Excerpt from The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, Vol. 40: For the Year 1868
Linguistics is gradually acquiring the consistency of a science. If not so definite as mathematics and other pure sciences, it has yet made good its claim to be regarded as a science, both by the character of its methods and the wide generalizations which it has reached. Languages have long, almost always indeed, been a subject of study. But one may be an accomplished linguist, reading and speaking many tongues, without being an adept in the science of language. This science, in its more recent and exact form, diifers percep tibly even from philology. The material, or subject matter of the science, is not one language, or any one class of languages, ancient or modern, living or dead, but language itself, in its entirety. Its methods are to observe, arrange, and classify all the forms of speech that are, or ever have been, in use, and from them to deduce the necessary laws of Speech for a race constituted as the human race is. It aims to show how lan guage originated, that is, to show why we speak at all, and why we speak as we do, to Show what is the inner life of language, Language and the Study of Language. By William Dwight Whitney.
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