By Robert McColl Millar
It is a background of Europe in contrast to the other: a theory-informed historical past of its language use. The 'rise' and 'fall' of languages are stated, in addition to an research of why sessions of linguistic variety are through hegemony. How did the sociolinguistic prior vary from the sociolinguistic current?
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Extra resources for Authority and Identity: A Sociolinguistic History of Europe Before the Modern Age
Particularly impressive, perhaps, is that the team which developed the Pennsylvania tree have not placed Germanic anywhere, since they did not feel that they could find a best fit for it. This is understandable since, as we have seen, Germanic appears regularly to ‘jump’ – most notably, between ItaloCeltic and Balto-Slavonic – depending on the tree. This last point is profound. There is, most linguists would believe, something fundamentally wrong with using only family trees to register both language relationship and linguistic history.
It lies near the median point between the furthest extents of the IndoEuropean languages. Moreover, proto-Indo-European appears to have borrowed from the Afro-Asiatic (specifically, Semitic) languages. Words like proto-Indo-European *(s)tauro ‘(wild) ox’ and *septm ‘seven’ are likely to derive from an early descendant of proto-Semitic *tawru and *sab’ (Mallory 1989: 150), suggesting that early Indo-Europeans lived relatively close to the early Semitic cultures developing in the Fertile Crescent (although this could become a circular argument).
Especially admired poems might also have been written down in greater detail so they could be recited by someone other than their creator. 4 The production of epic poetry assumes an aristocratic class with the means and interest to act as patrons, or the leisure to compose themselves (Robb 1994: chapter 1). This relationship between power (or economic surplus) and poetry was symbiotic until the invention of printing. Nevertheless, the earliest surviving Greek writing – inscriptions on pottery or metal, often the work of ‘ordinary’ Greeks – also shows considerable talent in the epic style and a connection to the subject matter of the central epic poems.
Authority and Identity: A Sociolinguistic History of Europe Before the Modern Age by Robert McColl Millar