Edward Sapir > Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech > Subject Index > Page 152
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Edward Sapir (1884–1939).  Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech.  1921.
 

Page 152
 
  I need hardly point out that these examples are far from exhausting the possibilities of linguistic structure. Nor that the fact that two languages are similarly classified does not necessarily mean that they present a great similarity on the surface. We are here concerned with the most fundamental and generalized features of the spirit, the technique, and the degree of elaboration of a given language. Nevertheless, in numerous instances we may observe this highly suggestive and remarkable fact, that languages that fall into the same class have a way of paralleling each other in many details or in structural features not envisaged by the scheme of classification. Thus, a most interesting parallel could be drawn on structural lines between Takelma and Greek, 23 languages that are as geographically remote from each other and as unconnected in a historical sense as two languages selected at random can well be. Their similarity goes beyond the generalized facts registered in the table. It would almost seem that linguistic features that are easily thinkable apart from each other, that seem to have no necessary connection in theory, have nevertheless a tendency to cluster or to follow together in the wake of some deep, controlling impulse to form
Note 23.  Not Greek specifically, of course, but as a typical representative of Indo-European. [back]

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