On Language Diversity and Relationship from Bibliander to Adelung

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From the Renaissance onwards, European scholars began to collect and study the various languages of the Old and the New Worlds. The recognition of language diversity encouraged them to explain how differences between languages emerged, why languages kept changing, and in what language families they could be classified. The present volume brings together the papers of the late George J. Metcalf (1908–1994) that discuss the search for possible genetic language relationships, and the study of language developments and origins, in Early Modern Europe. Two general chapters, surveying the period between the 16th and 18th century, are followed by detailed case studies of the contributions of Swiss, Dutch, and German scholars such as Theodor Bibliander (1504–1564), Konrad Gesner (1516–1565), Philippus Cluverius (1580–1623), Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), and Justus Georg Schottelius (1612–1676). This collection of important studies, a number of which have become very hard to find, has been framed by a detailed Editors’ Introduction, a biographical sketch of the author, a master list of references, and indexes of biographical names and of subjects, terms, and languages.

Subjects: Germanic linguistics; History of linguistics; Historical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Leuven

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