Language
Its Nature, Development and Origin
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Language Its Nature, Development and Origin

By Otto Jespersen
Free
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Table of Contents
  • LANGUAGE ITS NATURE DEVELOPMENT AND ORIGIN
  • PREFACE
  • CONTENTS
  • ABBREVIATIONS OF BOOK TITLES, ETC.
  • PHONETIC SYMBOLS
  • BOOK I HISTORY OF LINGUISTIC SCIENCE
    • CHAPTER I BEFORE 1800
      • I.—§ 1. Antiquity.
      • I.—§ 2. Middle Ages and Renaissance.
      • I.—§ 3. Eighteenth-century Speculation. Herder.
      • I.—§ 4. Jenisch.
    • I.—§ 1. Antiquity.
    • I.—§ 2. Middle Ages and Renaissance.
    • I.—§ 3. Eighteenth-century Speculation. Herder.
    • I.—§ 4. Jenisch.
    • CHAPTER II BEGINNING OF NINETEENTH CENTURY
      • II.—§ 1. Introduction. Sanskrit.
      • II.—§ 2. Friedrich von Schlegel.
      • II.—§ 3. Rasmus Rask.
      • II.—§ 4. Jacob Grimm.
      • II.—§ 5. The Sound Shift.
      • II.—§ 6. Franz Bopp.
      • II.—§ 7. Bopp continued.
      • II.—§ 8. Wilhelm von Humboldt.
      • II.—§ 9. Grimm Once More.
    • II.—§ 1. Introduction. Sanskrit.
    • II.—§ 2. Friedrich von Schlegel.
    • II.—§ 3. Rasmus Rask.
    • II.—§ 4. Jacob Grimm.
    • II.—§ 5. The Sound Shift.
    • II.—§ 6. Franz Bopp.
    • II.—§ 7. Bopp continued.
    • II.—§ 8. Wilhelm von Humboldt.
    • II.—§ 9. Grimm Once More.
    • CHAPTER III MIDDLE OF NINETEENTH CENTURY
      • III.—§ 1. After Bopp and Grimm.
      • III.—§ 2. K. M. Rapp.
      • III.—§ 3. J. H. Bredsdorff.
      • III.—§ 4. August Schleicher.
      • III.—§ 5. Classification of Languages.
      • III.—§ 6. Reconstruction.
      • III.—§ 7. Curtius, Madvig, and Specialists.
      • III.—§ 8. Max Müller and Whitney.
    • III.—§ 1. After Bopp and Grimm.
    • III.—§ 2. K. M. Rapp.
    • III.—§ 3. J. H. Bredsdorff.
    • III.—§ 4. August Schleicher.
    • III.—§ 5. Classification of Languages.
    • III.—§ 6. Reconstruction.
    • III.—§ 7. Curtius, Madvig, and Specialists.
    • III.—§ 8. Max Müller and Whitney.
    • CHAPTER IV END OF NINETEENTH CENTURY
      • IV.—§ 1. Achievements about 1870.
      • IV.—§ 2. New Discoveries.
      • IV.—§ 3. Phonetic Laws and Analogy.
      • IV.—§ 4. General Tendencies.
    • IV.—§ 1. Achievements about 1870.
    • IV.—§ 2. New Discoveries.
    • IV.—§ 3. Phonetic Laws and Analogy.
    • IV.—§ 4. General Tendencies.
  • BOOK II THE CHILD
    • CHAPTER V SOUNDS
      • V.—§ 1. From Screaming to Talking.
      • V.—§ 2. First Sounds.
      • V.—§ 3. Sound-laws of the Next Stage.
      • V.—§ 4. Groups of Sounds.
      • V.—§ 5. Mutilations and Reduplications.
      • V.—§ 6. Correction.
      • V.—§ 7. Tone.
    • V.—§ 1. From Screaming to Talking.
    • V.—§ 2. First Sounds.
    • V.—§ 3. Sound-laws of the Next Stage.
    • V.—§ 4. Groups of Sounds.
    • V.—§ 5. Mutilations and Reduplications.
