Max Müller and the Science of Language: A Criticism

D. Appleton, 1892 - 79 sivua

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Sivu 1 - For many," says Prof. Whitney, in his preface, " the book has been their first introduction to linguistic study ; and doubtless to a large proportion of English-speaking readers, especially, it is still the principal and most authoritative text-book of that study, as regards both methods and results. A work holding such a position calls for careful criticism, that it may not be trusted where it is untrustworthy, and so do harm to the science which it was intended to help.
Sivu 1 - THE SCIENCE OF LANGUAGE : Founded on Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution in 1861 and 1863. 2 vols.
Sivu 10 - Locke never seems to have realized the intricacies of the names-giving process, and though he admits frequently the difficulty, nay, sometimes the impossibility, of our handling any general ideas without the outward signs of language, he never questions for a moment the received theory that at some time or other in the history of the world men had accumulated a treasure of anonymous general conceptions, to which, when the time of intellectual and social intercourse had arrived, they prudently attached...
Sivu 29 - To think is to speak low; to speak is to think aloud. The word is the thought incarnate.
Sivu 20 - through which language is settled and unsettled combines in one the two opposite elements of necessity and free will. Though the individual seems to be the prime agent in producing new words and new grammatical forms, he is so only after his individuality has been merged in the common action of the family, tribe, or nation to which he belongs. He can do nothing by himself, and the first impulse to a new formation in language, though given by an individual, is mostly, if not always, given without...
Sivu 18 - Let us consider, first, that although there is a continuous change in language, it is not in the power of man either to produce or to prevent it. We might think as well of changing the laws which control the circulation of our blood, or of adding an inch to our height, as of altering the laws of speech, or inventing new words according to our own pleasure.
Sivu 50 - High and Low. There never was a common, uniform, Teutonic language ; nor is there any evidence to show that there existed at any time a uniform High-German or Low-German language, from which all High-German and Low-German dialects are respectively derived.
Sivu 26 - Languages are natural organisms, which, without being determinable by the will of man, arose, grew, and developed themselves, in accordance with fixed laws, and then again grow old and die out ; to them, too, belongs that succession of phenomena which is wont to be termed
Sivu 20 - But if that change take place, it will not be by the will of any individual, nor by the mutual agreement of any large number of men, but rather in spite of the exertions of grammarians and academies. And here you perceive the first difference between history and growth. An emperor may change the laws of society, the forms of religion, the rules of art: it is in the power of one generation, or even of one individual, to raise an art to the highest pitch of perfection, while the next may allow it...
Sivu 9 - ... by no means solved. For how was a foreign language to be learnt as long as either party could only speak their own ? The problem was almost as difficult as when, as we are told by some persons, the first men, as yet speechless, came together in order to invent speech, and to discuss the most appropriate names that should be given to the perceptions of the senses and the abstractions of the mind. At first, it must be supposed that the Greek learned foreign languages very much as children learn...

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