On Language Diversity and Relationship from Bibliander to Adelung

Toon Van Hal | University of Leuven
ORCID logoRaf Van Rooy | University of Leuven
Introduction by
Toon Van Hal | University of Leuven
ORCID logoRaf Van Rooy | University of Leuven
ISBN 9789027246110 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027271495 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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From the Renaissance onwards, European scholars began to collect and study the various languages of the Old and the New Worlds. The recognition of language diversity encouraged them to explain how differences between languages emerged, why languages kept changing, and in what language families they could be classified. The present volume brings together the papers of the late George J. Metcalf (1908–1994) that discuss the search for possible genetic language relationships, and the study of language developments and origins, in Early Modern Europe. Two general chapters, surveying the period between the 16th and 18th century, are followed by detailed case studies of the contributions of Swiss, Dutch, and German scholars such as Theodor Bibliander (1504–1564), Konrad Gesner (1516–1565), Philippus Cluverius (1580–1623), Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), and Justus Georg Schottelius (1612–1676). This collection of important studies, a number of which have become very hard to find, has been framed by a detailed Editors’ Introduction, a biographical sketch of the author, a master list of references, and indexes of biographical names and of subjects, terms, and languages.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“The eleven articles gathered in this volume are not mere presentations of linguists whose works have fallen into oblivion. [...] While many might be tempted to dismiss those Early Modern scholars’ works as outdated, Metcalf finds remarkable insights that predict modern approaches to historical linguistics. At the same time, he warns the reader not to identify these insights with modern concepts, for these interesting Early Modern views were fragmentary and did not form a coherent system. [...] The disposal of the material in chronological order of the authors discussed gives a new meaning to the volume.”
“[T]his book is a handy compilation of the work of an important scholar of the history of linguistics, and it will be of both interest and value to the historian of linguistics.”
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Cited by 5 other publications

Burton, Simon J. G.
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Fernández Rodríguez, Rebeca
2015. A Contrastive Study of 18th-Century Word-Lists. Historiographia Linguistica 42:2-3  pp. 315 ff. DOI logo
Hawkins, Shane
2018. ‘Selig wer auch Zeichen gibt’: Leibniz as Historical Linguist. The European Legacy 23:5  pp. 510 ff. DOI logo
Karabykov, A. V.
2018. Language, Being, History in Jacob Boehme’s Theosophy. Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences :11  pp. 126 ff. DOI logo
Van Hal, Toon
2016. Protestant Pioneers in Sanskrit Studies in the Early 18th Century. Historiographia Linguistica 43:1-2  pp. 99 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 may 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFF: Historical & comparative linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2013019634 | Marc record