Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – a former student at the Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 4

karlverner

Lingoblog is celebrating the summer with a biography about the world-famous linguist Karl Verner in four parts. In case you missed the first three parts, follow the links here, here and here. Look forward to many more interesting posts after the summer break.

Professor in Copenhagen

When Karl Verner’s teacher, Professor Smith, died in 1881, Verner decided despite great hestitation to apply for a position at Copenhagen University as an associate professor in Slavic studies. From April 1888 he was appointed extraordinary professor. The same year he was – reluctantly – made part of The Royal Danish Society of Sciences, even though he had despised fancy company throughout his life. He preferred the company of the common people …

Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – a former student from Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 3

karlverner

Lingoblog is celebrating the summer with a biography of the world-famous linguist Karl Verner in four parts. In case you missed the first two parts, you can follow this link and this link. Don’t forget to read the last part of the series next week.

Back to Aarhus – the location of the great discovery

After finishing his studies, Karl Verner had to return to his hometown Aarhus. There were no financial possibilities for him to stay in Copenhagen. In the Aarhusian carpenter home, Karl Verner had to manage with his family’s help. He earned a bit with bookkeeping and administration for the family store. But most of all, he spent his time on his own studies. In a …

Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – an former student of Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 2

karlverner

Lingoblog is celebrating the summer with a biography of the world-famous linguist Karl Verner in four parts. In case you missed the first part of the series, you can follow this link. Read along next week where you can read more about Verner’s professional life.

Shortly after making his discovery, Verner shared it with Vilhelm Thomsen (1842-1927) who was an editor for a Danish scientific journal. A linguist himself, Thomsen later became an internationally highly regarded specialist within the field of Indo-European linguistics. He thought the discovery to be true and encouraged Verner to send a manuscript to a German journal so that the groundbreaking discovery could be distributed to a larger audience. Because of this, Karl Verner had …

Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – a former student from Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 1

karlverner

Few people who walk into the buildings of Aarhus Cathedral School, the red and the gray, are aware that someone who once spent many hours studying here went on to being world famous. And even better that the basis of this fame was founded at the Cathedral School, in an area of study unknown to most people.

Few of the students rushing along Vestergade in Aarhus on their way to school even pay attention to the memorial plaque on the gray house number 5: “The linguist Karl Verner 7th of March 1846 – 5th of November 1896 lived here from 1851 to 1875”. Today there is a shoe store and a fur store on the ground floor, but …

What is schwa?

what is schwa

A friend asked me this question recently. I thought the answer was simple, something along the lines of ‘it is the sound you make in unstressed syllables when your oral articulators are doing nothing and your vocal folds vibrate’. A sort of unmarked setting of the articulatory muscles if you will. But alas, nothing is ever as simple as it seems which I quickly realised during my reading. And what better way to share my new insights than with a Lingoblog entry! The focus of this blog post is the articulatory aspects of schwa, though many other interesting fields are relevant to a description of the sound.

Is schwa a mid-central vowel?     
Schwa (named after a Hebrew diacritic by German …

Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (1911-2010)

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Lingoblog continues to provide you with suggestions for your summer readings on various linguistic topics. This week we have found a biography of language researcher Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (1911-2010).

In January 1999, a few years after I had moved to Denmark, I was astounded to come across an interview in the Danish weekly Weekendavisen with the renowned Danish phonetician Eli Fischer- Jørgensen (henceforth EFJ) and marveled: She is still alive! Having made her name in publications as early as the first half of the past century, in the interview EFJ still appeared intellectually unabated, and full of new writing plans yet. She even remarked that she hoped soon to finish a major work on a special liturgic form of Danish!

In …

The menstrual cycle in linguistics?

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When people find out I’m a phonetician who happens to be interested – among other things – also in the potential effects of the menstrual cycle on language and speech, they typically present me with fairly excited reactions. Why would a linguist be interested in anything to do with the menstrual cycle? I’ll attempt to answer this question in this blog entry, with the caveat that my research focuses on phonetics and phonology, i.e. sounds and not, for instance, word order.

Larynx as a sexual organ

The larynx has been called a secondary sexual organ (e.g. Abitbol et al. 1989; Amir & Biron-Shental 2004; Collins & Missing 2003; Hall 1995; Henton & Bladon 1985). This is because the larynx does …