Comparetive and Historical Linguistics in the 19th Century

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Comparetive and Historical Linguistics in the 19th Century

The 19th century
* was the era of the comparative and historical study of languages (especially of the Indo-European l-ges); * saw the development of modern conceptions, theoretical and methodological of comparative and historical linguistics, and the greatest concentration of scholarly effort and scholarly ability in linguistics was devoted to this aspect of the subject; * prevailed the opinion that linguistics was mainly historical study; * applied ideas of primary historical view of l-ge.

Pre-19th century
* involved historical work on l-ges as sporadic, because people’s suggestions and researchers remained in isolation; * developed by a continuous succession of scholars;
* each new thinker had little to build on or to react to; * scholarship focused on a specialized field of theory and practice; * mostly Germans or scholars trained in German built up the subject on the basis of what had been done. Work on the historical relations of particular groups of l-ges by European writers: Dante (1265-1321)

“De Vulgari cloquentia”
* gives an account of the genesis of dialect differences; * thence of different languages from a single source l-ge; * recognizes 3 properly European l-ge families:
* Germanic -North
* Latin - South
* Greek – part of Europe
and adjacent Asia
* used a method of labeling device – later binary division of Indo-European into the centum and satem; * was aware of dialect-differences.

Dante (1265-1321)
“De Vulgari cloquentia”
* gives an account of the genesis of dialect differences; * thence of different languages from a single source l-ge; * recognizes 3 properly European l-ge families:
* Germanic -North
* Latin - South
* Greek – part of Europe
and adjacent Asia
* used a method of labeling device – later binary division of Indo-European into the centum and satem; * was aware of dialect-differences.

though:
the relationship of Islandic and English by wirtue of resembles in word form

the 12th century “First Grammarian”
though:
the relationship of Islandic and English by wirtue of resembles in word form

the 12th century “First Grammarian”

The monogenesis of all l-ges and ascription of the status of the original or oldest l-ge to Hebrew * was a general y held idea during the first of the Christian era; * continued to be accepted for several centuries;

* was challenged by the submition of a rival l-ge as the surviving original or ‘oldest l-ge’.

Latin survived
* as a written l-ge in the use during the period before Renaissance; * as spoken l-ge of the Roman Catholic church services;
* as a lingua franca for educated persons.
Alternative models of the historian relations of l-ges weren’t lacking during the period from Dante to Sir William Jones; it was just that they were not taken up and developed by their contemporaries.

J.J. Scaliger
* dispensed with two fallacious dogmas that distorted the historical dimension of language study; * recognized 11 l-ge families:
* 4 major (Romance, Greek, Germanic and Slavic groups within Indo-European); * 7 minor
* covering the continent of Europe, within the member l-ges were genetically related; * recognized the subfamilies of separate larger families. The Scaliger’s grouping and his justification of them were not examined or made the basis of further work by his contemporaries.

The end of 17th century a more developed model of historian relationship between l-ges was put forward by two Swedish scholars: A.Stiernhielm – edition of the Gothic Bible – set side by side the inflexion of Latin and Gothic, despite the non-cognation of the roots, from the personal endings that the two l-ges were closely related descendants of a single ancestor. A.Jäger spoke of an ancient l-ge spreading, as the result of migrations, over Europe...
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