AR

BE

BG

BN

BS

CA

CS

DE

EL

EM

EN

EO

ES

ET

FA

FI

FR

HE

HR

HU

ID

IT

JA

KA

KN

KO

LT

LV

MR

NL

NN

PA

PL

PT

PX

RO

RU

SK

SR

SV

UK

VI

ZH

The history of linguistics

Languages have always fascinated mankind. The history of linguistics is therefore very long. Linguistics is the systematic study of language. Even thousands of years ago people contemplated language. In doing so, different cultures developed different systems. As a result, different descriptions of languages emerged. Today's linguistics are based on ancient theories more than anything else. Many traditions were established in Greece in particular. The oldest known work about language comes from India, however. It was written 3,000 years ago by the grammarian Sakatayana. In ancient times, philosophers like Plato busied themselves with languages. Later, Roman authors developed their theories further. Arabians, too, developed their own traditions in the 8th century. Even then, their works show precise descriptions of the Arabian language. In modern times, man particularly wanted to research where language comes from. Scholars were especially interested in the history of language. In the 18th century, people started to compare languages with each other. They wanted to understand how languages develop. Later they concentrated on languages as a system. The question of how languages function was the focal point. Today, a great number of schools of thought exist within linguistics. Many new disciplines have developed since the fifties. These were in part strongly influenced by other sciences. Examples are psycholinguistics or intercultural communication. The newer linguistic schools of thought are very specialized. One example of this is feminist linguistics. So the history of linguistics continues… As long as there are languages, man will contemplate them!

text before next text

© Copyright Goethe Verlag GmbH 2018. All rights reserved.