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The study of the human language by far precedes the emergence of linguistics as a unique discipline. Recent studies such as those of Noam Chomsky on “Cartesian linguistics” demonstrate the outstanding interest in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century attempts at a “general grammar.” The Linguistique collection from ProQuest provides reproductions of outstanding historical works in language studies.
From Snorri Sturleson's visionary “Tractatus Philologicus” of the twelfth century to the works of Gyamarthy on the affinity between Hungarian and Finnish (1799), all the books offered facilitate understanding of the origins of linguistics. Also included are polyglot collections of Gessner and Megister, the works of Bibliander, Scalinger, and Postel, as well as Port-Royal’s “Grammaire generale et raisonee,” the source of much contemporary research.
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Whether the change involves a print-to-electronic transition or a space reclamation project, there are bound to be questions, concerns and even resistance.
“These testimonies take the historical stories out of the realm of history and place them in the realm of the human.”