THIS (THE 19TH) CENTURY has seen science make increasingly rapid progress and achieve greater successes than ever before. Not the least among the various sciences is linguistics (glottology, glottics), which has come to be organized as an independent discipline in Europe only in this century.
When we speak of 19th century linguistics, we refer exclusively to the European-American world, i.e., to the world which has already gone beyond the 19th century. The Chinese, Japanese, and Moslem nations, let alone the nations which have not participated in the intellectual life of this world, have not yet made the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. Thus it is only in the European-American sphere that an inventive and progressive generation has created a genuine linguistic science, and a new form of understanding and studying human speech in all its variety and complexity.
The beginnings of today’s impressive science of linguistics are noticeable in the 18th century, and even earlier. These were at first only narrow, shallow currents of knowledge, but as they broadened and deepened, they merged into a vast ocean of knowledge. <. . .>
What then were these currents, these initial impulses, which gradually led to modern 20th century linguistics?
The main current was the uninterrupted philological tradition of Greek and Latin language and literature, to which was later added the philological study of the ancient Hebrew and Arabic languages that had become accessible to European scholars, as well as Indie philology, including Sanskrit and the theories of the Hindu grammarians, which Europeans came to know in the latter half of the 18th century.
In European schools they taught Latin, and sometimes Greek, besides the national languages. The need to speak and write correctly forced people to consider the characteristics of different languages. Outside the schools, foreign languages were also studied, and all this gave rise to the production of textbooks, practical grammars, and dictionaries. These purely practical considerations were soon combined with scientific interests, with an intellectual quest for a deeper understanding of linguistic problems: attempts were made to define the peculiarities of one or more languages, to juxtapose and compare various languages by compiling dictionaries and in works containing logical speculations. Attempts were made to classify individual languages and groups of languages.
There appeared philosophical or rational (logical) grammars (in France as early as the second half of the 17th century); studies on the origin of language (Herder’s work in the second half of the 18th century); attempts at physiological investigations of pronunciation, including even machines to reproduce some sounds of human speech (Kempelen, Kratzenstein); similar experiments continued in the second half of the 18th century.
Leibniz, the famous philosopher and mathematician, who lived at the turn of the 18th century, pointed out the analogy between the study of linguistics and the natural sciences and the importance of studying living languages above all; it took a long time (until the second half of the 19th century) for this approach to become the motto of linguists, yet by no means of all. At the beginning of the 17th century European missionaries had begun to write down words in the languages of other parts of the world, and to describe the grammatical properties of these languages. The monarchs of multilingual states also took an interest in these questions.
Contemporary linguistics, linguistics of the 19th century, which has developed from and continues philology, is inspired by a more modern outlook.
The following factors contributed to its final development and character:
a) The ideas of Leibniz had opened up wide horizons to students of languages.
b) Acquaintance with the Hindu grammarians brought about an increasing awareness of phonetic differences and the ability to analyze and break up words into their constitutent parts.
c) The method of observation and of experimentation practiced in the natural sciences found practical application in linguistics.
d) The philosophical ideas of W. Humboldt and the application of the psychology of Herbart and others to the study of linguistic concepts imparted to linguistics a genuinely scientific character, based on a psychological approach to language.
e) Darwinism, and the theory of evolution in general, which gained popularity in the last century, had a positive influence on the views of linguists concerning the life of language. In this connection it should be noted that linguistics adopted these principles earlier and more boldly than the natural sciences.
The part of linguistics which is called “comparative grammar” is an offspring of the 19th century. For its method it is indebted to the Hindu grammarians, from whom they (the linguists) learned to analyze language and to break up words into constituent elements that provided, in turn, the impetus to compare words of various languages in “comparative dictionaries.”
