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1. Die Antwort Daniel Jenischs auf die Preisfrage der Berliner Akademie zur "Vergleichung der Hauptsprachen Europas" von 1794
"In his prize-winning paper concerning the comparative study of the major languages of Europe, the Berliner theologist Daniel Jenisch makes an assessment of the 14 major European languages, in which the literary works of their best poets orient his approach. First of all, in a brief theoretical section, Jenisch establishes four criteria - richness, emphatic quality, clarity/precision, and harmony - for his comparison of the languages. These are regarded by Jenisch (and similarly by Humboldt later) as individuals whose character is manifested in literary texts. Jenisch, however, rejected the question about the ideal language that was part of the prize question of the Berlin Royal Academy. He views each language as having merits but also disadvantages which distinguish it from the others. Jenisch's comparative study of languages brings to an end a method of comparing languages that goes back to Dante, namely the comparison of languages based on the works of their best authors." [Information des Anbieters]   [mehr...] zum Anfang
2. "Deutsche gründliche Kritik". Christian Jacob Kraus zu Pallas' 'Vergleichendem Glossarium aller Sprachen'
"On the instructions of Catherine the Great, the Berliner and natural scientist Peter Simon Pallas (1740-1811) compiled a comparative dictionary of the languages known at that time (2 volumes, Petersburg 1786/7-1789). The work comprises word lists that contain about 300 words (mostly nouns) translated from Russian into about 200 languages. Particularly in learned circles, Pallas's glossary met with great interest but also with criticism because of its methodological weaknesses. Christian Jacob Kraus (1753-1807), who taught at the University of Königsberg, wrote a review of the first volume concerning European and Asian languages for the 'Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung'. My paper aims to show how Kraus deals with the subject of his review, how he develops his conception of a scientifically sound comparison of languages within the framework of 'philosophischen Universallinguistik' (philosophical universal linguistics) (Kraus 1787) out of his criticism of Pallas, and thus presents a perfect [Information des Anbieters]   [mehr...] zum Anfang
3. Mithridates in Berlin
"Since the 16th century, the project of documenting and describing the multitude and diversity of languages has been connected with the title 'Mithridates'. With reference to 'Mithridates' from Conrad Gesner (1555) and from Adelung and Vater (1806-17) it will be shown that, despite all the increase in knowledge about the languages of the world, the aim of linguistic investigations remains the same: the aim is to research the historical origin of peoples. Languages are only an indication of this: 'De originibus gentium ductis potissimum ex indicio linguarum' (Concerning the origins of peoples principally on the basis of linguistic evidence), as Leibniz formulated it in his 'Brevis designatio '(1710). Comparative linguistic studies first became an autonomous discipline with Wilhelm von Humboldt's 'Vergleichendes Sprachstudium', in which research into the structural diversity of individual languages as a mirror of the human mind is central." [Information des Anbieters]   [mehr...] zum Anfang
4. August-Ludwig von Schlözer: un chaînon manquant dans la genèse de la théorie linguistique de Wilhelm von Humboldt
"The 'Prüfung der Untersuchungen über die Ureinwohner Hispaniens vermittelst der Vaskischen Sprachen' (1821) was not only the first linguistic work by Wilhelm von Humboldt to be published; it differs considerably from his other language studies that were published simultaneously or appeared later more so because of its ethnographic perspective. For Humboldt used his knowledge of the Basque language in order to answer the question of whether one can gain information about the original inhabitants of South Western Europe through a comparative analysis of place names and proper names as taken to be the oldest evidence of language. A theoretical point of reference for Humboldt's analyses is the 'Allgemeine Nordische Geschichte' (1771) by August Ludwig Schlözer, a work with which Humboldt was in many ways in agreement. For the first time, the ideas and thoughts that Humboldt adopted from Schlözer in relation to the theory and practice of comparing languages in the 'Prüfung' will be presente [Information des Anbieters]   [mehr...] zum Anfang

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