The source code, if you will: An outline of English structure

There may be folks out there who have wondered, where did the Trager/Smith notation come from? How did the original authors envision it being used? What were their motivations for creating it?

Ladies and gentlemen, if you have not had a chance to see Trager and Smith’s original material on the Trager/Smith notation, I present it to you below…

Trager, George L., and Henry Lee Smith. 1957.An outline of English structure [4th printing]. Washington: American Council of Learned Societies.

Note: Recall that a critique of the Trager/Smith notation by Kurath is also available on the blog.


About daviddurian
I am a sociolinguist with a Ph D in Linguistics from The Ohio State University. Currently, I work as the Lecturer at Rice University, where I teach undergraduate courses in both sociolinguistics and general linguistics. I also work on research projects investing language variation and change in US English a variety of cities. Specifically, at the moment, this includes Houston, Chicago, and Columbus, OH.

2 Responses to The source code, if you will: An outline of English structure

  1. Matt Gordon says:

    I’m sure you’re familiar with this Stockwell and Minkova piece:

    which includes some brief criticism of Labov’s adaptation of the T&S system.

    They also misuse an early NWAVe version of my Michigan research by reproducing the figure of the NCS that my paper was challenging.

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