William E. Bull (1909-1972) y la enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera

Barry L. Velleman

Resumen


William Emerson Bull (1909-1972) fue profesor de lingüística española en varias universidades norteamericanas. En sus libros y artículos Bull investigó temas tales como la frecuencia de los tiempos verbales del castellano, la semántica del adjetivo, la validez del paradigma tradicional de las formas verbales y los contrastes semánticos entre ser y estar. Sus otras obras incluyen un juego de 472 carteles diseñados para ilustrar contrastes semánticos del español (Visual Grammar of Spanish, 1961); Time, Tense, and the Verb (1960), un estudio de los significados de los llamados tiempos del verbo; y Spanish for Teachers: Applied Linguistics (1965), un manual para profesores, todavía citado en los estudios más recientes. Su texto pedagógico Communicating in Spanish (1974) fue innovador por su estructura programada y por el rigor de sus ingeniosas descripciones originales.

La obra de Bull constituye una reacción contra el estructuralismo formal en la descripción lingüística, favoreciendo un enfoque semántico en el que la producción del hablante nativo refleja una concepción de la realidad no compartida por el aprendiz extranjero. Bull también innovó en su aplicación de conceptos provenientes de las matemáticas y la física al análisis del idioma. En una época en que muchos estructuralistas todavía desconfiaban de la posibilidad de basar la descripción lingüística en el significado, Bull logró hacer precisamente eso, produciendo una obra inmediatamente aplicable a la pedagogía. Los análisis de Bull constituyen un intento de presentarle al aprendiz angloparlante una descripción coherente de la intuición del hablante nativo del español.


Palabras clave


William E. Bull; enseñanza de lenguas; estructuralismo; tiempos verbales; análisis semántico; pedagogía; gramática

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Referencias


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