Franz Bopp’s modest work on the system of conjugation of Sanskrit in comparison with several other Indo-European languages published in 1816 must be viewed as the beginning of so-called comparative grammar of the Indo-European (Indo-Germanic, Aryo-European) languages. Bopp convincingly proved the genetic relationship of these languages; and this led to the creation by Bopp himself and his contemporaries, especially Pott, of comparative grammar in general and, subsequently, to the improvement of this branch of science which has gone through two basic stages. A synthesis of the views characterizing these two stages can be found in the comparative grammars of Schleicher (published between 1868 and 1870) and Brugmann and Delbrück (published more recently).
In the beginning investigators slavishly repeated certain mistakes of the Hindu grammarians, but they began to discard them rather early; comparative phonetics is now free of these mistakes, while morphology is still in need of some serious corrections. European and American linguists still find it hard to free themselves of some residues of medieval scholasticism and the antiquated tenets of classical philology. Its tradition is very old, and the force of habit much stronger.
Alongside comparative grammar, there began to develop a “historical” grammar, which drew its material from literary records which it arranged according to the uninterrupted and gradual development of language. The true creator of historical grammar in the field of the Germanic languages was Jacob Grimm (1819).
A separate trend in the field of linguistics is, finally, represented by the so-called philosophy of language or philosophy of speech, whose most illustrious representative in the first half of the 19th century was Wilhelm von Humboldt. This philosophy of language was dominated at first by a metaphysical orientation which gradually changed into a psychological one. The credit for this change is due to Steinthal and to the journal Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft (1860-1878) founded by Steinthal and Lazarus. So-called philosophy of language profited further from the various generalizations and conclusions contained in the works of Whitney, Paul, Romanes, Sayce, Bréal, Potebnja, Appel, and others.
In outlook, contemporary linguistics is becoming more and more psychological. The latest work by Wundt1 shows best of all the importance which some of the foremost philosophical psychologists attribute to linguistic studies.
Around 1880 psychological data began to be utilized quite consciously to explain changes in linguistic forms (e.g., by Scherer, Leskien, Sayce, Bréal, Havet, Brugmann, Osthoff). A contemporary linguist who does not know how to apply consciously the notions of association and of relation of concepts falls below the standards of his science.
In the history of 19th century linguistics one can observe a gradual but more and more decisive emancipation from the influence of preconceptions and unfounded opinions which either were inherited from older times or originated in the 19th century itself.
To a considerable degree linguistics freed itself of the influence of philology and the dominance of the letter over the sound. It began strictly to distinguish spoken discourse from the written text. Instead of the notion of the arbitrary changes of letters which had been held by philologists, it first introduced the concept of transition from sound to sound and, subsequently, the concept of alternation.2
It replaced the naive explanation of linguistic changes in terms of euphony by an explanation of these changes in terms of the tendency to economize linguistic behavior in three areas: in phonation or sound-formation, in audition or listening, and perception in general, and finally in cerebration or in linguistic thought.
As I have already rioted above, it also freed itself of some false theories of the Hindu grammarians.
The old aristocratic attitude which was inspired by admiration for the erudition of philology and which considered worthy of investigation only noble, literary languages conferred with divine or regal power had to cede to the ever growing democratization of linguistic thought. Today there is no language that would be considered unworthy of study.
The renowned thesis about “the organism of language” (Becker) was subjected to devastating criticism by Steinthal in his work, Grammatik Logik, und Psychologie (Berlin, 1857).
August Schleicher had likewise held that linguistics is a natural science, and believed accordingly that language is a single, whole organism. This theory was bound to collapse under a trifling objection: it was noticed that no language can exist without man. Moreover, language as a physical phenomenon does not exist at all, and the basis of the individual continuity of language is exclusively psychological.
The genetic classification of languages, i.e., the classification based on historical affinity, was at first presented in the form of a genealogical tree (Schleicher, Curtius, and others), and later in the form of concentric waves (Schuchardt, I. Schmidt). But neither the first nor the second theory can withstand criticism, for on the one hand they are based on the supposition that language exists independently of man, and on the other hand, they fail to take into account the complexity of linguistic facts.
In the genetic classification of languages, linguistics has rid itself of the notion that Sanskrit constituted the proto-language of the Indo-Europeans, or that Old Church Slavonic was the proto-language of the Slavs; it came to be understood that the proto-languages of these families and peoples could not be preserved owing to changes in various directions.
