Reprint of the 1968 original
This book, a reprint of one of the classics of historical linguistics, contains five papers originally presented at a 1966 symposium at the University of Texas at Austin. The individual contributions cover a broad range of topics, from Ferdinand de Saussure’s influence on historical linguistics to the connection between inflectional paradigms and sound change to language change in contemporary linguistic communities. Each of the contributions has had a sizable effect on the development of linguistics; the final paper, by Uriel Weinreich, Marvin Herzog, and William Labov, for instance, laid the foundation for contemporary historical sociolinguistics. The volume has long been out of print; this new edition will make it accessible to a new generation of linguists.
Pietro U. Dini
Earliest Theories about Baltic Languages (16th century)
Pietro U. Dini
This book is a study of the relatively unknown field of Baltic linguistic historiography associated with the 16th century. This has been the saeculum mirabile of Baltic philology, not only on account of the first books having appeared during that period, but also due to the diverse linguistic ideas about the Baltic languages which were circulating during Renaissance Palaeocomparativism: the Slavic and the closely connected Illyrian theory, the Latin theory (with its variants: the semi-Latin, the neo-Latin, and the Wallachian), also the Quadripartite theory. Minor but significant linguistic ideas are also discussed here, for example the emergence of a Hebrew theory and the Greek theory about Old Prussian. The synoptic juxtaposition of the different ideas shows very well the state of knowledge in Europe about the languages which later would be called ‘Baltic’ and the modernity of those ideas within European Renaissance linguistic debate leading to the rise of comparative linguistic genealogy.