Historically, linguistic study was motivated by the correct description of a liturgical language, notably that of Sanskrit grammar by (fl. 4th century BC). Also beginning around the 4th century BC, ancient Greece and China developed their own grammatical traditions. Arabic grammar and Hebrew grammar are a product of the Middle Ages.
In semantics, the early Sanskrit grammarian Sakatayana (before c. 500 BCE) proposes that verbs represent ontologically prior categories, and that all nouns are etymologically derived from actions. The etymologist Yāska (c. 5th c. BCE?) posits that meaning inheres in the sentence, and that word meanings are derived based on sentential usage. He also provides four categories of words - nouns, verbs, pre-verbs, and particles/invariants. He also provides a test for nouns both concrete and abstract: words which can be indicated by the pronoun that. (c. 4th century BC) opposes the Yāska view that sentences are primary, and proposes a grammar for composing semantics from morphemic roots. Transcending the ritual text to consider living language, Pāṇini specifies a comprehensive set of about 4,000 aphoristic rules (sutras) that
In addition, the Pāṇinian school also provides a list of 2000 verb roots which form the objects on which these rules are applied, a list of sounds (the so-called Shiva-sutras, and a list of 260 words not derivable by the rules.
The extremely succinct specification of these rules and their complex interactions led to considerable commentary and extrapolation over the coming centuries. The phonological structure includes defining a notion of sound universals similar to the modern phoneme, the systematization of consonants based on oral cavity constriction, vowels based on height and duration. However, it is the ambition of mapping these from morpheme to semantics that is truly remarkable in modern terms.
Grammarians following Panini include Katyayana (c. 3rd century BCE, aphorisms on Pāṇini (Vartika) and mathematics), Patanjali (2nd century BCE, commentary on selected topics in Pāṇini's grammar (Mahabhasya) and on Katyayana's aphorisms, as well as according to some, also the author of the Yoga Sutras), and Pingala (prosody). Several debates ranged over centuries, for example, on whether word-meaning mappings were conventional (Vaisheshika-Nyaya) or eternal (Katyayana-Patanjali-Mimamsa).
The Nyaya Sutras specified three types of meaning: the individual (this cow), the type universal (cowhood), the image (draw the cow). That the sound of a word also forms a class (sound-universal) was observed by Bhartrihari (c. 500 AD), who also posits that language-universals are the units of thought, close to the nominalist or even the linguistic determinism position. Bhartrihari also considers the sentence to be ontologically primary (word meanings are learned given their sentential use).
This body of work became known in 19th century Europe, where it influenced modern linguistics initially through Franz Bopp, who mainly looked at pAnini. Subsequently, a wider body of work influenced Sanskrit scholars such as Ferdinand de Saussure, Leonard Bloomfield, and Roman Jakobson. In particular, de Saussure, who lectured on Sanskrit for three decades, may have been influenced by Pāṇini and Bhartrihari; his idea of the unity of signifier-signified in the sign is somewhat similar to the notion of sphoTa. More importantly, the very idea that formal rules can be applied to areas outside of logic or mathematics, may itself have been catalyzed by Europe's contact with the work of Sanskrit grammarians.
Along with written speech, the Greeks commence its study in grammatical and philosophical bases. A philosophical discussion about the nature and origins of language can be found as early in the works of Plato. A subject of concern was whether language was man-made a social artifact or supernatural in origin. Plato in his Cratylus presents the naturalistic view, that word meanings emerge out of a natural process, independent of the language user. His arguments are partly based on examples of compounding, where the meaning of the whole is usually related to the constituents, although by the end he admits a small role for convention. The sophists and Socrates introduced also dialectics as a new text genre. In his platonic dialogs there are defintions about the meter of the poems and tragedy, the form and the structure of those texts (see the Rebublic and Phaidros, Ion etc.).
Aristotle supports the conventional origins of meaning. He defined the logic of speech and the argument. Furthermore Aristotle works on rhetoric and poetics were of utmost importance for the understating of tragedy, poetry, public discussions etc. as text genres. Aristotle's work on logic interrelates with his special interest in language, and his work on this area was fundamentally important for the development of the study of language (logos in Greek means both language and logic reasoning). In Categories, Aristotle defines what is meant by "synonymous," or univocal words, what is meant by "homonymous," or equivocal words, and what is meant by "paronymous," or denominative words. It then divides forms of speech as being:
* Either simple, without composition or structure, such as "man," "horse," "fights," etc.
