Gershon Legman

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Jun 26 14:37:23 UTC 1999


I know Legman was in touch with David Maurer, both in Maurer's earlier Ohio
State and later Univ. of Louisville venues. I would check those two places
first, perhaps the first through Pat Mullen, a foklorist at Ohio State.
Alan Futrell (sp?), U. of Louisville?, curiously neither an ADS or LSA
member!!!) was, to the best of my memory, one of those working on the
Maurer legacy and might have some info., and, while you're at it, you might
find out about the Maurer papers, surely some of the most valuable for
"underworld linguistics" around).

Wouldn't it be a hoot to have these papers with the Tamony collection?

dInIs (a long-time reader and admirer of Legman)

>I thought it was worth noting here the fact that Gershon Legman died on
>February 23.  Legman was a towering and courageous scholar in the fields
>of erotic folklore and bibliography, but he also made some notable
>linguistic contributions.  He wrote an excellent introduction to a reprint
>of Farmer and Henley, and Jonathan Lighter acknowledges his help in the
>front matter to the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang.
>Of greatest importance to linguists, he published a pioneering glossary of
>homosexual vocabulary in 1941, which, among other things, includes the
>earliest known unambiguous occurrence of the term _gay_ 'homosexual.'
>Legman mentions in his Farmer and Henley introduction that he had an
>extensive collection of slang citations.  This, together with other
>materials of his, is probably of great importance.  Does anyone know
>anything about the disposition of Legman's books and papers?
>Fred R. Shapiro                             Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
>Associate Librarian for Public Services     TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
>  and Lecturer in Legal Research            ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
>Yale Law School                             Oxford University Press, 1998
>e-mail: fred.shapiro at               ISBN 0-19-509547-2

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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