Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Louis Hjelmslev and Paul Diderichsen

Paul Diderichsen (1905-1964) was a professor in Nordic Philology at Copenhagen University from 1949. Originally, he followed Viggo Brøndals approach on language. Click here for further reading on Brøndal and Hjelmslev. It was Brøndal’s word class systematics that inspired Diderichsen in his morphological portrayal in Elementær Dansk Grammatik from 1946. After Brøndal’s passing in 1942, Diderichsen closed in on Hjelmslev which resulted in a lively correspondence. However, they never came to a common understanding.

Some of Diderichsen’s work is undoubedtly influenced by Hjelmslev. It is written in a witty fashion and by reading his semantic analyses of linguistic categories, you get the impression of Diderichsen trying to prove that he also knows how to “do glossematics”. “Realitet som grammatisk Kategori” (1966[1939]) by Diderichsen is a particular proof of academic work which is compatible with Hjelmslev’s approach on structural semantics.