17

This is a great question. Not that it matters all that much, but it's always good to periodically revisit the directions one's discipline has taken. First, the problem is that there's linguistics and then there's study of aspects of language for a particular purpose. Lexicography, pedagogic grammar, philosophy of language - they all have a long tradition ...


14

You could equally well ask: why languages? The problem you raise, that "Proto-Germanic" was a huge, blurry-edged mass of dialects and variations rather than a single standardized language, is a valid one. But that's a problem that also exists for modern languages. You can trace dialect continua from Rome to Lisbon, or from Prague to Vladivostok, without ...


14

The question should probably be restated as something like "When did people begin to believe that Romance and Germanic languages were related with some scholarly basis for that belief?" The qualification is necessary because in the pre-modern West, the reigning idea about language diversity was that all languages were ultimately descended from Hebrew ...


10

The question raises three terminological issues: what is "language", what is "invented" and what is "once"? It does presuppose that there was a prior state without language, and a later state with it (no controversy about that). To answer the question, we need to understand exactly what is being asked. Language is one aspect of a more general set of ...


10

If we allow abjads, Imperial Aramaic in Aramaic script was one of the first to consistently use spacing, from the mid-7th century BCE. This might have been due to the influence of Akkadian cuneiform orthography. It is true that cursive Hebrew on the ostraca tend to omit dots, and we see here a simplification of dots to spaces the more cursive the writing is....


9

אַ שפּראַך איז אַ דיאַלעקט מיט אַן אַרמיי און פֿלאָט a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot Max Weinreich As WavesWashSands says, the earliest known published source is Weinreich's article: דער ייִוואָ און די פּראָבלעמען פֿון אונדזער צײַט Der YIVO un di problemen fun undzer tsayt1 originally presented as a speech on 5 January 1945 at the annual YIVO ...


9

It depends what you mean by "father of linguistics". Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī is the oldest surviving work that could be called a complete linguistic grammar. But Pāṇini wasn't writing in a vacuum: his work references earlier works that haven't survived, by other authors. It's mostly a historical accident that his grammar survived when none of his predecessors' ...


8

Oh, before Chomsky. I have a vague recollection that Leonard Bloomfield helped establish an early department with "linguistics" in its name, but I can't find that. However, note "linguistics" in the titles of some of his professorships, e.g. "Professor of German and Linguistics at the Ohio State University, 1921-1927" (Leonard Bloomfield). I found it. In ...


8

Max Weinreich is usually said to be the person who created the quip, but according to the Wikipedia entry on him, he was actually quoting someone else.


7

The concept of a proto-language stands and falls with a tree model of language evolution. While the tree model of language evolution can be successfully applied to many language families leading to widely accepted reconstructed proto-languages, it is not the only possible model of language evolution. In a situation where there is a polycentric dialect ...


6

It is true that Pāṇini is one of the most ancient named linguists in the world (preceded by Yāska, Śākaṭāyana and Śākalya), and is the best-known of that set. It is also true that the Aṣṭādhyāyī is the oldest surviving work that could be called a "whole grammar". Pāṇini is not the "father" of all linguistics, unless you define "father of all linguistics" as "...


6

You (and the source) are confusing the technical and colloquial sense of the word logic here. When you say There's a certain logic to language. or Even language is logical. you're saying something like, The way language works make sense. But this is radically different from saying, Language can be described using the apparatus of formal logic. Most ...


5

I don't know the details, but here's what he said in an interview in Glot, a newsletter for linguists. Originally, I was in mathematics, but for no particularly good reason — I really hadn’t thought much about what I was getting myself into. I was taking some language courses and enjoyed them and at the same time I got more and more turned off by ...


5

Of course, there were linguistics departments before Chomsky all over the world. Harvard U: 1941 St. Petersburg U (Russia): since 1932 known as the Department of General Linguistics; goes back to 1863, originally known as the Department of Indo-European Comparative Studies. etc.


5

The Nazi theory, as summarized here, is not about language relations, it is a claim about genetics, and apparently Hitler was inspired by theories of Hans Günther. This book studies Nazi linguistics, and chapter 2 may be useful in tracking what was said in Nazi-dominated linguistics. I think that the racial theories are primary and linguistics follows that, ...


4

Father of Linguistics is not an official title that really belongs to anyone. Panini is very important person in history of linguistics but there is no official body to grant this title to him or to anyone else.


4

Modern syntax was first put on a scientific basis by Zelig Harris and Noam Chomsky: Harris with his development of formal models of phrase structure and Chomsky through his elaboration of Harris' techniques, by his clarifying the distinction between empirical study of syntax and language pedagogy, and by devising the first formalized model of the traditional ...


4

There is nothing in that quote which suggests that semantics, or philosophy of language, was “belittled”, any more than observation of the nature of contemporary linguistics “belittles” comparative Indo-European linguistics. Areas of linguistics rise and fall in popularity and technical success. It is accurate to say, as the extract implies, that semantics ...


4

The "generative" in "generative grammar" is defined by Chomsky in Aspects of the Theory of Syntax as meaning "explicit". Chomsky compares this sense of "generate" to its use in analytic geometry, when a mathematical function generates a curve. The calculation of the points on the curve for values of the variables in the function is explicit and well-...


4

Indo-European and Germanic are language families, not individual languages, and Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Germanic are each the single language that is the reconstructed most recent common ancestor of all of the languages in their respective language family. Sometimes people (not usually linguists) use "Germanic" as a noun as a short-hand for either the ...


3

The journal you are looking for can be easily read online on JSTOR. Here is the link to the page of your interest: http://www.jstor.org/stable/594233?seq=22#page_scan_tab_contents However, it's really just 4 lines abstract of Harris' paper. I don't think it's more useful than Wikipedia.


3

The account that comes to mind that is most à l'époque (early modern Western linguistics being around the time of the Enlightenment and European colonialism, as a rule of thumb, in the 18th century) is the following work from fauteuil 31 de l’Académie française and Abbot of Mureau, Étienne Bonnot de Condillac: Essai sur l’origine des connaissances humaines (...


3

There are vast numbers of such works, if you have the right criteria. As a starting point, there are the volumes in the Phonologies of the World's Languages series. The issue of "framework" may complicate the matter. Brame's dissertation on Classical Arabic phonology was written after SPE, but was still within that broad framework. Sommerstein's The Sound ...


3

Well, it happens even nowadays that languages are created anew from fragments of other languages. There are creoles like Papiamento or Tok Pisin that are created from fragments of different and unrelated languages and have no clear antecessor. There are also constructed languages like Loglan or Lojban that did not evolve from any natural language. I also ...


3

This is a very broad question, particularly since you put systemic in Systemic Functional Linguistics/Grammar in parentheses. If you think about the broader functionalist program, you can hardly move within linguistics without encountering some aspect of it. You could say that most introduction to linguistics are written from the functionalist perspective. ...


2

Jephetic language theory was the antecedent to Indo-European theory. It was the product of the late Medieval standardisation and grammaticalisation of speech which allowed for the future systematic analysis of language. Jephetic language theory has its basis in Noachian genealogy from Genesis. Like TKR said, the first to exclude Semitic from Jephetic was ...


2

No-one has cited a textbook yet. Linguistics: An Introduction to Linguistic Theory. p 5. 1.1 Panini to Chomsky and After The interest in the nature of human language appears to have arisen when the human species evolved in the history of time. There is no culture that has left records that do not reveal either philosophical or practical concerns for this ...


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