Investigation of the Origin of the Old Norse or Icelandic Language

New edition of the 1993 English translation by Niels Ege

Introduction by
| University of Copenhagen
ISBN 9789027208811 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027271983 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
This edition constitutes a reprint of Niels Ege’s English translation of Rasmus Rask’s prize essay of 1818, which appeared as volume XXVI in the Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Copenhague in 1993. The prize essay was published in Danish in 1818. In contrast to other works by Rask, notably his introduction to the study of Icelandic, it was never reissued until Louis Hjelmslev published a corrected version in Danish as part of his edition of Rask’s selected works. While Rask lived, a substantial part of the book was translated into German. The present work is, however, the only translation of the work into English and indeed into any other language. It is to be hoped that the field of the history of linguistics will hereby receive a new impetus to scrutinize the early beginnings of Indo-European scholarship. But, just as importantly, the translation of this work of genius reveals that even if details in the substantial treatment of the various branches of language have now been superseded, the theoretical parts of the book are still worth reading by all linguists for their own sake.
[Amsterdam Classics in Linguistics, 1800–1925, 18]  2013.  *lv , xii, 289 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Editor's Foreword & Acknowledgments
Portrait of Rasmus Rask
Note on the origin of Rasmus Rask's portrait
Editor's Introduction
A. Works by Rasmus Rask
B. Secondary Sources
Translator's Note
RASMUS RASK Investigation on the Origin of the Old Norse or Icelandic Language
First Chapter: On Etymology in General
Second Chapter: On Icelandic and the Gothic class of languages
Third Chapter: On the source of the Gothic languages, esp. Icelandic
“By providing an authoritative new edition of one of the original sources of modern linguistics, the volume makes a hugely useful resource for the investigation of the early beginnings of Indo-European scholarship . Together with Markey’s 1976 edition of Dasent’s 1843 translation of Rask’s other important work on Icelandic, “A Grammar of the Icelandic or Old Norse Tongue”, it also significantly complements our understanding of the contribution given by the Danish scholar to the development of the comparative historical study of Indo-European languages. Gregersen’s excellent and clear introduction, Niels Ege’s notes on the original Danish text and the rich body of sources and materials presented will make the volume an illuminating resource for both specialists and students in the field of language sciences.”
“En dépit de son âge et de ses limites, l’ouvrage mérite encore d’être lu aujourd’hui : on y trouvera une linguistique jeune, libre de toute entrave et qui découvre tout à la fois les données et les méthodes pour les traiter.”
BIC Subject: CFF – Historical & comparative linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2013007938