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НазваApproaches in the Field of Linguistics (реферат)
РозділІноземна мова, реферати англійською, німецькою
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Approaches in the Field of Linguistics

Early Approaches: P?nini and Grimm

Sobel S.P. The Cognitive Sciences:

 An Interdisciplinary Approach. – London; Toronto: 

Mayfield Publishing Company, 2001. - pp. 155-158.

?nini, no one has accomplished so impressive a description of any

     The work of P?nini, and of other Indian linguists of his time and
earlier, was not known in the West until the 19th century. Linguistics
scholars of the 1800s had observed many similarities among the languages
of Europe and sought to trace their history, engaging in comparative
studies of these related languages and projecting backward to arrive at
a "reconstruction" of the ancestral language, or group of dialects, from
which they derived. One of the most famous of these scholars was Jacob
Grimm (1785-1863), of fairy-tale fame. Grimm's contribution to the
understanding of certain important consonant shifts among the
Indo-European languages (many of the languages most familiar to us,
including English) is a staple of historical-comparative study, known to
all linguistics students and scholars as Grimm's law. This law, which
aids in the process of linguistic reconstruction, explains for example
the historical relation between Latin p (as in pater) and English f (as
in father), both of which derive from the same source, a language spoken
some thousands of years ago and referred to today as Indo-European.

     Linguistics scholars engaged in reconstructing early languages of
which there is no written record made educated guesses as to what the
earlier forms were based on evidence from all aspects of these
languages—from the vocabulary they contained to the kinds of change
exhibited over time in their sound systems and in their grammatical
structures. This type of comparative-historical research contributed a
great deal to our understanding of the processes languages undergo on
their evolving paths. Access to information about Sanskrit played an
important role in this endeavor.

Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf

In line with this type of research was research carried out into this
century by scholars who sought to learn what processes underlay the many
languages spoken by Native American tribes. In the process, they
encountered ways of thinking quite different from those of the Western
European culture, which had up to then provided the background for their
studies. These scholars drew attention to the many different
possibilities inherent in languages for expressing perceptions and
experiences common to humankind. Edward Sapir, the American linguist and
anthropologist, made many contributions to the field, among them
important technical studies in Native American, Indo-European, Semitic,
and African languages. With this wide basis, he was able to provide the
field with cogent analyses of the relation of language and culture. His
interest in this aspect of linguistics extended to the relation of
language and thought. He and his student, Benjamin Lee Whorf, expounded
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