North American Scholar

TAYLOR, Gilbert Hawthorne

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1883-07-11
  • Born City: Hardinsburg
  • Born State/Country: KY
  • Parents: William Irvin, a Methodist minister, & Gertrude Temple T.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1957-10-24
  • Death City: New Wilmington
  • Death State/Country: PA
  • Married: Clara Williams, 20 Aug. 1931; Frances Williams, 6 Dec. 1943.
  • Education:

    A.B. DePauw, 1909; study at Berlin; Ph.D. U. Michigan, 1914; fell. AAR, 1916-7.

  • Professional Experience:

    High-school princ, 1909-10; instr. Hebrew & Lat. U. Michigan, 1914-6; service in Red Cross, 1917-20; instr. Lat. Palmer College (MO), 1920-1; Southwestern Coll. (KS), 1921-2; Johnston scholar Johns Hopkins, 1922-4; prof. anc. langs. & head dept. Westminster Coll. (New Wilmington, PA), 1925-50; prof. Gk. & Germ. & head dept. langs., 1950-3.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Versification of Commodian" (Michigan, 1914).

  • Notes:

    Gilbert Taylor was an accomplished linguist and American pioneer in the aural-oral methods of learning ancient languages. As the son of a Methodist minister he moved often in his youth and never completed high school, but had studied Latin extensively with his father when he entered DePauw. A man of unusual breadth of linguistic competence, Taylor taught during his career, in addition to Greek and Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit, French, German, and Spanish. His library, donated to Westminster College, contained evidence of the variety of languages whose basic structures he had investigated, as well as of the breadth and depth of his classical scholarship. In his teaching he departed from contemporary traditional methods by teaching orally and in the target language. His hobby in his late years was to record and listen to passages of Latin, Greek, and other languages on his wire recorder, after analyzing them in traditional fashion, striving to approximate the direct, unimpeded comprehension of the native speaker.

  • Sources:

    DAS 1957:738.

  • Author: Hilton Turner