On Language Diversity and Relationship from Bibliander to Adelung
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.
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, 120] 2013. viii, 181 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Foreword & acknowledgments | pp. vii–viii
Editors’ introduction | pp. 1–10
Bibliographical references | pp. 11–16
Bibliography of George J. Metcalf | pp. 17–18
1. Between methodology and ideology: How facts and theories intertwine in earlier views on diachronic linguistics | pp. 19–32
2. The Indo-European hypothesis in the 16th and 17th centuries | pp. 33–46
3. Theodor Bibliander (1505–1564) and the languages of Japheth’s progeny | pp. 57–64
4. Konrad Gesner’s (1516–1565) general views on language | pp. 65–76
5. Gesner’s views on the Germanic languages | pp. 77–84
6. Abraham Mylius (1563–1637) on historical linguistics | pp. 85–104
7. Philippus Cluverius (1580–1623) and his Lingua Celtica | pp. 105–122
8. A linguistic clash in the 17th century | pp. 123–122
9. Justus Georg Schottelius (1612–1676) on historical linguistics | pp. 133–146
10. Andreas Jäger’s (c.1660–1730) De Lingua Vetustissima Europae (1686) | pp. 147–152
11. Johann Christoph Adelung (1732–1806) discovers the languages of Asia | pp. 153–168
Index of biographical names | pp. 175–178
Index of subjects & terms | pp. 179–181
“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.”
Monica Vasileanu, on Linguist List 25.2349, May 29, 2014
“[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.”
Marc Pierce, University of Texas at Austin, in Sixteenth Century Journal XLV/3 (2014)
Cited by 5 other publications
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFF – Historical & comparative linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General