Welcome to the Firthian Phonology Archive


This site contains information about the Firthian Phonology Archive in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York.

J.R. Firth (1890-1960) was the first professor of linguistics in the United Kingdom. He is best known for his contributions to the study of 'meaning' and more particularly for his theory of phonology, variously known as Firthian Phonology, Prosodic Phonology, or Firthian Prosodic Analysis. Prosodic Analysis was radical for its time, and foreshadowed later developments in phonology.

The Archive contains off-prints, papers, personal letters, seminar notes and much other unpublished material of significance to the history and development of phonology. It has been assembled over a period of more than 25 years, with donations made by several of Firth's colleagues. It is an invaluable resource for tracing the development of linguistics, and more particularly phonology, in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century.

Explore the site and find out more about the Archive, its contents, history and main contributors. There is also a useful overview of Prosodic Analysis and a bibliography of work concerned with Firth and Firthian linguistics.