Science History

History of Linguistics

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Language is an essential human capability. Whether you’re telling a joke, naming a child, using voice identifying software, or simply talking to other people, you’ll find that language is vital to almost everything you do.Learning linguistics through various levels will giveyou insight into one of the most fundamental parts of being a human –the ability to communicate using language.

What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. The word was first used in the 19th century to highlight the difference between the more traditional approaches of philology in contrast to linguistics. The differences were mostly about attitude, accent, and purpose. The philologist is primarily concerned with the historical evolution of languages, as represented in written documents and the context of the literature and culture associated with them. On the other hand, the linguist may be interested in written texts and the evolution of languages over time. However, linguists give priority to spoken languages as well as the problems of analyzing them.

Non-Western Origin

In non- western countries, the study of linguistics has only taken place in a particularly small number of societies. To an extent, Chinese, Arabic, and Mesopotamian studies regarding grammar were only involved in the individuality of their languages that were little known to the European world. Although Chinese linguistics and philological studies stretch back in more than a millennium, the scholars still concentrated solely on phonetics, lexicography, and writing. Also, their considerations for grammatical problems were bound closely to the study of logic.

By far, the fascinating non-Western grammatical tradition and the most independent and original is that of India. Their grammatical tradition dated back two and a half millennia that started in the Panini’s grammar of the 5th century BC. Also, there are significant ways in which the Sanskrit heritage had made an influence on contemporary linguistic scholarship. As soon as Sanskrit became known to the Western world, the Indo-European grammar arose. Not only had it laid its foundations for the whole 19th-century system of historical linguistics, but also in the comparative philology.

Greek and Roman Origin

The origin of grammatical learning in Greece is less clearly established than is often inferred. Also, the subject is more complicated than is often assumed. This meant that the study of the letter’s value, prosody, and accentuation was an abstract discipline.  Besides, several of the developments in association with theoretical grammar came out of criticism and philosophy.Furthermore, most of Greek philosophy was concerned with distinguishing, which exists by nature and that which occurs by convention. Therefore, in language, it was natural to account for terms and forms as prescribed by nature like by onomatopoeia, by imitating natural sounds, or by a social convention.

On the other hand, the Romans, who have mostly taken over the work of the Greeks, with mild modifications to their very similar language, are significant not as originators but as transmitters. Priscian, an African, AeliusDonatus, a Roman grammarian, and their colleagues were somewhat more formal than their Greek models, although they were mainly retrospective rather than original. During this time, ‘arsGrammatica,’ was the first edition of Latin grammar. It was a collection of investigations, both practical and theoretical, were drawn from the study and interests of literature, logic, rhetoric, textual philosophy, poetry, epistemology, and literary criticism.

The European Middle Ages Origin

It is possible that the evolution of grammar during the middle ages was among the most misunderstood fields of linguistics. It is also hard to relate this period in a coherent way to other periods and to modern grammatical concerns. During the mid-20th century, most of the known grammatical agreements were not yet made utterly accessible to modern scholarships. Even their true scope could still not be identified.Subsequently, the grammar students saw the success of the Greeks and the rediscovery of learning that led directly to modern school traditions.

Linguistics in The 19th Century

It is widely accepted that the most impressive achievement of the linguistics in the 19th century was the establishment of a comparative process. This process included a set of principles according to which languages could be systematically contrasted with their grammatical structure and vocabulary. As languages like Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, and others have developed from Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, many other languages of Europe and Asia, have also evolved from some of the earlier languages to which the term Indo-European or Proto-Indo-European is now widely applied.

Linguistics in 20th Century

At the beginning of the 20th century, the focus turned to the fact that not only can language change but also their structures are systematic and regulated by standard rules and principles. As time passes, the focus of world linguists has increasingly shifted to the study of grammar. In the technical sense, they focused more on the language’s organization of the sound system and its phrases and words’ internal structure.

In the 1920s, the system of structural linguistics was primarily influenced by the ideas of the Swiss linguist named Ferdinand de Saussure, who developed sophisticated methods of grammatical analysis.

Over the last half-century, there has been a strengthening awareness of these rules and values as well as an increasing conviction that, given their apparent variety, all the world’s languages are basically cut off from the same cloth. As grammatical research becomes more in-depth, we have found more basic commonalities between the world’s languages.

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