    • V.—§ 6. Correction.
    • V.—§ 7. Tone.
    • CHAPTER VI WORDS
      • VI.—§ 1. Introductory.
      • VI.—§ 2. First Period.
      • VI.—§ 3. Father and Mother.
      • VI.—§ 4. The Delimitation of Meaning.
      • VI.—§ 5. Numerals. Time.
      • VI.—§ 6. Various Difficulties.
      • VI.—§ 7. Shifters.
      • VI.—§ 8. Extent of Vocabulary.
      • VI.—§ 9. Summary.
    • VI.—§ 1. Introductory.
    • VI.—§ 2. First Period.
    • VI.—§ 3. Father and Mother.
    • VI.—§ 4. The Delimitation of Meaning.
    • VI.—§ 5. Numerals. Time.
    • VI.—§ 6. Various Difficulties.
    • VI.—§ 7. Shifters.
    • VI.—§ 8. Extent of Vocabulary.
    • VI.—§ 9. Summary.
    • CHAPTER VII GRAMMAR
      • VII.—§ 1. Introductory.
      • VII.—§ 2. Substantives and Adjectives.
      • VII.—§ 3. Verbs.
      • VII.—§ 4. Degrees of Consciousness.
      • VII.—§ 5. Word-formation.
      • VII.—§ 6. Word-division.
      • VII.—§ 7. Sentences.
      • VII.—§ 8. Negation and Question.
      • VII.—§ 9. Prepositions and Idioms.
    • VII.—§ 1. Introductory.
    • VII.—§ 2. Substantives and Adjectives.
    • VII.—§ 3. Verbs.
    • VII.—§ 4. Degrees of Consciousness.
    • VII.—§ 5. Word-formation.
    • VII.—§ 6. Word-division.
    • VII.—§ 7. Sentences.
    • VII.—§ 8. Negation and Question.
    • VII.—§ 9. Prepositions and Idioms.
    • CHAPTER VIII SOME FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS
      • VIII.—§ 1. Why is the Native Language learnt so well?
      • VIII.—§ 2. Natural Ability and Sex.
      • VIII.—§ 3. Mother-tongue and Other Tongue.
      • VIII.—§ 4. Playing at Language.
      • VIII.—§ 5. Secret Languages.
      • VIII.—§ 6. Onomatopœia.
      • VIII.—§ 7. Word-inventions.
      • VIII.—§ 8. ‘Mamma’ and ‘Papa.’
    • VIII.—§ 1. Why is the Native Language learnt so well?
    • VIII.—§ 2. Natural Ability and Sex.
    • VIII.—§ 3. Mother-tongue and Other Tongue.
    • VIII.—§ 4. Playing at Language.
    • VIII.—§ 5. Secret Languages.
    • VIII.—§ 6. Onomatopœia.
    • VIII.—§ 7. Word-inventions.
    • VIII.—§ 8. ‘Mamma’ and ‘Papa.’
    • CHAPTER IX THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHILD ON LINGUISTIC DEVELOPMENT
      • IX.—§ 1. Conflicting Views.
      • IX.—§ 2. Meringer. Analogy.
      • IX.—§ 3. Herzog’s Theory of Sound Changes.
      • IX.—§ 4. Gradual Shiftings.
      • IX.—§ 5. Leaps.
      • IX.—§ 6. Assimilations, etc.
      • IX.—§ 7. Stump-words.
    • IX.—§ 1. Conflicting Views.
    • IX.—§ 2. Meringer. Analogy.
    • IX.—§ 3. Herzog’s Theory of Sound Changes.
    • IX.—§ 4. Gradual Shiftings.
    • IX.—§ 5. Leaps.
    • IX.—§ 6. Assimilations, etc.
    • IX.—§ 7. Stump-words.
    • CHAPTER X THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHILD—continued
      • X.—§ 1. Confusion of Words.
      • X.—§ 2. Metanalysis.
      • X.—§ 3. Shiftings of Meanings.
      • X.—§ 4. Differentiations.
