By Thomas R. Trautmann

British rule of India introduced jointly very various traditions of scholarship approximately language, whose conjuncture resulted in numerous highbrow breakthroughs of lasting worth. of those have been in particular vital: the conceptualization of the Indo-European language kinfolk by way of Sir William Jones at Calcutta in 1786—proposing that Sanskrit is said to Persian and languages of Europe—and the conceptualization of the Dravidian language kinfolk of South India via F.W. Ellis at Madras in 1816—the “Dravidian proof,” exhibiting that the languages of South India are with regards to each other yet usually are not derived from Sanskrit. those innovations are legitimate nonetheless this day, centuries later. This e-book maintains the exam Thomas R. Trautmann begun in Aryans and British India (1997). whereas the former ebook curious about Calcutta and Jones, the present quantity examines those advancements from the vantage of Madras, targeting Ellis, Collector of Madras, and the Indian students with whom he labored on the university of citadel St. George, using the wealthy colonial checklist. Trautmann concludes via exhibiting how parts of the Indian research of language were folded into ancient linguistics and proceed within the current as unseen yet however dwelling components of the modern.

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The sanguine flood of Roman glory not only swept away ancient nations but obliterated the accumulated records of the primeval times. The Roman warriors trod under foot the arts and sciences of Etruria and left nothing but the fragments of their vases to demonstrate the existence of former civilization.

Even before a satisfactory and unitary scientific standard of etymology had been found through the recognition of lawlike regularity in sound shifts within languages, beginning with Grimm’s law in the early nineteenth century, the word list was the means to new discoveries that have endured. Simple as its form is, outmoded as is the biblical frame of historical time within which it was conceived, lacking as it does a method of determining which similarities count as signs of relationships and which do not, or a method of discerning relationships among words that do not look similar yet are cognate (the greater analytic power achieved when comparative philology arrived at the laws of sound shifts)—despite all these shortcomings, the method of the word list, even in its simplest, eighteenth-century form, must be close enough to the truth of things to have been able to deliver so much knowledge that was new and lasting.

W. Leibniz, published in 1718, shortly after his death, is of critical importance and may well be the model for subsequent lists, including Marsden’s. The text in question is Leibniz’s “Appeal concerning languages of 9. v. ” His contribution to the question of Roma origins has not been previously noted. ” His request for information amounts to instruction to travelers about how such linguistic specimens should be collected (Leibniz 1718:49). , Slavic) family, and of the Wallachians, Cettos and Livonians, Turks, Persians, and Chinese.

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