it.
      > Thanks for the link, too.
      > Kevin
      >
      >
      > | On Thu, 1 Jun 2006 13:49:00 -0700
      > | John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
      > | 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
      > |
      > |
      > |
      > | [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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