In short, the characteristic feature of the development of 19th century linguistics was the empancipation from the authority of sorcerers and soothsayers of all kinds and the liberation from preconceptions which might even have appeared well intended and scholarly at first sight.
Linguistics adopted the principle of gradual development, or evolution; new attention was paid to the relative chronology of changes and to the chronological sequence of linguistic processes; separate strata were now distinguished in language, i.e., linguistic phenomena were viewed in their historical perspective and not on a single temporal plane, as was done by the Hindu grammarians. Evolutionism compelled consideration of the laws of genetic succession and adaptation or accommodation; at the same time a scientific explanation of the so-called rules and exceptions became possible.
Embryonic phenomena, archaisms of various kinds, the interaction of various factors, particularly the historical tradition and physiological-psychological causes peculiar to a given period of linguistic development—all these are new concepts and they characterize linguistics of the second half of the 19th century.
The rigorous and skillful inquiry into the historical sequence of processes as well as the derivation of later branches from an assumed common source makes it possible to reconstruct the former state of the language, and to predict its future development.
Today we know that in language, as in other phenomena of life, change, continuous motion (pdnta rhei) are uninterrupted, and the influence of constant factors which are infinitesimal at any given moment may bring about radical alternations.
The notion that there is a connection between linguistic characteristics and the world-view and disposition of people speaking particular languages has gained acceptance, while the generalizations drawn from particular changes indicate that there are certain steady directions of change and mutual dependence, (a notion) reminiscent of functional dependence in higher mathematics.
The methodology of linguistics increasingly resembles that of the exact sciences: there is more and more refined analysis and more abstraction. A quantitative mode of thinking finds ever larger application. We can characterize languages on the basis of statistical counts; we can apply the notion of infinitesimal quantities, infinitesimal distinctions, embryonic differences, limits (boundaries) of development in a certain direction, etc. The explanation of linguistic phenomena also warrants the application of mechanical concepts as, for example, the use and distribution of psychological energy; we can define the conditions of stability and fluctuation, that is, the variability of certain linguistic formations.
An index of the growth of scientific thought in the 20th century is the ever increasing connection between the various sciences and, consequently, the connection between linguistics and other sciences which are close to it for one or another reason. To be sure, there is greater specialization in the problems of research, but at the same time there is a tendency toward constant synthesis, generalization, and the establishment of common viewpoints. The conviction of the necessity of a common scientific mode of thinking underlying the different sciences affirms itself more than ever, and goes hand in hand with the rejection of any kind of sorcery, uncritical thinking, and reverence for authority that is exempt from criticism, in short, with the banishment from science of all residues of an antiquated mental attitude. The methods of science must differ in their particulars, but the foundations of thought are common and identical.
Let us now look at the internal divisions of linguistics in the 19th century and at the various aspects and topics of its research.
Along with the investigation of the languages of peoples and nations at various stages of their development, the language (speech) of the individual has become a subject of careful study. This exploration of individual speech, which is characterized by uninterrupted development, i.e., by development in the true sense of the word, has a direct bearing on general linguistics, whereas the study of tribal and national languages with their peculiar traditions and history is of concern primarily to historical linguistics. The study of individual life, in contradistinction to social or phylogenetic life, is connected with the embryology and pathology of language. In embryology we investigate the formation and development of children’s speech, and in pathology the language of dysphasics, i.e., of people who are linguistically underdeveloped.
The quest for a thorough exploration of the phylogeny of language has led inevitably to the study of the languages of peoples who have probably remained on the lowest level of mental development, as well as to the investigation of the speech of those animals, particularly apes, who are closest to man. In accordance with anthropological and biological facts, one has to agree that the prehuman or even the formed human being could enter the road of linguistic development only after he rose on two feet.
The problem of the origin of language is also of interest to anthropologists and sociologists (cf., for example, the hypotheses of the sociologist Gumplovic).
