Comparative linguistics

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 Comparative linguistics

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مُساهمةموضوع: Comparative linguistics   2011-02-27, 22:55

Comparative linguistics (originally comparative philology) is
a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing
languages in order to establish their historical relatedness. Languages
may be related by convergence through borrowing or by genetic descent.
Genetic relatedness implies a common origin or proto-language, and
comparative linguistics aims to construct language families, to
reconstruct proto-languages and specify the changes that have resulted
in the documented languages. In order to maintain a clear distinction
between attested and reconstructed forms, comparative linguists prefix
an asterisk to any form that is not found in surviving texts.
Methods


The fundamental technique of comparative linguistics is to compare
phonological systems, morphological systems, syntax and the lexicon of
two or more languages using a technique known as the comparative
method. In principle, every difference between two related languages
should be explicable to a high degree of plausibility, and systematic
changes, for example in phonological or morphological systems, are
expected to be highly regular (ie consistent). In practise, the
comparison may be more restricted, eg just to the lexicon. In some
methods it may be possible to reconstruct an earlier proto-language.
Although the proto-languages reconstructed by the comparative method
are hypothetical, a reconstruction may have predictive power. The most
notable example of this is Saussure's proposal that the Indo-European
consonant system contained laryngeals, a type of consonant attested in
no Indo-European language known at the time. The hypothesis was
vindicated with the discovery of Hittite, which proved to have exactly
the consonants Saussure had hypothesized in the environments he had
predicted.
Where languages are derived from a very
distant ancestor, and are thus more distantly related, the comparative
method becomes impracticable. In particular, attempting to relate two
reconstructed proto-languages by the comparative method has not
generally produced results that have met with wide acceptance. A number
of methods based on statistical analysis of vocabulary have been
developed to overcome this limitation such as lexicostatistics and mass
comparison. The former uses lexical cognates like the comparative
method but the latter uses only lexical similarity. The theoretical
basis of such methods is that vocabulary items can be matched without a
detailed language reconstruction and that comparing enough vocabulary
items will negate individual inaccuracies. Thus they can be used to
determine relatedness but not to determine the proto-language.
History


The earliest method of this type was the comparative method, which was
developed over many years, culminating in the nineteenth century. This
uses a long word list and detailed study. However, it has been
criticized for example as being subjective.[citation needed] The
comparative method uses information from two or more languages and
allows reconstruction of the ancestral language. The method of Internal
reconstruction uses only a single language, with comparison of word
variants, to perform the same function. Internal reconstruction is more
resistant to interference but usually has a limited available base of
utilizable words and is able to reconstruct only certain changes (those
that have left traces as morfophonological variations).
In the twentieth century an alternative method, lexicostatistics, was
developed, which is mainly associated with Morris Swadesh but is based
on earlier work. This uses a short word list of basic vocabulary in the
various languages for comparisons. Swadesh used 100 (earlier 200) items
that are assumed to be cognate (on the basis of phonetic similarity) in
the languages being compared, though other lists have also been used.
Distance measures are derived by examination of language pairs but such
methods reduce the information. An outgrowth of lexicostatistics is
glottochronology, initially developed in the 1950s, which proposed a
mathematical formula for establishing the date when two languages
separated, based on percentage of a core vocabulary of culturally
independent words. In its simplest form a constant rate of change is
assumed, though later versions allow variance but still fail to achieve
reliability. Glottochronology has met with mounting scepticism, and is
seldom applied today. Dating estimations can now be generated by
computerised methods that have less restrictions, calculating rates
from the data. However, no mathematical means of producing
proto-language split-times on the basis of lexical retention has been
proven reliable.
Another controversial method,
developed by Joseph Greenberg, is mass lexical comparison.[1] The
method, which disavows any ability to date developments, aims simply to
show which languages are more and less close to each other, in a method
similar to those used in cladistics in evolutionary biology. On the one
hand, since mass comparison eschews the use of reconstruction and other
traditional tools, it is flatly rejected by the majority of historical
linguists. On the other, the method has been shown to be useful in
preliminary grouping of languages known to be related, such findings
should be backed up by in-depth comparative analysis however.
Recently computerised statistical hypothesis testing methods have been
developed which are related to both the comparative method and
lexicostatistics.
Recently (since the mid 1990s)
more sophisticated tree and network based cladistic methods have been
used to investigate the relationships between languages. These are
considered by many to show promise but are not wholly accepted by
traditionalists.
Such vocabulary-based methods are
able solely to establish degrees of relatedness and cannot be used to
derive the features of a proto-language, apart from the fact of the
shared items of compared vocabulary. These approaches have been
challenged for their methodological problems - without a reconstruction
or at least a detailed list of phonological correspondences there can
be no demonstration that two words in different languages are cognate.
Other related fields


There are other branches of linguistics that involve comparing
languages, which are not, however, part of comparative linguistics:


  • Linguistic
    typology compares languages in order to classify them by their
    features. Its ultimate aim is to understand the universals that govern
    language, and the range of types found in the world's language is
    respect of any particular feature (word order or vowel system, for
    example). Typological similarity does not imply a historical
    relationship. However, typological arguments can be used in comparative
    linguistics: one reconstruction may be preferred to another as
    typologically more plausible.
  • Contact linguistics
    examines the linguistic results of contact between the speakers of
    different languages, particular as evidenced in loan words. Any
    empirical study of loans is by definition historical in focus and
    therefore forms part of the subject matter of historical linguistics.
    One of the goals of etymology is to establish which items in a
    language's vocabulary result from linguistic contact. This is also an
    important issue both for the comparative method and for the lexical
    comparison methods, since failure to recognize a loan may distort the
    findings.
  • Contrastive linguistics compares
    languages usually with the aim of assisting language learning by
    identifying important differences between the learner's native and
    target languages. Contrastive linguistics deals solely with present-day
    languages.

There is also a wide body
of publications containing language comparisons that are considered
pseudoscientific by linguists; see pseudoscientific language
comparison.
الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
معاينة صفحة البيانات الشخصي للعضو
AZER16



نوع المتصفح موزيلا

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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Comparative linguistics   2011-02-27, 23:11

بارك الله فيكي اختاه
على هدا المجهود
الجبار و المفيد
تسلميييييييييين
الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
معاينة صفحة البيانات الشخصي للعضو
همسة براءة



نوع المتصفح موزيلا

صلي على النبي

صل الله عليه وسلم


انجازاتي
لايتوفر على اوسمة بعد:

الوسام الأول


مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Comparative linguistics   2011-03-01, 18:47

و فيك بآركـ آللهـ أهلآ بكـ
الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
معاينة صفحة البيانات الشخصي للعضو
Roshan



نوع المتصفح موزيلا

صلي على النبي

صل الله عليه وسلم


انجازاتي
لايتوفر على اوسمة بعد:

الوسام الأول


مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Comparative linguistics   2011-08-14, 20:16

بارك الله فيييييييييييييك
موضوع رائع
ومفيد
وقيم
اجمل تحية
الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
معاينة صفحة البيانات الشخصي للعضو
همسة براءة



نوع المتصفح موزيلا

صلي على النبي

صل الله عليه وسلم


انجازاتي
لايتوفر على اوسمة بعد:

الوسام الأول


مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Comparative linguistics   2011-08-15, 09:25

أج ــمل وأرق باقات ورودى
لردك الجميل ومرورك العطر
تــ ح ــياتيـ لكــ
كل الود والتقدير
دمت برضى من الرح ــمن
الرجوع الى أعلى الصفحة اذهب الى الأسفل
معاينة صفحة البيانات الشخصي للعضو
 
Comparative linguistics
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