Definition of Neogrammarian in English:
Any of a group of 19th-century German scholars who, having noticed that sound changes in language are regular and that therefore lost word forms can be reconstructed, postulated the forms of entire lost languages such as Proto-Indo-European by the comparison of related forms in existing languages. They also believed that phonetic laws had no exceptions.
- What we may think of as the old, positivist pursuit of diachronic sound change was, in the last third of the nineteenth century, the new new thing (recall that it was from the Neogrammarians that Saussure emerged).
- Then the Neogrammarians patched this theory by adding reasons for reinforcing the deviation such as simplification of sounds, or children imperfectly learning the speech of their parents.
- Undoubtedly, the most influential school of historical linguistics is that of the Neogrammarians, one of the main spokesmen being Hermann Paul.
Translation of German Junggrammatiker.
Definition of Neogrammarian in:
- British & World English dictionary
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