The question has been raised whether human language has one or many origins, whether it was formed at one time and in one place or at various times and in various places; this is a genuine scientific question <. . .>.
The 19th century has also made significant advances in the study of linguistic material. Thus it was discovered that Celtic, Armenian, Albanian, and the ancient languages of Asia Minor belong to the Indo-European linguistic group. Extremely valuable material came to light through the study of the records of the oldest representatives of this group: Zend and Old Persian in the Iranian family; Oscan, Umbrian, and Vulgar Latin in the Italic-Romance family; Gothic and other ancient Germanic languages in the Germanic family; Old Irish in the Celtic family; Old Prussian in the Baltic or Aistian (Lithuanian-Latvian) family; Old Church Slavonic in the Slavic family, etc.
The discovery and study of various languages including extinct languages which have been preserved only in written records have likewise contributed to the broadening of the linguistic horizon. It is enough to mention the deciphering of Accadian and Sumerian, the study of Etruscan and Basque, the exact description of many Caucasian, Finno-Ugric, Uralo-Altaic, American Indian, African, Australian, Polynesian, Eastern Siberian, and other languages.
In many cases it was possible to determine the genetic relationship or kinship of the newly discovered languages and of those already known. Thus, for example, the texts of the Accadian and Sumerian languages (in the area of ancient Chaldea) which were deciphered in the second half of the 19th century allow us to state that these languages are ancient representatives of the Uralo-Altaic or “Turanian” group, but with a different morphological structure. According to Professor V. Tomsen of the University of Copenhagen the language of the ancient Etruscans might also possibly belong to this group.
Information about exotic languages that are still alive has been furnished to linguistic science either by individual scholar-travelers, or by joint undertakings, by scientific expeditions. We owe considerably more to the work of individual investigators than to those collective efforts.
The democratization of linguistics, which has come to recognize the equality of popular dialects with literary languages, has in the 19th century led to the creation of a new branch of linguistics called dialectology, or the science of dialects. The results of dialect studies are of utmost importance not only for linguistics, but also for ethnology and the history of peoples and nations. One consequence of these studies has been to apply the term “language” only to literary languages, and to designate living linguistic communities by such terms as “linguistic territory,” “linguistic area,” or “dialect group.”
Along with dialectology there also developed epigraphy, or the science of inscriptions, which makes it possible to determine the characteristics not only of ancient, extinct dialects, but also of contemporary dialects, and which serves thereby as an ancillary discipline of dialectology. The science of inscriptions in the broad sense of the word also includes the study of the writing of dysalphabetics, i.e., people who have not fully mastered a given orthography. Thus the use of written records helps us to arrive at dialectological conclusions.
In all these branches of linguistics (in the investigation of individual languages, of whole linguistic territories of various peoples, of national dialects and of literary languages, of live speech and of written documents, etc.), attention is being paid to the various aspects of language, constituting the following divisions of general and of particular (specific) grammar:
Phonetics (phonology), the science of sound-representations or of pronunciation, which is subdivided into anthropophonetics (physiology of human speech) and psycho-phonetics;
Morphology, the science of the structure of words (morphology in the proper sense), and the science of the structure of sentences (syntax);
Lexicology, the science of the word in general;
Semasiology (semantics), the science of the meaning of words, i.e., the combination of linguistic and extralinguistic representations;
Etymology, the study of the composition of words and their meaningful parts from the point of view of their historical origin.
A great many successful and lucky discoveries were made in all these branches of our science in the 19th century. To this day however lexicology has remained isolated. Anthropophonetics has developed most of all, since it has attracted the attention not only of linguists, but also of psysicists, physiologists, and others.
Anthropophonetics, also called the physiology of human speech, is a separate branch of science which deals with the investigation of the conditions of pronunciation and of the phonational-auditory production of language. Anthropophonetics also includes phenomena which lie outside of language and which consist exclusively of the combination of representations, i.e., which have a purely psychological basis. Anthropophonetics employs physicalphysiological methods: it devises experiments and utilizes physical apparatus (the phonograph, the glossograph, and other specialized equipment). There has even been invented a synthetic device which imitates the human voice. This talking machine (Sprechmaschine), constructed by Faber in 1830, was, unfortunately, lost to true science.
