Comparative And Historical Linguistics

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Before 19th century scholars were not very much interested about historical linguistics and were remained unnoticed that language has gone through many changes. Since the starting of the 19th century, historical linguistics have undergone many changes with time it has led to major revisions and modifications to the theory and practice in this field. Historical linguistics investigates and describes the language change and how languages maintain their structure during the course of time. Those changes are still in progress and were noticed by the work of the William Labov who has dealt with the social, linguistic study of ‘New York City’ in 1966 where his investigation included 70 individual interviews- in the public places. These studies lead to the definition of the major phonological variables which were to be studied include (r) historical linguistics, the presence and the absence of the consonantal {r} in postvocalic position (as in car, card, four,…show more content…
This is counter distinguished with ‘synchronic linguistics’ which deals with language in a single point of time. Historical linguistics dates back from the late 18th century. It grew out of the earlier discipline of philology.
1.2. The rise of comparative method: Comparative and historical linguistics were often treated as a single discipline. Firstly the main concern of historical linguistics was to study about Comparative Linguistics in which linguists were concerned about how two languages are related to one another when they are derived from a common ancestor. This notion of comparative linguistics was given by Sir William Jones a British judge in India who studied ‘oriental languages and literature’ delivered a lecture in Calcutta entitled “The Third Anniversary Discourse, on the Hindus” on the 2nd February 1786 where he noticed that; “The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the
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