Questions tagged [history-of-linguistics]

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Is language "necessarily underspecified"?

I've read an exam question given in a class on Semantics, that was asking Why is language necessarily underspecified I did not find much about this at the time, which is surprising because it ...
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Decipherment challenge

I am not a linguist, but I'm looking for examples of decipherment competitions when multiple linguists have tried to independently translate the same script. I know only this one: Rawlinson, H., ...
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What's "Contemporary" Linguistics? What exactly is contemporary?

Academic linguistics commenced pretty recently, compared to other sciences. So what does "Contemporary" in "Contemporary Linguistics" mean? What exactly is signified, if a book ...
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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 ...
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What is the relationship of Proto-Indo-European, Indo-European, Proto-Germanic and Germanic?

I know that Indo-European is the name of a family of languages that includes nearly all the major tongues of Europe and several outside Europe, such as Persian and Hindi. Germanic is a sub-category of ...
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What is the difference between generative grammar and transformation grammar?

If we put it in a simple way, can we say generative grammar is about tree diagram, and transformation grammar is how sentences can be interpreted in another way?
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633 views

What exactly does the ding-dong theory of the origin of language state, according to Max Müller?

Max Müller is mentioned as one of the pioneers of the study of the origins of language, as he created a typology for the earlier origin of language theories based on the channel they draw the ...
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1answer
119 views

Some scholars says that you cannot make the plural and feminine form of word Allah from arabic linguistic perspective [closed]

Is it possible from arabic linguistic perspective to make the plural and feminine form of word الله? for example اللهون plural form of word الله and اللت feminine form of word الله because in Arabic, ...
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176 views

Is Rigveda the oldest religious recorded text (grandha)in the world? [closed]

Rigveda is considered to be the oldest recorded religious writings(grandha) book may be by the Indians.I do not know Whether it is a fact or not.Even the Wikipedia says so. Is Rigveda the oldest ...
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3answers
784 views

Is Panini really the father of Linguistics?

I here with attach a link which shows that Panini is the father of Linguistics. Even professors of English from the English And Foreign languages, Hyderabad say that he is the father of linguistics ...
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304 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 ...
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466 views

When were linguistics departments first established

Linguistics differs in studying languages from other fields such as English, French and so on, by concentrating on theoretical parts that are shared by all languages. I wonder when was the first ...
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Nazis considered Slavs as non-Aryans, but did Nazi linguists classified the Slavic languages as "non-Indo-European"?

Nazis considered Slavs as non-Aryans, but did Nazi linguists classified the Slavic languages as "non-Indo-European"? What was the Nazi theory about historical linguistics?
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Why proto-languages?

Nowadays all the leading works on historical linguistics consider Proto-Slavic (you can put here anything you wish but I will talk about Slavonic studies) language as a fact (yes, there can be said ...
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401 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 ...
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1answer
754 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 ...
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1answer
82 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 ...
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1answer
227 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 ...
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2answers
93 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 ...
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392 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.
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1answer
129 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 ...
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771 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-...
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1answer
117 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 ...
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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 ...
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394 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 ...
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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/...