an historical (pronouncing the h)

Geoff Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Wed Sep 15 10:29:06 UTC 2010

True anecdote. 
As an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto in the late sixties, I explored the library of the Linguistics program (not yet a department), headed by one Martin Joos (some of you may know the name). In it there was a copy of the once-famous pamphlet by Victor Yngve about center-embedding, entitled 

A model and a hypothesis for language structure. 

It was Joos's copy, and he had written in pencil on the cover 'whoever wrote this had a tin ear'. 

Although Joos is long gone, Vic is still working and I see him occasionally at conferences. 

Pulled from J-Stor for those interested: 

    • A Model and an Hypothesis for Language Structure 
    • Victor H. Yngve 
    • Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 104, No. 5 (Oct. 17, 1960), pp. 444-466 (article consists of 23 pages) 
    • Published by: American Philosophical Society 
    • Stable URL: 

Geoffrey S. Nathan 
Faculty Liaison, C&IT 
and Professor, Linguistics Program 
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT) 
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics) 

The American Dialect Society -

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