Anthropophonetics is a part of general phonetics, whose second part is psycho-phonetics and historical phonetics, which already belong entirely to psychological linguistics proper.
Among the 19th century discoveries in the field of phonetics special mention is due to the results of accentual investigations, especially in the field of Slavic and of Lithuanian, and of the Indo- European languages in general (Vuk Karadzic, Danicic, Valjavec, Masing, Skrabec, Resetar, Kurschat, Baranovskij, Jaunis, Leskien, Werner, Wheeler, de Saussure, Fortunatov, Saxmatov, Meillet, Hirt, and many others).
In addition to phonetics there is the morphology of the word, which in the last three decades of the 19th century has become a strict science, especially in application to the Indo-European languages; in some respects it is perhaps a more strict science than morphology in the biological sciences.
In the last years a solid foundation was also given to the science of the meaning of the words, or of the relation between linguistic and extralinguistic concepts, i.e., to the science called semasiology or semantics (thanks to the works of Bréal and others).
In the area of etymology, which studies the composition of words and their meaningful parts from the point of view of their historical origin within the limits of one or more languages, the 19th century can boast of many extremely fortunate and successful findings which shed light on the development of human concepts in the most diverse areas of thought and life.
The 19th century laid the scientific foundations for the classification and the systematization of languages; the influence of certain languages upon others began to be carefully investigated; and attention was turned to the problem of the formation of mixed languages (Schuchardt, Petriceicu-Hasdeu).
The utilization of linguistic data in the field of other sciences (mythology, history of legal concepts, ethnology, etc.) produced more or less worthwhile results. Special mention should be made of the attempts to reproduce a picture of primitive culture by means of linguistic reconstruction (Kuhn, Pictet, Schräder).
Modern linguistics has found least application in the realm of pedagogy, in the study of languages in the schools, although it is clear that the methods of practical instruction of languages have been considerably improved during the 19th century.
The second half of the 19th century has also witnessed attempts to create universal, international artificial languages. The first attempt at the creation of such a language, but of a philosophical character, dates back to the 17th century (the Mercury language by the Englishman Wilkins, which was published in 1665). Leibniz also worked on the creation of an international philosophic language. In the 19th century efforts in this direction were made by the Frenchman Letellier (La Langue universelle, 1856) and by the Spaniard Sotos Ochando (1858). We can further cite the Chabé language created by the engineer Maldant, the Spokil language by Dr. Nicholas, and the Ars signorum by a certain Dalgarno. None of these philosophical languages could claim to be generally used. This problem could only be solved by artificial languages in the full sense of the word, which were the creation of the 19th century. Among the many attempts in this direction (for example, the Catholic language [Langue Catholique ] by Liptay or the Lingua internacional by J. Lott) only three attracted the attention of wide circles of society and scholars. The first was the most popular—Volapük by Schleier, the pastor of Baden; the second was the Espero or Esperanto by Dr. Zamenhof of Warsaw; Leon Bollack in Paris recently invented the blue language (la langue bleue).
Side by side with these developments in linguistics which made full use of human reason and of sober minds, there were throughout the 19th century, just as before, dreamers talking in their sleep, people of unbridled fantasy, who, impressed by accidental sound similarities, derived Gepidi from kiep (“fool”) and Thuringians from durni (“fools”). The “learned” works of such “scholars” are of interest primarily to psychiatrists or to humorists.
Furthermore, in linguistics, just as in statistics, history, anthropology, etc., the real state of affairs has more than once been distorted and falsified. This was done unconsciously or half consciously because of greed and patriotic sensitivity, or quite consciously when knowledge was bargained away and “convictions” prostituted.
Nineteenth-century linguistics, like other sciences, largely increased the various channels of diffusion of its knowledge. The enormous growth of scientific literature, the variety of special works, brochures, publications, journals etc., significantly aided speculation about language and the investigation of linguistic problems.
