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Encyclopedia > Philology

Philology, etymologically, is the "love of words". It is most accurately defined as "an affinity toward the learning of the backgrounds as well as the current usages of spoken or written methods of human communication". The commonality of studied languages is more important than their origin or age (that is, their etymology), though those factors are important as well. The term is derived from the Greek terms philos (φίλος) meaning love and logos (λόγος) meaning word. In a sense, to understand a language, philology seeks to understand the origins of that language, and so it is often defined as "the study of ancient texts and languages", although this is a rather narrow view and is not entirely accurate. Not to be confused with Entomology, the scientific study of insects. ... “Write” redirects here. ...


In the academic traditions of several nations, a wide sense of the term "philology" describes the study of a language together with its literature and the historical and cultural contexts that are indispensable for an understanding of the literary works and other culturally significant texts. Philology thus comprises the study of the grammar, rhetoric, history, interpretation of authors, and critical traditions associated with a given language. Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... Literary work is a generic term for texts such as fiction and non-fiction books, articles, screenplays, It is a term of art in copyright law. ... “Write” redirects here. ... For the rules of English grammar, see English grammar and Disputes in English grammar. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... This article is about the study of time in human terms. ... Interpretation, or interpreting, is an activity that consists of establishing, either simultaneously or consecutively, oral or gestural communications between two or more speakers who are not speaking (or signing) the same language. ... In the humanities and social sciences, critical theory has two quite different meanings with different origins and histories, one originating in social theory and the other in literary criticism. ...


In its more restricted sense of "historical linguistics", philology was one of the 19th century's first scientific approaches to human language but gave way to the modern science of linguistics in the early 20th century due to the influence of Ferdinand de Saussure, who argued that spoken language should have primacy. Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... For the journal, see Linguistics (journal). ... Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (pronounced ) (November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Geneva-born Swiss linguist whose ideas laid the foundation for many of the significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. ...


Philology commends the ability to recognize the words of one language from the roots of another, by recognition of common (shared) roots and grammar.

Contents

Branches of philology

Comparative philology

One branch of philology is comparative linguistics, which studies the relationship between languages. Similarities between Sanskrit and European languages were first noted in the early 16th century[1] and led to the speculation of a common ancestor language from which all of these descended — now named Proto-Indo-European. Philology's interest in ancient languages led to the study of what were in the 18th century "exotic" languages for the light they could cast on problems in understanding and deciphering the origins of older texts. Comparative linguistics (originally comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages in order to establish their historical relatedness. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... European languages are the object of Eurolinguistics. ... The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. ... Decipherment is the analysis of documents written in ancient languages, where the language is unknown, or knowledge of the language has been lost. ...


Radical philology

Radical philology is a contemporary re-appropriation of a centuries-old tradition of scholarly interaction with the materiality of texts. In its main outlines, radical philology diverges from mainstream philology in its understanding of the relationship between textual scholarship and literary interpretation. While mainstream philology uses the fruits of textual research as "evidence" for broader, more abstract claims, radical philology sees textual research as an end in itself. Nietzsche's philological explorations of ancient and modern cultures in his unpublished and published work are an example of this. Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ...


Textual philology and text editing

Philology also includes the close study of texts and their history. It includes elements of textual criticism, trying to reconstruct an author's original text based on variant manuscript copies. This branch of research arose in Biblical studies and has a long tradition, dating back to the Reformation. Scholars have tried to reconstruct the original readings of the Bible from the manuscript variants that have come down to us. This method was then applied to Classical Studies and to medieval texts for the reconstruction of the author's original. This method produced so-called critical editions which provided a reconstructed text accompanied by a critical apparatus, i.e. footnotes listing the various manuscript variants available, thus enabling scholars to gain insight into the entire manuscript tradition and argue about variants. Carmina Cantabrigiensia, Manuscript C, folio 436v, 11th century Textual criticism or lower criticism is a branch of philology or bibliography that is concerned with the identification and removal of errors from texts and manuscripts. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ...


A related study method, known as higher criticism, which studies the authorship, date, and provenance of texts, places a text in a historical context. These philological issues are often inseparable from issues of interpretation, and thus there is no clear-cut boundary between philology and hermeneutics. As such, when the content of the text has a significant political or religious influence (such as the reconstruction of Biblical texts), it is difficult to find neutral or honest conclusions. Higher criticism, also known as historical criticism, is a branch of literary analysis that attempts to investigate the origins of a text, especially the text of the Bible. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ...


As a result, some scholars avoid all critical methods of textual philology. Especially in historical linguistics it is important to study the actually recorded materials. The movement known as New Philology has rejected textual criticism because it injects editorial interpretations into the text and destroys the integrity of the individual manuscript readings, hence damaging the reliability of the data. Supporters of New Philology insist on a strict diplomatic, that is, faithful rendering of the text exactly as it is found in the manuscript, without emendations.


Cognitive philology

Another branch of philology is the cognitive philology, the science that studies written and oral texts, considering them as results of human mental processes. This science, therefore, compares the results of textual science with those results of experimental research of both psychological field and artificial intelligence production systems. This discipline precisely, deals with transmission modalities of written and textes, and processes through which different knowledges are classified, availing itself, firstly, of the information theory studies the narrative subject, especially regarding its selecting nature examines the developing function of rhythm and metre and the pertinence of the semantic association during processing the cognitive maps finally, it provides the scientific ground for the realization of critical multimedial editions.


