Marxism and the philosophy of language

Yuri Tambovtsev yutamb at MAIL.RU
Sat Sep 13 17:45:07 UTC 2008


Dear LinguistList colleagues, I wonder if many of linguists used the frequency of prepositions in the text of different authors as the basis for determining authorship. Our small group of computational linguists used some simple statistical criterion, i.e. Chi-square, to juxtapose the use of some fuctional words in the text of Bakhtin (it is more correctly to write his name BAHTIN, to my mind!) and the controvercial work of Voloshinov "MARKSIZM I FILOSOFIJA JAZYKA"(Marxism and the philosophy of language) which was often ascribed to M. M. Bahtin. Could you give me some references to the books and articles which proved or at least stated that the text in question, that is, "MARKSIZM I FILOSOFIJA JAZYKA"(Marxism and the philosophy of language) was really written by M.M. Bahtin, but was published under the name of Voloshinov. I know that Wikipedia stated it, but no other articles published under the exact names of linguists. It was surprising to find out that some texts of I.V. Stalin were close enough to those of "MARKSIZM I FILOSOFIJA JAZYKA"(Marxism and the philosophy of language). Was it because Stalin wrote about Marxism? Was it fashinable to imitate Stalin's style? Actually, I agree to some American linguists who think that during the time, late 1920s and early 1930s, V.I. Lenin's influence was waning and Stalin's was rising.  As Stalin became a dominant figure, those who wrote derivative material emulated his phrasing and style--a kind of prestige and survival device, one that was likely to be approved of and and that satisfied critics. In that kind of political environment, any public discussion involving Marxism would have to reflect the ascendant and dominant theoretical perspective, and style is a significant component of that.  It remains to be demonstrated that this kind of unconscious but determined imitation is sufficient to produce a statistical closeness of the kind we are discussing. So, it is still an enigma who wrote "MARKSIZM I FILOSOFIJA JAZYKA"(Marxism and the philosophy of language), or is it not? Do you know any references to the authorship of "MARKSIZM I FILOSOFIJA JAZYKA"(Marxism and the philosophy of language)? Looking forward to hearing from you soon to yutamb at mail.ru about this mystery "MARKSIZM I FILOSOFIJA JAZYKA"(Marxism and the philosophy of language). Remain Yours sincerely Yuri Tambovtsev, Novosibirsk, Russia
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