Arbitrary, Natural, Other

J. G. Herder and Ideologies of Linguistic Will

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article argues for a more sophisticated reading of linguistic naturalism, and a new ecological understanding of language's continuous change, in J. G. Herder's Treatise on the Origin of Language. I make the case that Herder's rejection of linguistic "arbitrariness" (Willkürlichkeit) was part of a broader, characteristically Romantic effort to theorize a different kind of linguistic will, distributed among a group or collective. The article ends by suggesting that ideologies contributing to linguistic nationalism for which he is often held accountable actually embody habits of thought that Herder wrote precisely to unravel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-280
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Romantic Review
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016

Fingerprint

Ideologies
linguistics
naturalism
language change
habits
nationalism
Johann Gottfried Herder
Ideology
language
Herders
Group
Arbitrariness
Naturalism
Origin of Language
Language
Linguistic Nationalism
Habit
Thought
Treatise
Rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

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Arbitrary, Natural, Other : J. G. Herder and Ideologies of Linguistic Will. / Wolff, Tristram Nash.

In: European Romantic Review, Vol. 27, No. 2, 03.03.2016, p. 259-280.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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