Deciphering ancient texts

Another branch of philology is the decipherment of ancient writing systems, which had spectacular successes in the 19th century involving Egyptian and Assyrian grammar. Beginning with the sensational decipherment and translation of the Rosetta Stone by Jean-François Champollion in 1822, a number of individuals attempted to decipher the writing systems of the ancient Near East and Aegean. Decipherment is the analysis of documents written in ancient languages, where the language is unknown, or knowledge of the language has been lost. ... A writing system, also called a script, is used to visually record a language with symbols. ... This article is about the ancient Rosetta Stone found in Egypt. ... For the Champollion comet rendezvous spacecraft, see Champollion (spacecraft). ... The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists, geographers and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing Anatolia (the Asian portion of modern Turkey), the Levant (modern Israel/Palestine, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Georgia, Armenia, and... Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age civilizations of Greece and the Aegean. ...


Work on the ancient languages of the Near East progressed rapidly. In the mid-19th century, Henry Rawlinson and others deciphered the Behistun Inscription, which records the same text in Old Persian, Elamite, and Akkadian, using a variation of cuneiform for each language. The understanding of cuneiform script led to the decipherment of Sumerian. Hittite was deciphered in 1915 by Bedřich Hrozný. Henry Rawlinson Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, 1st Baronet (April 11, 1810 – March 5, 1895) was an English soldier, diplomat and orientalist. ... The Behistun Inscription, carved into a cliffside, gives the same text in three languages, telling the story of King Darius conquests, with the names of twenty-three provinces subject to him. ... Sketch of the first column of the Behistun Inscription Old Persian is the oldest attested Persid language. ... Elamite is an extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites (also known as Ilamids). ... Akkadian (lišānum akkadÄ«tum) was a Semitic language (part of the greater Afro-Asiatic language family) spoken in ancient Mesopotamia, particularly by the Assyrians and Babylonians. ... Cuneiform redirects here. ... Sumerian ( native tongue) was the language of ancient Sumer, spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BCE. It was gradually replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language in the beginning of the 2nd millenium BCE, but continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific... Hittite is the extinct language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who created an empire centered on ancient Hattusas (modern BoÄŸazkale) in north-central Anatolia (modern Turkey). ... BedÅ™ich Hrozný   listen? (May 6, 1879 - December 12, 1952) was a Czech orientalist and linguist. ...


Linear B, a language used in the ancient Aegean, was deciphered in 1952 by Michael Ventris, who demonstrated that the script recorded an early form of Greek, now known as Mycenaean Greek. Linear A, the writing system which records the still unknown language of the Minoans, resists deciphering, despite many attempts. This article is about the ancient syllabary. ... [[1]] Michael George Francis Ventris (July 12, 1922–September 6, 1956) was an English architect and classical scholar, who along with John Chadwick was responsible for the decipherment of Linear B. Michael Ventris was educated in Switzerland and at Stowe School, housed in a magnificent 18th century country house. ... Mycenaean is the most ancient attested form of the Greek language, spoken on the Greek mainland and on Crete in the 16th to 11th centuries BC, before the Dorian invasion. ... Linear A incised on tablets found in Akrotiri, Santorini. ... The Minoan civilization was a bronze age civilization which arose on Crete, an island in the Aegean Sea. ...


Work still continues on scripts such as Maya hieroglyphics (with great progress made in the 20th century by the scholar Yuri Knorosov) and Etruscan. Maya hieroglyphics is the common name for the system of writing which was used by the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of the Mesoamerican region. ... Yuri Valentinovich Knorosov (alternatively, Knorozov; in Russian: Юрий Валентинович Кнорозов; b. ... Languages in Iron Age Italy, 6th century BC Etruscan was a language spoken and written in the ancient region of Etruria (current Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of what are now Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna (where the Etruscans were displaced by Gauls), in Italy. ...


See also

Codicology is the study of a codex, an older handwritten book. ... Elocution is proper speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone. ... Palaeography (British) or paleography (American) (from the Greek palaiós, old and graphein, to write) is the study of ancient handwriting, independent of the language (Koine Greek, Classical Latin, Medieval Latin, Old English, etc. ... The cognitive philology is the science that studies written and oral texts, considering them as results of human mental processes. ... The Volney Prize (French language: Prix Volney) is awarded by the Institute of France after proposition by the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres to a work of comparative philology. ... American Journal of Philology (AJP) is an academic journal founded in 1880 by the renowned classical scholar Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve. ...

References

  1. ^ This fact is noted in Juan Mascaro's introduction to his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, in which he dates the first Gita translation to 1785 (by Charles Williams). Mascaro claims Alexander Hamilton stopped in Paris in 1802 after returning from India, and taught Sanskrit to the German critic Friedrich von Schlegel. Mascaro says this is the beginning of modern study of the roots of the Indo-European languages.

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A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism, and Philology (ed. José Ángel García Landa, University of Zaragoza, Spain) Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Philology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (688 words)
Philology thus comprises the study of the grammar, rhetoric, history, interpretation of authors, and critical traditions associated with a given language.
In its more restricted sense of "historical linguistics", philology was one of the 19th century's first scientific approaches to human language but gave way to the modern science of linguistics in the early 20th century due to the influence of Ferdinand de Saussure, who argued that the spoken language should have primacy.
Philology's interest in ancient languages led to the study of what were in the 18th century "exotic" languages for the light they could cast on problems in understanding and deciphering the origins of older texts.
philology - definition of philology in Encyclopedia (341 words)
Philology was one of the 19th century's first scientific approaches to human language but gave way to the modern science of linguistics in the early 20th century due to the influence of Ferdinand de Saussure, who argued that the spoken language should have primacy.
Philology's interest in ancient languages led to the study of what were in the 19th century "exotic" languages for the light they could cast on problems in understanding and deciphering the origins of older texts.
Philology also includes textual criticism, which tries to reconstruct an ancient author's original text based on manuscript copies.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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