      • X.—§ 5. Summary.
      • X.—§ 6. Indirect Influence.
      • X.—§ 7. New Languages.
    • X.—§ 1. Confusion of Words.
    • X.—§ 2. Metanalysis.
    • X.—§ 3. Shiftings of Meanings.
    • X.—§ 4. Differentiations.
    • X.—§ 5. Summary.
    • X.—§ 6. Indirect Influence.
    • X.—§ 7. New Languages.
  • BOOK III THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE WORLD
    • CHAPTER XI THE FOREIGNER
      • XI.—§ 1. The Substratum Theory.
      • XI.—§ 2. French u and Spanish h.
      • XI.—§ 3. Gothonic and Keltic.
      • XI.—§ 4. Etruscan and Indian Consonants.
      • XI.—§ 5. Gothonic Sound-shift.
      • XI.—§ 6. Natural and Specific Changes.
      • XI.—§ 7. Power of Substratum.
      • XI.—§ 8. Types of Race-mixture.
      • XI.—§ 9. Summary.
      • XI.—§ 10. General Theory of Loan-words.
      • XI.—§ 11. Classes of Loan-words.
      • XI.—§ 12. Influence on Grammar.
      • XI.—§ 13. Translation-loans.
    • XI.—§ 1. The Substratum Theory.
    • XI.—§ 2. French u and Spanish h.
    • XI.—§ 3. Gothonic and Keltic.
    • XI.—§ 4. Etruscan and Indian Consonants.
    • XI.—§ 5. Gothonic Sound-shift.
    • XI.—§ 6. Natural and Specific Changes.
    • XI.—§ 7. Power of Substratum.
    • XI.—§ 8. Types of Race-mixture.
    • XI.—§ 9. Summary.
    • XI.—§ 10. General Theory of Loan-words.
    • XI.—§ 11. Classes of Loan-words.
    • XI.—§ 12. Influence on Grammar.
    • XI.—§ 13. Translation-loans.
    • CHAPTER XII PIDGIN AND CONGENERS
      • XII.—§ 1. Beach-la-Mar.
      • XII.—§ 2. Grammar.
      • XII.—§ 3. Sounds.
      • XII.—§ 4. Pidgin.
      • XII.—§ 5. Grammar, etc.
      • XII.—§ 6. General Theory.
      • XII.—§ 7. Mauritius Creole.
      • XII.—§ 8. Chinook Jargon.
      • XII.—§ 9. Chinook continued.
      • XII.—§ 10. Makeshift Languages.
      • XII.—§ 11. Romanic Languages.
    • XII.—§ 1. Beach-la-Mar.
    • XII.—§ 2. Grammar.
    • XII.—§ 3. Sounds.
    • XII.—§ 4. Pidgin.
    • XII.—§ 5. Grammar, etc.
    • XII.—§ 6. General Theory.
    • XII.—§ 7. Mauritius Creole.
    • XII.—§ 8. Chinook Jargon.
    • XII.—§ 9. Chinook continued.
    • XII.—§ 10. Makeshift Languages.
    • XII.—§ 11. Romanic Languages.
    • CHAPTER XIII THE WOMAN
      • XIII.—§ 1. Women’s Languages.
      • XIII.—§ 2. Tabu.
      • XIII.—§ 3. Competing Languages.
      • XIII.—§ 4. Sanskrit Drama.
      • XIII.—§ 5. Conservatism.
      • XIII.—§ 6. Phonetics and Grammar.
      • XIII.—§ 7. Choice of Words.
      • XIII.—§ 8. Vocabulary.
      • XIII.—§ 9. Adverbs.
      • XIII.—§ 10. Periods.
      • XIII.—§ 11. General Characteristics.
    • XIII.—§ 1. Women’s Languages.
    • XIII.—§ 2. Tabu.
    • XIII.—§ 3. Competing Languages.
    • XIII.—§ 4. Sanskrit Drama.
    • XIII.—§ 5. Conservatism.
    • XIII.—§ 6. Phonetics and Grammar.
    • XIII.—§ 7. Choice of Words.
