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2009.12.27 (14:38:02)
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Song, Kyung-An. 2003. Otto Jespersen and Otto Funke. English Language and Linguistics 15, 81-97. This paper surveys the linguistic debate between the contemporaries, Otto Jespersen, a Dane, and Otto Funke, a German, and takes a glance at a part of academic career of Jespersen. The debate between the two scholars was initiated by Funke’s review of The Philosophy of Grammar, to which Jespersen replied. Funke again answered with a short critique of the reply. The critique included two main points. First, he criticized Jespersen’s classification of three areas of language: form, meaning and function. He argued that Jespersen’s concept “function” was not very clear, and the two other categories were sufficient. Funke additionally criticized Jespersen’s theory of three ranks. He argued that the three ranks applied to the noun phrase, but not to the other areas such as nexus relations. Funke’s critiques seems to be reasonable. At the same time, however, Jespersen’s concepts appear to be worth keeping. Though they are somewhat vague and unclear, as is often the case with the terms or the concepts of the traditional grammar, they might have their own roles for the linguistic description.