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Additional resources for Languages and Nations: The Dravidian Proof in Colonial Madras
Nevertheless, Marsden had accomplished a basic demonstration of the relatedness of many of the languages making up the Malayo-Polynesian family, mostly from materials collected by himself, as he says, from the mouths of natives (excepting those for Savu and Tahitian) and not from books. It was a stunning accomplishment, equal in every way to Jones’s proposal of the Indo-European concept. Marsden’s discussion, brief as it is, throws much light on the underlying assumptions of the whole enterprise of collecting words against a standardized word list.
Comparative grammar followed, offering, if anything, a surer way into the native heart of languages. Already in Jones we see vocabulary and grammar providing evidence of historical relatedness among languages, and the comparative grammar of Indo-European was systematized by Franz Bopp, who made it his life’s work. The pairing of languages and nations or races, a strong tendency in biblical thought and in European thought from late antiquity, became intensiﬁed only at the moment when it was given a rational, scientiﬁc method, the method of the vocabulary.
V. ” His contribution to the question of Roma origins has not been previously noted. ” His request for information amounts to instruction to travelers about how such linguistic specimens should be collected (Leibniz 1718:49). , Slavic) family, and of the Wallachians, Cettos and Livonians, Turks, Persians, and Chinese. He asks for texts with interlinear translations into languages known to Europeans. But he also asks—and this seems to be new—for “a few examples of their words, expressing common things,” which he spells out in detail: Names of numbers: one, two, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 1000.