    • XIII.—§ 8. Vocabulary.
    • XIII.—§ 9. Adverbs.
    • XIII.—§ 10. Periods.
    • XIII.—§ 11. General Characteristics.
    • CHAPTER XIV CAUSES OF CHANGE
      • XIV.—§ 1. Anatomy.
      • XIV.—§ 2. Geography.
      • XIV.—§ 3. National Psychology.
      • XIV.—§ 4. Speed of Utterance.
      • XIV.—§ 5. Periods of Rapid Change.
      • XIV.—§ 6. The Ease Theory.
      • XIV.—§ 7. Sounds in Connected Speech.
      • XIV.—§ 8. Extreme Weakenings.
      • XIV.—§ 9. The Principle of Value.
      • XIV.—§ 10. Application to Case System, etc.
      • XIV.—§ 11. Stress Phenomena.
      • XIV.—§ 12. Non-phonetic Changes.
    • XIV.—§ 1. Anatomy.
    • XIV.—§ 2. Geography.
    • XIV.—§ 3. National Psychology.
    • XIV.—§ 4. Speed of Utterance.
    • XIV.—§ 5. Periods of Rapid Change.
    • XIV.—§ 6. The Ease Theory.
    • XIV.—§ 7. Sounds in Connected Speech.
    • XIV.—§ 8. Extreme Weakenings.
    • XIV.—§ 9. The Principle of Value.
    • XIV.—§ 10. Application to Case System, etc.
    • XIV.—§ 11. Stress Phenomena.
    • XIV.—§ 12. Non-phonetic Changes.
    • CHAPTER XV CAUSES OF CHANGE—continued
      • XV.—§ 1. Emotional Exaggerations.
      • XV.—§ 2. Euphony.
      • XV.—§ 3. Organic Influences.
      • XV.—§ 4. Lapses and Blendings.
      • XV.—§ 5. Latitude of Correctness.
      • XV.—§ 6. Equidistant and Convergent Changes.
      • XV.—§ 7. Homophones.
      • XV.—§ 8. Significative Sounds preserved.
      • XV.—§ 9. Divergent Changes and Analogy.
      • XV.—§ 10. Extension of Sound Laws.
      • XV.—§ 11. Spreading of Sound Change.
      • XV.—§ 12. Reaction.
      • XV.—§ 13. Sound Laws and Etymological Science.
      • XV.—§ 14. Conclusion.
    • XV.—§ 1. Emotional Exaggerations.
    • XV.—§ 2. Euphony.
    • XV.—§ 3. Organic Influences.
    • XV.—§ 4. Lapses and Blendings.
    • XV.—§ 5. Latitude of Correctness.
    • XV.—§ 6. Equidistant and Convergent Changes.
    • XV.—§ 7. Homophones.
    • XV.—§ 8. Significative Sounds preserved.
    • XV.—§ 9. Divergent Changes and Analogy.
    • XV.—§ 10. Extension of Sound Laws.
    • XV.—§ 11. Spreading of Sound Change.
    • XV.—§ 12. Reaction.
    • XV.—§ 13. Sound Laws and Etymological Science.
    • XV.—§ 14. Conclusion.
  • BOOK IV THE DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE
    • CHAPTER XVI ETYMOLOGY
      • XVI.—§ 1. Achievements.
      • XVI.—§ 2. Doubtful Cases.
      • XVI.—§ 3. Facts, not Fancies.
      • XVI.—§ 4. Hope.
      • XVI.—§ 5. Requirements.
      • XVI.—§ 6. Blendings.
      • XVI.—§ 7. Echo-words.
      • XVI.—§ 8. Some Conjunctions.
      • XVI.—§ 9. Object of Etymology.
      • XVI.—§ 10. Reconstruction.
    • XVI.—§ 1. Achievements.
    • XVI.—§ 2. Doubtful Cases.
    • XVI.—§ 3. Facts, not Fancies.
    • XVI.—§ 4. Hope.
    • XVI.—§ 5. Requirements.
    • XVI.—§ 6. Blendings.
