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the proposed session of a LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE at New Haven in the summer of 1928, with the use of the facilities of Yale University, might be publicly announced.
The securing of a corps of lecturers was less simple. Many scholars had by this time-late September and early October-already obligated themselves for other summer sessions, or were planning to spend the summer in Europe; still others felt the need of a complete rest during the summer. But in a comparatively short time the Faculty was completed virtually in the form in which it came together in the following summer; a few subsequent changes will be noted later.
The financial problem was not easy of solution. The initial overhead expense for printing and distribution of the circulars and for clerical work had to be met, even if the circulars evoked so little response that the project should be abandoned; but this was covered by a group of guarantors, who individually guaranteed proportionate shares in the deficit for overhead, not exceeding Twenty Dollars per guarantor. The names of the guarantors follow:
Harold H. Bender, Princeton Univ.
Roland G. Kent, Univ. of Pennsylvania
It was of course not expected that the guarantors would be called on if the INSTITUTE should actually be held. An Institute Fee of Twenty Dollars was fixed for each member of the INSTITUTE, except those conducting courses; this was to cover the printing, postage, clerical service, and library fees and any other charges which might have to be paid to Yale University, etc. To provide stipends for the members of the Faculty, a charge of Forty Dollars per course was established, this sum to go to the instructor; but the instructor was not obligated to conduct a course unless three students applied. If the registration for a course proved to be only two or one, it was left optional with the instructor whether he would actually conduct it or not.
With these arrangements, the informal committee went ahead hopefully, and prepared copy for a circular containing the names of the Faculty, the statements of the arrangements, and the titles and descriptions of the courses. They then had the matter brought before the annual meeting of the Linguistic Society at Cincinnati, on December 27, when the Society, on favorable recommendation of the Executive Committee, voted the following minute:
The LINGUISTIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA hereby approves the project of a LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE, to be held at New Haven in the summer of 1928, along the lines proposed by R. E. Saleski and E. H. Sturtevant, and authorizes the holding of it, under the administration of the following committee: E. H. Sturtevant, who is hereby appointed Director of the LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE; R. E. Saleski, who is appointed Assistant Director; and R. G. Kent.
The Society gives to the said Committee of Administration full powers to modify their plans and to cancel them in part or in whole, if the support which they secure for the INSTITUTE seems in their judgment insufficient.
The SOCIETY empowers the Executive Committee to authorize a continuance of the LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE in 1929, if this be recommended by the Committee of Administration, with or without a change in the membership of the Committee of Administration,
Provided always, that the LINGUISTIC SOCIETY incur no financial obligations therein,
The circulars were at once printed and sent out, to the members of the Linguistic Society of America, of the American Oriental Society, of the American Philological Association, of the Modern Language Association of America, of the American Anthropological Association, and of the American Psychological Association. At the same time reading notices were prepared and sent to a number of journals as well as to the Associated Press. In this way the problem of adequate publicity was more or less satisfactorily met.
In the circular, a request was made for preliminary registration by those persons who expected to attend the INSTITUTE. This was necessitated by the uncertainty whether the plan would evoke the response which would justify the Committee in continuing the preparations and in entering into a definite contract with the Yale Corporation for the use of the facilities of the University. This preliminary registration was not accompanied by any financial deposit, but was expected to be binding unless cancelled in writing before the opening of the INSTITUTE.
Early in February it was necessary to take the definite steps with the Yale authorities, and as at that time there were thirty-four preliminary registrations the Committee felt justified in proceeding. Arrangements were accordingly completed under which the INSTITUTE secured offices for the members of its Faculty, classrooms for the holding of the courses, special privileges in the Library, and the use of dormitory rooms in Welch Hall for those who wished such accommodations. The Library was to give full privileges to all members of the INSTITUTE, to place the necessary books on reference in a reading room, and to keep this reading room open until ten o'clock in the evening instead of closing at the customary hour of five o'clock (one o'clock on Saturdays). The only charges made by the University were those for the salary of the library attendant and for the library privileges of Institute members who were not already entitled to them through connection with Yale University. Those occupying dormitory rooms were of course also subject to the charge of four dollars per week.
For some weeks the LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE was in the process of correspondence and development merely; but before long there occurred several things worthy of mention. Dr. Willem L. Graff, Assistant Professor of Germanics at McGill University, was added to the Faculty, and his course on The History of the Dutch Language was announced in a second circular, distributed to all those who had sent in inquiries regarding the work or the courses. This second circular contained also a summary of the material given in the first circular, and a partial list of public lectures by members of the Faculty, to be given during the session.
