Antedating of "Folkloristics"

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 16 06:36:26 UTC 2011

Shortly before and during the war a substantial number of East European,
French and German linguists/philologists moved to the US and the UK,
including a number who were interested in what would become
folkloristics. I am sure they would have calqued a lot of German and
Russian terminology. This could have been one of them--but you need to
look closer at the context of both the excerpt and the volume (and its
editors) in general. But it's also important that "folkloristics" also
played a role in "Nazi-Deutsch"--or, more importantly, in Nazi culture,
so what was meant by the term might not have been stable. When I worked
on the Jakobson archive, I know I filed away some letters from the 1950s
that talked about folkloristics albeit in Russian. Jakobson's
correspondence with Gordon Wasson on the etymology and the role of
mushrooms in East European folklore is from the 1940s, spilling into the
1950s (Wasson's book came out in 1957, but he also played a role in
Jakobson's citizenship hearings), but I don't know if it mentions
"folkloristics". Certainly the area was of interest to Jakobson and
people he corresponded with, but the question of terminology antedating
simply cannot be answered from memory.


On 1/15/2011 7:53 PM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:
> It seems to me you have to decide whether to treat it as mistaken spelling
> of a German word (in a list of German words) or the intrusion of a brand
> spanking new English in a list of German words. Not my job, but I think it
> looks like a mistake. I would also love to look at book to see if other
> similar mistakes occur.
> DanG

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