    • XVI.—§ 7. Echo-words.
    • XVI.—§ 8. Some Conjunctions.
    • XVI.—§ 9. Object of Etymology.
    • XVI.—§ 10. Reconstruction.
    • CHAPTER XVII PROGRESS OR DECAY?
      • XVII.—§ 1. Linguistic Estimation.
      • XVII.—§ 2. Degeneration?
      • XVII.—§ 3. Appreciation of Modern Tongues.
      • XVII.—§ 4. The Scientific Attitude.
      • XVII.—§ 5. Final Answer.
      • XVII.—§ 6. Sounds.
      • XVII.—§ 7. Shortenings.
      • XVII.—§ 8. Objections. Result.
      • XVII.—§ 9. Verbal Forms.
      • XVII.—§ 10. Synthesis and Analysis.
      • XVII.—§ 11. Verbal Concord.
    • XVII.—§ 1. Linguistic Estimation.
    • XVII.—§ 2. Degeneration?
    • XVII.—§ 3. Appreciation of Modern Tongues.
    • XVII.—§ 4. The Scientific Attitude.
    • XVII.—§ 5. Final Answer.
    • XVII.—§ 6. Sounds.
    • XVII.—§ 7. Shortenings.
    • XVII.—§ 8. Objections. Result.
    • XVII.—§ 9. Verbal Forms.
    • XVII.—§ 10. Synthesis and Analysis.
    • XVII.—§ 11. Verbal Concord.
    • CHAPTER XVIII PROGRESS
      • XVIII.—§ 1. Nominal Forms.
      • XVIII.—§ 2. Irregularities Original.
      • XVIII.—§ 3. Syntax.
      • XVIII.—§ 4. Objections.
      • XVIII.—§ 5. Word Order.
      • XVIII.—§ 6. Gender.
      • XVIII.—§ 7. Nominal Concord.
      • XVIII.—§ 8. The English Genitive.
      • XVIII.—§ 9. Bantu Concord.
      • XVIII.—§ 10. Word Order Again.
      • XVIII.—§ 11. Compromises.
      • XVIII.—§ 12. Order Beneficial?
      • XVIII.—§ 13. Word Order and Simplification.
      • XVIII.—§ 14. Summary.
    • XVIII.—§ 1. Nominal Forms.
    • XVIII.—§ 2. Irregularities Original.
    • XVIII.—§ 3. Syntax.
    • XVIII.—§ 4. Objections.
    • XVIII.—§ 5. Word Order.
    • XVIII.—§ 6. Gender.
    • XVIII.—§ 7. Nominal Concord.
    • XVIII.—§ 8. The English Genitive.
    • XVIII.—§ 9. Bantu Concord.
    • XVIII.—§ 10. Word Order Again.
    • XVIII.—§ 11. Compromises.
    • XVIII.—§ 12. Order Beneficial?
    • XVIII.—§ 13. Word Order and Simplification.
    • XVIII.—§ 14. Summary.
    • CHAPTER XIX ORIGIN OF GRAMMATICAL ELEMENTS
      • XIX.—§ 1. The Old Theory.
      • XIX.—§ 2. Roots.
      • XIX.—§ 3. Structure of Chinese.
      • XIX.—§ 4. History of Chinese.
      • XIX.—§ 5. Recent Investigations.
      • XIX.—§ 6. Roots Again.
      • XIX.—§ 7. The Agglutination Theory.
      • XIX.—§ 8. Coalescence.
      • XIX.—§ 9. Flexional Endings.
      • XIX.—§ 10. Validity of the Theory.
      • XIX.—§ 11. Irregularity Original.
      • XIX.—§ 12. Coalescence Theory dropped.
      • XIX.—§ 13. Secretion.
      • XIX.—§ 14. Extension of Suffixes.
      • XIX.—§ 15. Tainting of Suffixes.
      • XIX.—§ 16. The Classifying Instinct.
      • XIX.—§ 17. Character of Suffixes.
      • XIX.—§ 18. Brugmann’s Theory of Gender.