There were also changes and losses. Dr. Henry Roseman Lang, Professor Emeritus of French at Yale University, who had agreed to conduct a course on Old French Phonology and Morphology, was compelled by ill health to withdraw, and the course was transferred to Dr. Otto Mueller, Professor of Romance Languages at Gettysburg College. A few days later, Dr. Pliny E. Goddard, Curator of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, also asked to be released for similar reasons; it was then that Dr. J. A. Mason, Curator of the American Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, was secured to give the course in Methods of Studying Unrecorded Languages, but Mr. Goddard's other course, in Linguistic Anthropology, was withdrawn. We must here chronicle the regrettable fact that Mr. Goddard's illness became rapidly worse, and terminated fatally on July 13. Finally, just a few days before the opening of the
session, word came from Dr. Walter Petersen, Associate Professor of Ancient Languages in the University of Florida, that he had suffered a nervous breakdown, and was unable to participate in the work. His course on Greek Dialects was taken by Dr. G. M. Bolling, Professor of Greek at the Ohio State University, but his course on Semantics had to be withdrawn.
Meantime, however, a most important change had taken place in the financial status of the INSTITUTE. The Executive Committee of the Linguistic Society and the Administrative Committee of the LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE had made application to the Carnegie Corporation of New York for a substantial subvention for this session of the LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE, primarily to permit the guaranteeing of small minimum stipends to those who gave courses; the object was to avoid the withdrawal of courses for which there was not the requisite number of applicants in advance, since other students who had not sent in their preliminary registration might appear at the last moment after the instructors had been notified that the course would not be called for. This application for a subvention received the approval of the American Council of Learned Societies, to which it and other applications had been referred, and in May a grant of $2500 was made by the Carnegie Corporation to the Linguistic Society of America, in support of the LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE. The entire sum was transmitted in June through the Council of Learned Societies to the treasurer of the Linguistic Society, and by him to the Director of the LINGUISTIC INSTITUTE. The Director was now able to guarantee to every regular member of the teaching staff a minimum salary of $250, and on this basis he secured the attendance of every member of the Faculty and their agreement to give their courses even for one student.
Actual work of the session began on July 6 and 7, with the Director and Assistant Director registering the arriving students. Headquarters and most of the classes were in William L. Harkness Recitation Hall. On the evening of July 7, a meeting of the Faculty was held, for announcements and the determination of certain matters of policy. The most important question was whether credits for transfer to graduate schools should be recorded, and if so in what form. For before the session it had been learned by judicious inquiry that a number of prominent graduate schools were willing to accept the credits of the INSTITUTE for transfer on the same footing as credits transferred from other graduate schools, and a considerable number of students were known to be coming with the expectation of receiving credit and having it transferred. It was decided that instructors should have the duty of inquiring which of their students desired to receive credit for the courses, and that for such students reports should at the end of the term be made to the Director in a form which, as a minimum, should be the equivalent of Mr. A is entitled to receive credit in course X. A second point which was settled was that instructors in the INSTITUTE should have the privilege of occasional visits to the lectures of other instructors, without payment of fees, but that instructors who wished to attend any course with reasonable regularity should be subject to the regular fee.
Courses opened on July 9, and regular registration was virtually completed on the following day. But as there were several courses not elected by any students, it was suggested by Dr. F. R. Blake, Associate Professor of Oriental Languages in The Johns Hopkins University, that there might be members of the INSTITUTE who would be glad to take one or more of these subjects if a short term could be arranged, largely of lectures without outside study. The instructors cooperated heartily, and several such short courses were announced, to run during the third, fourth, and fifth weeks of the session; Dr. Edward Prokosch, Professor of Germanic Philology at New York University, also opened his introductory course during this period as an Introduction to Indo-European Comparative Philology. The fee for a short course was fixed at Twenty Dollars. A number of elections were made in this way, indicated under the name of the student by the course number followed by an s.
The total registration of students was forty-three for courses and two for research only. To this must be added the three members of the Administrative Committee, and twenty-three members of the Faculty, of whom two were special lecturers. The total membership of the INSTITUTE, after eliminating duplications, was sixty-five.
The number is, in one way, not impressive, and yet in another way it is very significant. A school with only two students to every teacher must be branded a failure. But it was not as a school that the INSTITUTE was first conceived; it was planned to be a conference of scholars in a special field, and the courses were an addition to the plan to ensure the attendance of the scholars in some definite capacity, either as teachers or as pupils. And yet, as was hoped, many of the 'courses' took the form of conferences, where in a group of two or three persons every one contributed his share and every one learned from every other, whichever one might be the nominal leader of the group. There was an unusually sympathetic scholarly atmosphere about the