Bloomfield, Leonard (1887–1949), American linguist and founder of structural linguistics. Born in Chicago, Bloomfield graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1906 and received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1909. In 1917 he extensively researched Tagalog and other Austronesian languages, and in the 1920s he worked on grouping Native American languages. He played a key role in the founding of the Linguistic Society of America in 1924. Bloomfield is best known for his commitment to linguistics as an independent science and his insistence on using scientific procedures. Early in his career he was influenced by behaviorism, a school of psychology based on the objective study of behavior. He based his work, especially his approach to meaning, on behavioristic principles. His major work, Language (1933) is regarded as the classic text of structural linguistics, also called structuralism. The book synthesized the theory and practice of linguistic analysis.
Copied from: Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2004