Hermann Paul’s View of the Nature of Language

  • W. Keith Percival
Part of the Studies in Applied Psycholinguistics book series (SAP)


The subject matter of Hermann Paul’s Prinzipien der Sprachgeschichte (1880) seems straightforward enough: the general methodological principles to be observed in the historical study of language. However, Paul wrote with an underlying polemical intent, and it is perhaps not too easy for the modern reader to appreciate this fact. His criticisms were directed at the theory and operating practice of his immediate predecessors, and reflected the views of a group of scholars, all born in the 1840s, who were jocularly referred to as Junggrammatiker, a term which has generally been rendered in English by the word neogrammarians. The most famous members of this group were August Leskien [1840–1916], Berthold Delbrück [1842–1922], Herman Osthoff [1846–1909], Karl Brugmann [1848–1919], and Hermann Paul himself [1846–1921].


Sound Change Linguistic Development Demonstrative Pronoun Parent Language Speech Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Keith Percival
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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