Henry Sweet


Henry Sweet

Henry Sweet (1845-1912) was an English philologist, phonetician and grammarian. [http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O29-SWEETHenry.html Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language] ]

As a philologist, he specialized in the Germanic languages, particularly Anglo-Saxon (Old English), Old Icelandic, and West Saxon. In addition, Sweet published works on larger issues of phonetics and grammar in language and the teaching of languages. Many of his ideas have remained influential, and a number of his works continue to be in print, being used as course texts at colleges and universities.

Life and work

Henry Sweet was born in London and educated at King's College School, London. In 1864, he spent a short time studying at the University of Heidelberg. Upon his return to England, he took up an office job with a trading company in London. Five years later, aged twenty-four, he won a scholarship in German and entered Balliol College in Oxford.

Sweet neglected his formal academic coursework, concentrating instead on pursuing excellence in his private studies. Early recognition came in his first year at Oxford, when the prestigious Philological Society (whose President he was destined to become later on) published a paper of his on Old English. In 1871, still an undergraduate, he edited King Alfred's translation of the "Cura Pastorialis" for the Early English Text Society ("King Alfred's West-Saxon Version of Gregory's Pastoral Care: With an English Translation, the Latin Text, Notes, and an Introduction"), his commentary establishing the foundation for Old English dialectology. He graduated, nearly thirty years old, with a fourth-class degree in "literae humaniores". Subsequent works on Old English included "An Anglo-Saxon Reader" (1876), "The Oldest English Texts" (1885) and "A Student's Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon" (1896).

In 1877, Sweet published "A Handbook of Phonetics", which attracted international attention among scholars and teachers of English in Europe. He followed up with the "Elementarbuch des gesprochenen Englisch" (1885), which was subsequently adapted as "A Primer of Spoken English" (1890). This included the first scientific description of educated London speech, later known as received pronunciation, with specimens of connected speech represented in phonetic script. His emphasis on spoken language and phonetics made him a pioneer in language teaching, a subject which he covered in detail in "The Practical Study of Languages" (1899). In 1901, Sweet was made a reader in phonetics at Oxford. [ [http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Sweet-He.html The Columbia Encyclopedia] ] "The Sounds of English" (1908) was his last book on English pronunciation.

Other books authored by Sweet include "An Icelandic Primer with Grammar, Notes and Glossary" (1886), "The History of Language" (1900; 1995: ISBN 81-85231-04-4; 2007: ISBN 1-4326-6993-1), and a number of other works he edited for the Early English Text Society. Sweet was also closely involved in the early history of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Despite the recognition he received for his scholarly work, Sweet never managed to get a professorship with a university, a fact that disturbed him greatly; he had done poorly in school, he had annoyed many people through bluntness, and failed to make every effort to gather official support.Anthony Philip Reid Howatt, Henry George Widdowson: "A History of English Language Teaching". Oxford University Press (2004), S. 198–207. ISBN 0-19-442185-6 ( [http://books.google.com/books?id=g2e7iw_F-ZcC&pg=PA198&lpg=PA198&dq=henry+sweet+oxford&source=web&ots=UxyjKC7eIw&sig=15i3VS0kBjnrGV60j_nuva9d9kQ#PPA198,M1 Online-Text] )] His relationship with the Oxford University Press was often strained.

In the preface to his play "Pygmalion", George Bernard Shaw, after describing Sweet, stated that "Higgins is not a portrait of Sweet, to whom the adventure of Eliza Doolittle would have been impossible; still, as will be seen, there are touches of Sweet in the play."

Henry Sweet has retained a reputation as "the man who taught Europe phonetics". His work established an applied linguistics tradition in language teaching which has continued without interruption to the present day.

A bibliography and "Collected Papers" were published by H. C. Wyld.

Further reading

* Charles Leslie Wrenn, 'Henry Sweet', "Transactions of the Philological Society" 46.177-201 (1946)
* cite book
title=A History of English Language Teaching
author=Anthony Philip Reid Howatt, H. G. Widdowson
year=2004
publisher=Oxford University Press
isbn=0194421856

References

External links

* cite book
title=A History of English Language Teaching
author=Anthony Philip Reid Howatt, H. G. Widdowson
year=2004
publisher=Oxford University Press
isbn=0194421856
url=http://books.google.com/books?id=g2e7iw_F-ZcC&pg=PA198&lpg=PA198&dq=henry+sweet+oxford&source=web&ots=UxyjKC7eIw&sig=15i3VS0kBjnrGV60j_nuva9d9kQ#PPA198,M1

*
* [http://victorian.fortunecity.com/vangogh/555/Spell/sweet-short.html Henry Sweet's "The Principles of Spelling Reform"]
* [http://dlxs2.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=cdl;idno=cdl426 An Anglo-Saxon primer] Cornell University Library Historical Monographs Collection. {Reprinted by} [http://www.amazon.com/dp/1429740426/?tag=corneunivelib-20 Cornell University Library Digital Collections]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Henry Sweet — (* 15. September 1845 in London; † 30. April 1912 in Oxford) war ein britischer Philologe, Linguist und einer der Begründer der Phonetik. Sweet erhielt seine Ausbildung an der King s College School in London, an de …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Henry Sweet — (15 septembre 1845 30 avril 1912) est un philologiste anglais spécialisé dans l enseignement de la langue anglaise. Henry Sweet Catégories : Naissance en 1845Décès en 1912Philologie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Henry Sweet — noun English phonetician; one of the founders of modern phonetics (1845 1912) • Syn: ↑Sweet • Instance Hypernyms: ↑phonetician …   Useful english dictionary

  • Henry, Sweet Henry — Infobox Musical name= Henry, Sweet Henry subtitle= caption= Original Recording music= Bob Merrill lyrics= Bob Merrill book= Nunnally Johnson basis= Novel and film The World of Henry Orient productions= 1967 Broadway awards= Henry, Sweet Henry is… …   Wikipedia

  • Sweet (disambiguation) — Sweet is the basic taste sensation of sweetness, associated with sugars.Sweet may also refer to: * A sweet, an item of confectionery * Sweet, the final part of a meal otherwise known as dessert or puddingMedia* Sweet (band), a 1970s British rock… …   Wikipedia

  • Sweet — ist das englische Wort für „süß“ und bezeichnet The Sweet, eine britische Glamrock Band der 1970er Jahre Sweet (Idaho), einen Ort in den Vereinigten Staaten Sweet ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Blanche Sweet (1896–1986), US… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sweet — This interesting and long established surname is of Anglo Saxon origin, and belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with… …   Surnames reference

  • Sweet Valley High — Author Francine Pascal Country United States Language English Genre Children s literature Published 1983 …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Hart (musician) — Henry Hart (1839 1915) was an African American musician. He composed, led the Henry Hart Minstrels, was proclaimed a social necessity in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was the leader a family musical group, about which Emma Lou Thornbrough wrote, The …   Wikipedia

  • Henry de Bracton — was appointed to the coram rege, the advisory council of Henry III of England Henry of Bracton, also Henry de Bracton, also Henrici Bracton, or Henry Bratton also Henry Bretton (ca. 1210–68) was an English jurist. He is famous now for his… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.