The works and scientific studies were either of a general, synthetic or of a specialized, monographic character. On the one hand we have complete grammars of some languages, and on the other only parts of grammars, such as phonetics, syntax, etc. Along with these we have “comparative grammars” of larger or smaller scope, classifications and systems of languages, philosophic-linguistic synthetic works, etc. Finally there are books devoted to the bibliography of linguistics, works and studies on the history of this science, etc.
Scholarly journals have appeared, dealing with linguistic facts from both pedagogical and nonpedagogical viewpoints. These were either of a purely linguistic character or they dealt with linguistics in relation to other sciences. Among the specialized linguistic journals we can distinguish three main types: journals of general linguistics, journals of anthropology and phonetics, and journals devoted to the study of separate linguistic families. In the journals of mixed content, linguistics was combined with philology (classical, Oriental, Romance, Germanic, Slavic, etc.) or with ethnography and anthropology, etc. Linguistics also received attention in general scientific and popular science journals. Much valuable and important linguistic data can be found in physical, physiological, medical, pedagogical, philosophical, psychological, anthropological, ethnographic, and historical journals.
Among the great quantity of linguistic publications special attention is due to the publication of ancient texts (for example, the Rigveda published by Max Müller) and of dialectological texts, as well as excellent lexicographical works, i.e., dictionaries impressive for size as well as for thoroughness and soundness of composition: the Sanskrit dictionary of Böhtlingk and Roth (published by the Academy of Sciences in Petersburg); the German dictionary of the brothers Grimm; the French dictionary of Littré; the new editions of Ducange’s memorable dictionary (of the 17th century). The following works were initiated and planned on a large scale: the enormous dictionary of the Swedish language; the dictionary of Turkic dialects by V. Radlov (published by the Academy of Sciences in Petersburg); the Rigveda dictionary of Grassmann; the Polish dictionary of Linde; the Czech dictionaries of Jungmann and Kott; the Serbo-Croation dictionary (begun under the editorship of Danicic); the Russian dictionary (“of the Living Great Russian Language”) of V. Dal’; the dictionary of the Russian language published by the Second Section (of Russian language and literature) of the Academy of Sciences in Petersburg, at first under the editorship of J. Grot, and then of A. Saxmatov and many others.
Linguistic chairs at universities and in other institutions of higher learning were not created until the 19th century. It is true, they were connected to a large degree with instrutcion in literature and philology in general (for example chairs of Classical Philology, Romance, Germanic, Slavic, various Oriental languages, Russian language and literature, Polish language and literature, etc.), but along with these there also are exclusively linguistic chairs (for example, of the comparative grammar of the Indo- European languages, Sanskrit and comparative grammar, comparative linguistics, general linguistics, comparative grammar of the Slavic languages, the comparative grammar of the Urgo- Finnic languages, etc.). Today such chairs exist under different names in different European countries, in America, in Japan, in the Russian universities since 1823, and for the last few years at the University of Cracow as well.3
Academies of science and scientific societies in various countries devote part of their works and funds to linguistic research; they publish various works and journals, organize scientific expeditions, give stipends to specialists, etc.
Only in elementary schools and particularly in high schools has linguistics until now been treated as a stepchild. But in all fairness one must note that the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway), Finland, Switzerland, and North America are exceptions in this respect. In these countries language teachers try as much as possible to utilize the results of linguistic research.
