Hans Jørgen Uldall

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Hans Jørgen Uldall (1907 Silkeborg, Denmark – 1957 Ibadan, Nigeria) was a Danish linguist known for developing the linguistic theory of glossematics with Louis Hjelmslev.

Having studied English at the University of Copenhagen he went to London to study phonology with Daniel Jones. In 1929 he had a lectureship at the University of Cape Town, and then went back to London to teach phonetics in 1930. In 1931-32 he went to the California to do field work on the Maidu language under the auspices of the Archaeological and Ethnographic Survey of California, established by A. L. Kroeber in 1901. He became fluent in Maidu and accumulated a large body of notes and texts, but only published one article on Maidu phonetics in 1954. His texts and word lists were published in 1966 by William Shipley as "Nisenan texts and dictionary" (Univ. of California Publications XLVI). In his period in the US, he also studied anthropology with Franz Boas at Columbia receiving an MA degree in 1944.

In the years 1951-52 he wrote the first part of his and Hjelmslev's coauthored work Outline of Glossematics. Uldall's views differed from Hjelmslev's in several important points.

He went on to have teaching posts in Athens and to work for the British council in Nigeria, where he died. [1][2][3]

He was married to Elizabeth Theodora Uldall (nee Anderson) (1913-2004) an American phonetician who after her husband's death became professor of phonetics at the University of Edinburgh.[4]

His major publication was: Outline of Glossematics, a Study in the Methodology of the Humanities with Special Reference to Linguistics. Part I: General Theory (1957)


  1. ^ http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Samfund%2c_jura_og_politik/Sprog/Sprogforskeres_biografier/Hans_J%C3%B8rgen_Uldall
  2. ^ Seuren, Pieter A. M. (1998). Western linguistics: An historical introduction. Wiley-blackwell. p. 161. ISBN 0-631-20891-7. 
  3. ^ http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Dansk_Biografisk_Leksikon/Samfund,_jura_og_politik/Sprog/Filolog/H.J._Uldall
  4. ^ http://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/betsy-uldall-teacher-1-538485