Jespersen, Otto ŏ´tō yĕs´pərsən [key], 1860–1943, Danish philologist. Professor of English language and literature at the Univ. of Copenhagen and later rector there, Jespersen first earned a reputation for brilliant work in phonetics and later wrote widely used books on the English language and linguistics in general, notably The Growth and Structure of the English Language (1905), A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (in parts, 1909–31), Language (1922), Philosophy of Grammar (1924), and Analytic Syntax (1937).
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