By Otto Jespersen
This e-book was once first released in 1922.
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Additional info for Language: Its Nature, Development and Origin
II oonsonants (which had so puzzled Rask as to make him doubt of a connexion of these languages with our family, but which Bapp showed to be dependent on a lost final sound of the preceding word) definitely and irrefutably established the position of those languages. Among other things that might be credited to hi::; genius, I shall select his explanation of the various declensional classes as determined by the final sounu of the stem. But it is not part of my plan to go into many details; suffice it to say that Bopp's great VergZeichende grammatik served for long years as the best, 01' really the only, exposition of the new science, and vastly contributed not only to elucidate obscure points, but also to make comp,trative grammar as popular R8 it is possible for such a necessarily abstruse science to be.
Thomsen, Samlede alhandlinger. 1 47 ff. nnd 125 ff. ; cf. also Paul, Gr. Recent short appreciations of hill genius may be read in Trombetti, Oome iii fa la criticG, 1907, p. 41, Maillet, LI, p. 415, Birt, Idg, pp. 74 and 878. 14] JACOB GRIMM people appealed strongly to the young man's imagination. But he was drawn even more to that study of old German popular poetry which then began to be the fashion, thanks to Tieck and other Romanticists; and when he was in Paris to assist Savigny with his historico-legal research, the old German manuscripts in the Bibliotheque nationale nourished his enthusiasm for the poetical treasures of the Middle Ages.
Untaught, may call himself his own living grammar and leave all schoolmasters' rules alone. Grimm accordingly has no wish to prescribe anything, but to observe what has grown naturally, and very appropriately he dedicates his work to Savigny, who has taught him how institutions grow in the life of a nation In the new preface to the second edition there are also some noteworthy indications of the changed attitude. "I am hostile to gencral logical notions in grammar; they conduce apparently to strictness and solidity of definition, but hampcr observation, which I take to be the soul of linguistic science .