Two Lectures on the Science of Language
by James Hope Moulton (9780217412735)

Two Lectures on the Science of Language
James Hope Moulton
Release Date: 10 December 0140
Format: Paperback
Pages: 18
Category: History
ISBN: 9780217412735
ISBN-10: 0217412734

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: II. LANGUAGE AND PRIMITIVE HISTORY. " Linguistic Palaeontology," as the method of research which I am to describe this morning is usually called, is one among many tools which we may use to excavate the prehistoric past. Archaeology studies its material relics. Geology offers to tell us under certain conditions the dates to which they belong. Botany and Zoology come in occasionally to pronounce upon arguments drawn from trees or animals which are brought into association with primitive man. Craniology measures the skulls of those who were considerate enough to leave them behind, and Ethnology pursues other methods of classifying their racial characteristics. Anthropology and Folklore investigate primitive man by studying his equally primitive representatives among the savages of today, and by following out through modern survivals the history of customs and institutions, superstitions and magic. The Science of Language, as we have seen, can do something towards reconstructing thespeech and vocabulary of the parent Indogerman peoples, who lived ages before the dawn of history, and it is clear that this reconstructed vocabulary, if properly used, can tell us many facts about the life of these interesting forbears of ours. The methods I have described are of course allies, to be regarded as necessary to one another's efficiency, and on no account to be used exclusively or with exaggerated belief in their powers when standing alone. There are scholars who seem to regard Language as almost entirely useless for this purpose. They press the weaknesses of Language as evidence till they persuade themselves that it is sheer waste of time to study Linguistic Palaeontology at all. As usual, the truth would seem to lie between two extremes. To reject the mass of evidence, the nature of ...

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