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The American Language Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 123 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The American Language.
This section contains 3,702 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay excerpt, Nelson examines the difficulty scholars have had in evaluating the impact The American Language and Mencken have had on linguistics.

Probably no one would take exception to [Raven] McDavid's observation that "a tremendous growth took place in American linguistics between the first edition of The American Language in 1919 and the fourth in 1936", but not everyone would feel entirely comfortable with his implication of a causal relationship. Mencken's influence on linguistics has proved difficult to evaluate, in part because it has been primarily literary and inspirational. Mencken kept to his own haunts and developed his own procedures, in which circumstance or accident sometimes played a part. He had no students who would institutionalize his ideas and developed no subfield to be identified with him. That is to say, he did not behave in ways that would make him comparable to the specialized, scientifically oriented...

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This section contains 3,702 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The American Language Study Guide
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The American Language from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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