Linguistics and English Language

Language in context seminar

Speaker: James McElvenny (University of Edinburgh)

Title: International Language and the Everyday: contact and collaboration between C.K. Ogden, Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath

Abstract: Although now largely forgotten, the international language movement was, from the 1880s to the end of the Second World War, a matter of widespread public interest, as well as a concern of numerous scientists and scholars. The primary goal was to establish a language for international communication, but in the early twentieth century an increasing accent was placed on philosophical considerations: wanted was a language better suited to the needs of modern science and rational thought. In this talk, I will examine the example of the English scholar C.K. Ogden’s international language Basic English and his efforts to win the Vienna Circle philosophers Otto Neurath and Rudolf Carnap over to the project. Basic is shown to be an implementation of key ideas in Ogden’s philosophy of language, ideas shared to a large extent with Neurath and Carnap. This we see through an examination of their unpublished correspondence, as well as through the collaboration that emerged between Ogden and Neurath, in which Neurath’s Isotype, a system for graphically representing statistical data, became closely aligned with Basic.

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Stephen McNulty

Sarah Van Eyndhoven

Co-ordinators of LinC

 

We hope to see you very soon!

Mar 27 2019 -

Language in context seminar

2019-03-27: International Language and the Everyday: contact and collaboration between C.K. Ogden, Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath

Room 2.14, Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9LE