Elements of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-germanic Languages | Elements of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-germanic Languages
IN the two years that haye followed the translation of the First Volume of the Grundriss der vergleichenden Sprachwissenschaft by Dr. (now Professor) Joseph Wright, the difficulty of the task has sensibly diminished. The methods and the nomenclature of the scientific school of Comparative Philology have found their way more and more into the work of English teachers, and it has become far easier to decide what innovations can, and what cannot be reconciled with established usage. Such words, for example, as 'thematic', 'ablaut', 'analogical', 'contamination, 'proethnic' are completely naturalised. The last we have universally adopted as the clearest equivalent of the German ur- prefixed to the name of a group of languages: 'proethnic Greek' is Greek older than the rise of its various dialects; 'proethnic Indo-Germanic', or more simply where there is no ambiguity, 'the proethnic language' is the parent of the various families of Indo-Germanic speechâ¦.
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From the INTRODUCTION - DEFINITION OF THE SCIENCE OF THE INDO-GERMANIC LANGUAGES, AND THE DIVISION OP THE INDO-GERMANIC FAMILY INTO ITS VARIOUS BRANCHES.
Â§ 1. The science of the Indg. languages forms, like Indg. Mythology, a section of Indg. 'Philology , i. e. of that science, which has to investigate the intellectual development of the Indg. peoples from the time before their separation up to the present day. Its method accordingly is historical and its task is to investigate the whole development of the Indg. languages from the time when they were still one language down to the present day. Its unity is in no sense broken by the results furnished by the specialists in Sanskrit, Ancient and Modern Greek, Latin and the Romance languages, Keltic etc., for the sciences of the Indian languages, of Ancient and Mod. Greek etc. are integral components of the grand whole formed by that of the Indo-Germanic.
It is true that the so called comparative science of language has hitherto been almost exclusively confined to the older periods of the Indg. languages, but this is due to the division of labour which was involved in the method by which alone progress could be made, as well as to the limitations of human strength. Probably the same division of labour will still be necessary, but it implies no real opposition between the different parts of the scienceâ¦.
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