Tuesday, January 20, 2015

LSA 'Foundation Members' from Wisconsin

Somebody just told me about looking through the lists of original members of the Linguistic Society of America — they'd talked to someone at another university who'd actually investigated this in detail for their institution. The list of original members is published in the first issue of Language, 1925, and includes everyone who had joined before the end of March of that year. I thought, "oh, great, I'll write a little quiz post asking who can guess the Wisconsin foundation members". Well, I checked out the list and the Wisconsin folks are probably not familiar to a lot of people, even those who know the history of linguistics on campus.
  • Prof. A. G. Laird, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. (Greek)
  • Dr. Raphael Levy, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc. (Romance Langs.) 
  • Prof. Antonio G. Solalinde, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc. (Spanish) 
  • Miss Else M. Saleski, Madison, Wis. (German, Univ. of Wisconsin) 
These were important figures on campus. Laird was editor of the Classical Journal 1907-1909, and Solalinde directed the dissertation of Lloyd Kasten, later a key figure in linguistics and philology on campus. Saleski, who went on to teach at Downer College (now UW–Milwaukee) and elsewhere, is mentioned in Julia Falk's Women, Language and Linguistics.

Others with strong Wisconsin connections include Leonard Bloomfield and Eduard Prokosch.

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