Nineteenth-century linguistics was first organized as a separate science in Germany. The Germans were ahead in both the number of scholars and in the quantity of scientific attainments; at any rate, Germany remained the center of intellectual ferment in the field of linguistics. But other nations and countries soon emerged in several fields, perhaps even surpassing the Germans. Linguistics developed quite rapidly among the English and Americans (Sayce, Whitney, Wheeler), among the French and Swiss, (Benloew, Bréal, Darmsteter, Bonaparte, Vinson, de Saussure, Meillet, Rousselot), in the Scandinavian countries (Rask, Lundell, Verner, Tomsen, Möller, Torbörnssen, Broch, Lidén, Pedersen,...). Several branches of linguistics were also developed independently in other states and countries, reflecting the general trend of international linguistics and the needs of their particular society; e.g., in Italy (Biondelli, Ascoli), in Russia (Potebnja, Fortunatov, Kors, V. Miller, Brandt, Il’inskij, Krusevskij, Bogorodickij, Sobolevskij, Saxmatov,...), in Holland (Uhlenbeck,...), among the Czechs and Slovaks (Dobrovsky, Safarik, Gebauer, Zubaty,. . .), in Hungary (Hunfalvy, Budencz, Genecz, Munkacsi, Szinnyei, . . .).
Anthropophonetic studies dealing with the pronunciation of the sounds of human speech attained the highest development among the English and Scandinavians (Danes, Swedes, Norwegians) and among the French, although the Germans, too, have obtained some noteworthy results in this field. In dialect research in their own states and countries, particular credit is due the Italians, French, Scandinavians, Czechs, Serbs and Croats, Bulgarians, Slovenians, Russians, and Poles. Comparative grammar of the Indo-European languages was greatly advanced by the French (and Swiss), the Dutch, the Danes, and the Germans. The most remarkable successes in the study of new, previously unknown languages have been achieved in North America (the languages of the ancient indigenous peoples), in Russia (Caucasian, Siberian, and other languages), and in Hungary (languages related to Hungarian).
The philosophy of language and the quest for generalizations in the field of linguistics made rapid advance not only among the Germans, but also among the English and Americans, the French and the Scandinavians and, to some extent, among the Roumanians.
But even in smaller countries and among smaller nations various linguistic problems have received original and successful treatment as, for example, among the Finns (Castrén, Ahlquist, Lönnrot, Donner, Setälä, Viklund, Mikkola, who studied not only Finnish and the Ugro-Finnic languages but also the languages of other nations); in Roumania (Petriceicu-Hasdeu), Portugal, Belgium (Bang), Greece, Bulgaria (Miletic, Matov); among the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians (Miklosich, Danicic, Budmani, Jagic, Skrabec, Oblak); Estonians (Wiedemann, Veske), Latvians (Bielenstein), Lithuanians (Kurschat, Bishop Antanas Baranauskas, the priest and professor Kazimir Jaunis); and the Lusatians (Ernest Muka). In all these countries we find works which are not only of local significance but which also belong to international science. One may assume that even Japan, which has recently joined the international intellectual community, will soon come forth with original contributions in the field of linguistics.
The various directions of linguistic thought have also exerted a greater or lesser influence upon the Polish scientific community. This influence, coming almost exclusively from the West, has either evoked passive adoption of a ready made foreign, or rather alien science, or has also provided an impulse for speculation and original research. Scholars adopting this science (which has in the meantime provoked a strong opposition against “heretical novelties from abroad”) worked either in the specialized area of Polish linguistics (particuarly in the area of the history of the language and dialectology), or made their own contribution to the international and universal science.
In the very near future, i.e., in the 20th century, linguistics will have to face and solve the following problems:
1. It will have to rid itself once and for all of the scholastic views inherited from the original grammatical attempts of the Greeks and Romans and also of some later ideas which were slavishly adopted from the Hindu or Arabic and Jewish grammarians. Consequently, modern linguistic terminology will have to be changed fundamentally not only in form, but also in its essence, with regard to its concepts.
2. It will have to implement Leibniz’s idea, and following the example of natural science, start always and everywhere with the study of living languages which are accessible to observation, proceeding only afterwards to the study of languages which are reflected in the written documents of antiquity.
3. Wherever possible, it will have to apply the experimental method. This can be best accomplished in anthropophonetics, which must broaden the range of its observations to include on the one hand sounds emitted by animals and on the other hand languages with peculiarities of pronunciation which until now have remained incomprehensible for us. Broadened in this way, anthropophonetics will in fact become a general science, based on a real foundation.