* Or having composition and structure, such as "a man fights," "the horse runs," etc.Next, he distinguishes between a subject of predication, namely that of which anything is affirmed or denied, and a subject of inhesion. A thing is said to be inherent in a subject, when, though it is not a part of the subject, it cannot possibly exist without the subject, e.g., shape in a thing having a shape. The categories are not abstract platonic entities but are found in speech, these are substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, action and affection. In de Interpretatione, Aristotle analyzes categoric propositions, and draws a series of basic conclusions on the routine issues of classifying and defining basic linguistic forms, such as simple terms and propositions, nouns and verbs, negation, the quantity of simple propositions (primitive roots of the quantifiers in modern symbolic logic), investigations on the excluded middle (what to Aristotle isn't applicable to future tense propositions — the Problem of future contingents), and on modal propositions.
Stoics made linguistics an important part of their understanding about the cosmos and the human. The important role of the Stoics in defining the linguistic sign terms adopted later on by Ferdinand de Saussure like "significant" and "signifie. The Stoics studied phonetics grammar and etymology as separate levels of study. In phonetics and phonology the articulators were defined. The syllable became an important structure for the understanding of speech organization. One of the most important offers of the Stoics in language study was the gradual definition of the terminology and theory echoed in modern linguistics.
Alexandrian grammarians also studied speech sounds and prosody, defined Parts of Speech with notions such as noun, verb, etc. There was also a discussion about the role of analogy in language, in this discussions the grammatici in Alexandria supported that language and especially morphology is based on analogy or paradigm, whereas the grammatic in schools Asia Minor consider that language is not based on analogical bases but rather on exceptions.
Alexandrians as their predecessors were very interested about the meter and its relation with poetry. The metrical "feet" in the Greek was based on the length of time taken to pronounce each syllable, which were categorized according to their weight as either "long" syllables or "short" syllables (also known as "heavy" and "light" syllables, respectively, to distinguish from long and short vowels). The foot is often compared to a musical measure and the long and short syllables to whole notes and half notes. The basic unit in Greek and Latin prosody is a mora, which is defined as a single short syllable. A long syllable is equivalent to two moras. A long syllable contains either a long vowel, a diphthong, or a short vowel followed by two or more consonants. Various rules of elision sometimes prevent a grammatical syllable from making a full syllable, and certain other lengthening and shortening rules (such as correption) can create long or short syllables in contexts where one would expect the opposite. The most important Classical meter as defined by the Alexandrian grammarians was the dactylic hexameter, the meter of Homeric poetry. This form uses verses of six feet. The first four feet are dactyls, but can be spondees. The fifth foot is almost always a dactyl. The sixth foot is either a spondee or a trochee. The initial syllable of either foot is called the ictus, the basic "beat" of the verse. There is usually a caesura after the ictus of the third foot.
Subsequently, the text Tékhnē grammatiké (c. 100 BCE, Gk. gramma meant letter, and this title means "Art of letters"), possibly written by Dionysius Thrax, lists eight parts of speech, and lays out the broad details of Greek morphology including the case structures. This text was intended as a pedagogic guide (as was Panini), and also covers punctuation and some aspects of prosody. Other grammars by Charisius (mainly a compilation of Thrax, as well as lost texts by Remmius Palaemon and others) and Diomedes(focusing more on prosody) were popular in Rome as pedagogic material for teaching Greek to native Latin speakers.
One of the most prominent scholars of Alexandria and of the antiquity was Apollonius Dyscolus. Apollonius wrote more than thirty treatises on questions of syntax, semantics, morphology, prosody, orthography, dialectology, and more. Happily, four of these are preserved—we still have a Syntax in four books, and three one-book monographs on pronouns, adverbs, and connectives, respectively.
Lexicography become an important study domain as dictionaries,thesauri and lists of special words "λέξεις" that were old, or dialectical or special such as medical words, botanic words were made at that period by many grammarians. In the early medieval times we find more categories of dictionaries like the dictionary of Suida that is considered the first encyclopedic dictionary, etymological dictionaries etc.
At that period Greek language was considered lingua franca i.e. the language spoken in the known world (from the Greeks and Romans) of that time and as a results prescription i.e. the definition of what is wrong and right in language become a trend, something that modern linguistics straggle to overcome. With the Greeks a tradition commenced in the study of language, Romans and the Medieval world will follow and their laborious work is considered today as a part of our everyday language think for example notions such as the word, the syllable, the verb, the subject etc.
