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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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