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Questions tagged [history-of-linguistics]

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6
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1answer
170 views

Which alphabetic writing system first had spaces between words?

Just recently, I believed that spaces between words were first invented with the Carolingian minuscule, invented by the English scholar Alcuin of York. As I just discovered, spacing wasn't first ever ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

How did students learn semantics, if it were belittled from 1910-1965?

Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication (2017 7 ed). p. 225 Middle.   Semantics has not always enjoyed a prominent role in modern linguistics. From World War I to the early 1960s ...
1
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2answers
77 views

Zellig Harris and the alphabet

I would be very interested if someone could provide me with a useful link to read Zellig Harris's text on the origin of the alphabet. The reference is: Harris, Zellig S. 1933. “Acrophony and ...
7
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0answers
163 views

Cultural bias in early modern Western linguistics

I answered a question on this site yesterday where in my answer, I alluded to a problem with cultural bias in early modern Western linguistics. I tried my best search engine fu to come up with a good ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Comprehensive phonological sketches post-SPE

Is anyone aware of a comprehensive phonological grammar of a language, along the lines of SPE, Sound Pattern of Russian or Chomsky's thesis on Hebrew, written in a framework that postdates SPE? I ...
1
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0answers
36 views

When was the concept of verbs' principal parts codified, and by whom?

For example, I'm wondering whether the Greek/Roman grammarians already wrote about six/four basic forms based on which a Greek/Latin verb can be conjugated in all its forms. If they did, did they ...
8
votes
2answers
378 views

Was language invented only once or several times?

We have over 5000 language on Earth as of now, some extant and others not. These all came from what we now call proto languages, but do scientists believe that all proto languages came from one "mono-...
2
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0answers
99 views

Who first said that no two words mean the exact same?

A friend of mine told me that German philologists (whom he did not name) in the 18th century were the first ones to argue that in any natural language no two words can mean exactly the same. Is this ...
7
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2answers
190 views

Who said “The difference between a language and a dialect is in who has the army”

I remember this from a linguistics professor I had in graduate school about 30 years ago. He named the source, but I can't remember.
2
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0answers
108 views

What exactly states the Müller's ding-dong theory?

After long googling, I'm still not sure what does this theory think about the origin of language. Does it really state just: "There IS some kind of mysterious connection but we don't know what's ...
11
votes
2answers
634 views

Earliest recognition that Germanic and Romance languages are related

A recent question here, Earliest recognition that Romance languages are related asks for when in history it was first noted that individual Romance languages were recognized as ... similar/related/...
3
votes
1answer
581 views

What is the current status of (systemic) functional grammar/linguistics

I'm sorry if my questions may sound rudimentary, so please bear with me. :-) I'm thinking of delving deeper into functional grammar/linguistics (most probably systemic in particular), perhaps with ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Which famous linguists embrace historical logic to understand language?

[Source:] As other commenters have noted, looking for logic in language is almost always futile. No natural language is logical. But there is a historical logic to language development; even if the ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

How and why did Prof James D. McCawley become disillusioned with math?

During this time he became disillusioned with mathematics, and after sitting in on a linguistics course taught by Eric Hamp, he became more and more interested in the subject and began taking language ...
8
votes
3answers
772 views

How old is linguistics as a discipline?

I hear a lot of people talk about how "new" linguistics is, or how "small" it is compared to other fields. Pāṇini studied grammar in the 4th century BC. Surely it didn't take until recent history to ...