Hjelmslev, Prolegomena to A Theory of Language
In 1943 the first edition of the main work of the great Danish linguist Louis Hjelmslev (1899-1965) appeared, and bore the title “Omkring Sprogteoriens Grundlæggelse”. The work was translated into English as “Prolegomena to a Theory of Language” This work came to represent a breakthrough in linguistics and formed an entirely new branch of this field. The author begins by ascertaining that language is an inexhaustible wealth of manifold values; language is the tool with which man moulds thought and feeling, mood, aspiring, will and action, the tool with which he influences and is influenced, the last and deepest condition of human society. Although his analysis of the forms of language employs mathematical models, Hjelmslev was also determined not to neglect the human subject who uses language, which led him to an interest in psychology and Psychoanalysis.
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