      • XIX.—§ 19. Final Considerations.
    • XIX.—§ 1. The Old Theory.
    • XIX.—§ 2. Roots.
    • XIX.—§ 3. Structure of Chinese.
    • XIX.—§ 4. History of Chinese.
    • XIX.—§ 5. Recent Investigations.
    • XIX.—§ 6. Roots Again.
    • XIX.—§ 7. The Agglutination Theory.
    • XIX.—§ 8. Coalescence.
    • XIX.—§ 9. Flexional Endings.
    • XIX.—§ 10. Validity of the Theory.
    • XIX.—§ 11. Irregularity Original.
    • XIX.—§ 12. Coalescence Theory dropped.
    • XIX.—§ 13. Secretion.
    • XIX.—§ 14. Extension of Suffixes.
    • XIX.—§ 15. Tainting of Suffixes.
    • XIX.—§ 16. The Classifying Instinct.
    • XIX.—§ 17. Character of Suffixes.
    • XIX.—§ 18. Brugmann’s Theory of Gender.
    • XIX.—§ 19. Final Considerations.
    • CHAPTER XX SOUND SYMBOLISM
      • XX.—§ 1. Sound and Sense.
      • XX.—§ 2. Instinctive Feeling.
      • XX.—§ 3. Direct Imitation.
      • XX.—§ 4. Originator of the Sound.
      • XX.—§ 5. Movement.
      • XX.—§ 6. Things and Appearances.
      • XX.—§ 7. States of Mind.
      • XX.—§ 8. Size and Distance.
      • XX.—§ 9. Length and Strength of Words and Sounds.
      • XX.—§ 10. General Considerations.
      • XX.—§ 11. Importance of Suggestiveness.
      • XX.—§ 12. Ancient and Modern Times.
    • XX.—§ 1. Sound and Sense.
    • XX.—§ 2. Instinctive Feeling.
    • XX.—§ 3. Direct Imitation.
    • XX.—§ 4. Originator of the Sound.
    • XX.—§ 5. Movement.
    • XX.—§ 6. Things and Appearances.
    • XX.—§ 7. States of Mind.
    • XX.—§ 8. Size and Distance.
    • XX.—§ 9. Length and Strength of Words and Sounds.
    • XX.—§ 10. General Considerations.
    • XX.—§ 11. Importance of Suggestiveness.
    • XX.—§ 12. Ancient and Modern Times.
    • CHAPTER XXI THE ORIGIN OF SPEECH
      • XXI.—§ 1. Introduction.
      • XXI.—§ 2. Former Theories.
      • XXI.—§ 3. Method.
      • XXI.—§ 4. Sounds.
      • XXI.—§ 5. Grammar.
      • XXI.—§ 6. Units.
      • XXI.—§ 7. Irregularities.
      • XXI.—§ 8. Savage Tribes.
      • XXI.—§ 9. Law of Development.
      • XXI.—§ 10. Vocabulary.
      • XXI.—§ 11. Poetry and Prose.
      • XXI.—§ 12. Emotional Songs.
      • XXI.—§ 13. Primitive Singing.
      • XXI.—§ 14. Approach to Language.
      • XXI.—§ 15. The Earliest Sentences.
      • XXI.—§ 16. Conclusion.
    • XXI.—§ 1. Introduction.
    • XXI.—§ 2. Former Theories.
    • XXI.—§ 3. Method.
    • XXI.—§ 4. Sounds.
    • XXI.—§ 5. Grammar.
    • XXI.—§ 6. Units.
    • XXI.—§ 7. Irregularities.
    • XXI.—§ 8. Savage Tribes.
    • XXI.—§ 9. Law of Development.
    • XXI.—§ 10. Vocabulary.
    • XXI.—§ 11. Poetry and Prose.
    • XXI.—§ 12. Emotional Songs.
    • XXI.—§ 13. Primitive Singing.
    • XXI.—§ 14. Approach to Language.
    • XXI.—§ 15. The Earliest Sentences.
    • XXI.—§ 16. Conclusion.
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