Introduction to the Study of Language: A Critical Survey of the History and Methods of Comparative Philology of the Indo-European Languages

Front Cover
Breitkopf and Härtel, 1882 - Indo-European philology - 142 pages
"The character of the present work is mainly determined by the circumstance that it is intended by the author to facilitate the study of the "Grammars" which Beeitkopf & H rtel are publishing, as well as the comprehension of comparative philology in its newest form. The book here laid before the public is divided into a historical and an analytical part. In the former the development of philology from Bopp's time to the present is roughly sketched with the especial aim of showing clearly how the problems which particularly occupy our attention today have developed naturally from what preceded them; in the second part the most important of these problems are discussed"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 1 - The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists...
Page 11 - ... monosyllables in Sanskrit and its kindred languages, it is this, that such languages cannot display any great facility of expressing grammatical modifications by the change of their original materials without the help of foreign additions. We must expect that in this family of languages the principle of compounding words will extend to the first rudiments of speech, as to the persons, tenses of verbs, and cases of nouns, &c. That this really is the case, I hope I shall be enabled to prove in...
Page 10 - If we can draw any conclusion from the fact that roots are monosyllables in Sanskrit and its kindred languages, it is this, that such languages cannot display any great facility of expressing grammatical modifications by the change of their original materials without the help of foreign additions.
Page 119 - All articulate sounds are produced by effort, by expenditure of muscular energy, in the lungs, throat, and mouth. This effort, like every other which man makes, he has an instinctive disposition to seek relief from, to avoid : we may call it laziness, or we may call it economy ; it is, in fact, either the one or the other, according to the circumstances of each separate case : it is laziness when it gives up more than it gains ; economy, when it gains more than it abandons.
Page 60 - August Leskien's (1840-1916) methodological pronouncement of 1876 as marking the beginning of a new era in linguistics. If one reads this statement in the light of what Schleicher has said regarding linguistic method, it would be difficult to see anything revolutionary in Leskien's statement: In my investigations I have started with the principle that the form of a certain case, as we meet with it, can never result from an exception to phonetic laws which are observed elsewhere. To prevent misunderstanding,...
Page 124 - ... constitution of language is not manifested in the cultivated tongues, but in the dialects of the people. The guiding principles for linguistic research should accordingly be deduced not from obsolete written languages of antiquity, but chiefly from the living popular dialects of the present day. (1974: 61) It is of far greater importance to collect further facts from living languages, in order to draw conclusions from them with regard to the ancient languages. (1974: 126) Thus, the uniformitarian...
Page 11 - The indication of the persons of verbs in the Sanskrit language, and (hose of the same origin, Mr. F. Schlegel considers as being produced by inflection ; but Scheidius shows very satisfactorily, with respect to the plural at least, that -even the Greek verbs make use of pronouns, in compound structure with the root, to indicate the various persons.
Page 54 - The comparative anatomist never compares the form of the skull of two animals by taking the skull of the new-born specimen of the one sort, and the skull of an adult of the other; if the needful material is wanting, as is often the case in fossil remains, he does just what we do; according to known laws he reconstructs what is lacking, on the same plane of age with the specimen before him.
Page 17 - In this book my aim is a comparative, comprehensive description of the organism of the languages mentioned in the title, an investigation of their physical and mechanical laws, and the origin of the forms characterizing grammatical relations.
Page 9 - ... or if he should discover that some tenses contain the substantive verb, whilst others have rejected it, or perhaps never used it. He will rather feel inclined to ask, why do not all verbs in all tenses exhibit this compound structure? and the absence of the substantive verb he perhaps will consider as a kind of ellipsis.

Bibliographic information