As in ancient Greece, early Chinese thinkers were concerned with the relationship between names and reality. Confucius (6th c. BCE) famously emphasized the moral commitment implicit in a name, (zhengming) saying that the moral collapse of the pre-Qin was a result of the failure to rectify behaviour to meet the moral commitment inherent in names: "Good government consists in the ruler being a ruler, the minister being a minister, the father being a father, and the son being a son... If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things." (Analects 12.11,13.3).
However, what is the reality implied by a name? The later Mohists or the group known as School of Names (ming jia, 479-221 BCE), consider that ming (名 "name") may refer to three kinds of shi (實 "actuality"): type universals (horse), individual (John), and unrestricted (thing). They adopt a realist position on the name-reality connection - universals arise because "the world itself fixes the patterns of similarity and difference by which things should be divided into kinds". The philosophical tradition is well known for conundra resembling the sophists, e.g. when Gongsun Longzi (4th c. BCE) questions if in copula statements (X is Y), are X and Y identical or is X a subclass of Y. This is the famous paradox "a white horse is not a horse".
Xun Zi (3d c. BCE) revisits zhengming, but instead of rectifying behaviour to suit the names, his emphasis is on rectifying language to correctly reflect reality. This is consistent with a more "conventional" view of word origins (yueding sucheng 約定俗成).
The study of phonology in China began late, and was influenced by the Indian tradition, after Buddhism had become popular in China. The rime dictionary is a type of dictionary arranged by tone and rime, in which the pronunciations of characters are indicated by fanqie spellings. Rime tables were later produced to aid the understanding of fanqie.
Philological studies flourished during the Qing Dynasty, with Duan Yucai and Wang Niansun as the towering figures. The last great philologist of the era was Zhang Binglin, who also helped lay the foundation of modern Chinese linguistics. The Western comparative method was brought into China by Bernard Karlgren, the first scholar to reconstruct Middle Chinese and Old Chinese with Latin alphabet (not IPA). Important modern Chinese linguists include Y. R. Chao, Luo Changpei, Li Fanggui and Wang Li.
The ancient commentators to the classics paid much attention to syntax and the use of particles. But the first Chinese grammar, in the modern sense of the word, was produced by Ma Jianzhong (late 19th century). His grammar was based on the Latin (prescriptive) model.
Sibawayh made a detailed and professional description of Arabic in 760 in his monumental work, Al-kitab fi al-nahw (الكتاب في النحو, The Book on Grammar), bringing many linguistic aspects of language to light. In his book he distinguished phonetics from phonology.
Traditionally, the Arabic grammatical sciences are divided into five branches:
In De vulgari eloquentia ("On the Eloquence of Vernacular"), Dante expanded the scope of linguistic enquiry from Latin/ Greek to include the languages of the day. Other linguistic works of the same period concerning the vernaculars include the First Grammatical Treatise (Icelandic) or the Auraicept na n-Éces (Irish).
The Renaissance and Baroque period saw an intensified interest in linguistics, notably for the purpose of Bible translations by the Jesuits, and also related to philosophical speculation on philosophical languages and the origin of language.
In the 1820s, Wilhelm von Humboldt observed that human language was a rule-governed system, anticipating a theme that was to become central in the formal work on syntax and semantics of language in the 20th century, of this observation he said that it allowed language to make "infinite use of finite means" (Über den Dualis 1827).
During the second World War, Leonard Bloomfield and several of his students and colleagues developed teaching materials for a variety of languages whose knowledge was needed for the war effort.
This work led to an increasing prominence of the field of linguistics, which became a recognized discipline in most American universities only after the war.
US Patent Issued to ConMed on July 5 for "Coaptive Tissue Fusion Method and Apparatus with Current Derivative Precursive Energy Termination Control" (Colorado Inventors)
Jul 10, 2011; ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 10 -- United States Patent no. 7,972,335, issued on July 5, was assigned to ConMed Corp. (Utica, N. Y...
US Patent Issued to ConMed on July 5 for "Coaptive Tissue Fusion Method and Apparatus with Energy Derivative Precursive Energy Termination Control" (Washington, Colorado Inventors)
Jul 06, 2011; ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 6 -- United States Patent no. 7,972,334, issued on July 5, was assigned to ConMed Corp. (Uitca, N. Y...