4. In this connection the signs of the alphabet will have to be replaced by signs of a transcription based on the analysis and identification of the sounds of various languages.
5. It will be necessary to apply quantitative, mathematical methods in linguistics more often in order to bring it closer to the exact sciences.
6. Linguistics will also become a more exact science depending on the degree of the refinement of the qualitative method in psychology, the science on which it rests.
7. The study of linguistic facts will have to become strictly objective; it will have to comprise statements of actual facts of a given period and in a given linguistic area without imposing alien categories on them.
8. The first and cardinal requirement of objective research must be the recognition of the psychological and social character of human speech.
9. The concept of “sound laws” must be once and for all discarded from linguistics and replaced by its psychological equivalent.
10. Languages under study must be subjected to a multifarious analysis of their elements from every possible viewpoint.
11. The concepts of development and evolution must become the basis of linguistic thinking. This will lead eo ipso to the eradication of the anthropocentric prejudice that isolates man from other living beings, and also to liberation from the megalomania which is based on the conviction that “our” kind of languages represents the peak of morphological development among the languages of the world.
12. The concept of evolution must allow for the existence of constant fluctuation and variation in the structure of a language (in the area of complex linguistic forms, words, expressions and sentences, the transition from centralization to decentralization, and vice versa).
13. Lexicology, or the science of words, as a separate branch of grammar will be the creation of the 20th century.
14. It is possible that new genetic relations will be discovered between languages and groups of languages, and even the very concept of the nature of interlingual relations may undergo fundamental change. Completely new horizons will open up. The attempts hitherto made in the 19th century to compare genetically the Semitic and Indo-European languages or the Ugro-Finnic and Indo-European languages were doomed to failure because of the lack of sufficient proof. Perhaps the 20th century will be more successful in this respect. A true and excellent discovery in this area is the proof adduced for the genetic relationship of a group of Semitic languages with Caucasian (Georgian-Mingrelian) languages (this discovery was made by Professor Marr at St. Petersburg).
15. Linguistic generalizations will gain greater breadth and will bring linguistics ever closer to other sciences: psychology, anthropology, sociology, and biology.
16. Etymological and semasiological studies will exert a tremendous influence on psychology and will provide it with completely new data for conclusions and generalizations.
17. Along with the two well-established contemporary modes of knowledge, i.e., the intuitive-artistic and analytic-scientific, there will be a third, linguistic one.
But linguistics will be in a position to prove its usefulness in the very near future only if it will rid itself of its ties with philology and <the study of the> history of literature. Above all, university chairs of linguistics must become autonomous, and combine rather with departments of sociology and natural science than with those of philology. The preparation for all this must begin in elementary schools and high schools, in which the application of linguistic knowledge is bound to occupy a serious place. But to achieve this it will be necessary to disabuse onself of the notion that the science of language begins with “dead” languages and that instruction in foreign languages must proceed through translation, without recourse to the observational method. In schools, grammatical terminology must be made uniform, and the “native” language, or any other acquired in a similar way, must constitute the basis for the mastery of grammatical concepts. The pedagogical utilization of linguistic material will consist in providing the students with an insight into the unconscious processes of language. To achieve all this the schools will have to free themselves of the reign of obscurantism, which prevents the light of true science from penetrating into the minds of students.
1. Volkerpsychologie. Eine Untersuchung der Entzuicklungsgrsetze von Sprache, Mythus und Sitte von Wilhelm Wundt, vol. I, Die Sprache, Leipzig. 1900, XV + 627 pp., X + 644 pp. Cf. also: Grundfragen der Sprachforschung mit Riicksicht auf W. Wundts Sprachpsychologie erijrtert von B. Delbriick, Strassburg, 1901, VII + 180 pp.
2. Cf. my Prdba teorji alternacij fonrtycznych, Cracow, 1894.
3. At the present time the chair of comparative linguistics and Sanskrit at Cracow University is held by Jan Rozwadowski, a completely independent scholar and the best Polish expert on the Indo-European languages in all their diversity.