Vocalismus oder sprachvergleichende Kritiken über J. Grimm's deutsche Grammatik und Graff's althochdeutschen Sprachschatz mit Begründung einer neuen Theorie des Ablauts.

Berlin, Nicolaischen Buchhandlung, 1836. 8vo. Bound in a nice contemporary half calf with gilt spine. Gilt title label to spine. Minor wear to lower back hinge. Tear to marbled paper of lower front board. Library stamps to pasted down front endpaper, verso of title-page, and last leaf. A few scattered brownspots, otherwise internally clean. X,253 pp. + errata.

The first edition of Bopp's Vocalismus in which he sums up his critical thoughts and previously published articles on J. Grimm and Graff.

"It seems to me only an expression of the natural common feeling which binds us together as a Philological Society, to take some notice of the death of one of the greatest philologists of our time, without whose life and labours, indeed, the Science of Language might not have been, or at least might not have elevated itself so high as to deserve that title, so soon or so indisputably... Bopp must, more or less, directly or indirectly, be the teacher of all who at the present day study, not this language or that language, but Language itself..." (Russel Martineau, in: Portraits of Linguists. A Biographical Source Book for the History of Western Linguistics 1746-1963).

During the time before Bopp, the languages of the antiquity, Greek, Latin and Hebrew, had provided the key for unlocking many of the mysteries of the modern languages of Europe and Western Asia. But the languages of the East that had been preserved in a larger sense were only beginning to be known; Bopp saw, as one of the first that these languages might be of even greater importance. Sanskrit, Bopp realized, was the language that might provide the general light that should be thrown on formative process of language, and together with the other known languages that had been investigated, Greek, Latin, Persian, and the Germanic languages, Sanskrit would be able to provide us with the final unity in the variety that are present in the Western languages. And thus, Bopp decided to go to Paris to study Sanskrit (Paris was the only place it could be done) in 1812. Bopp studied Sanskrit here for five years, and in fact, he was among the first pupils to study under Chézy, the holder of the very first chair of Sanskrit (1815), together with Wilhelm von Humboldt and A.W. Schlegel. It is thus during his studies here that he writes his first work, which turned out to be a work of breakthrough.
"Following up the discovery of Sir William Jones (235) of the kinship of the Indo-European languages, and building upon the recognition by Rask (266) of the phonetic agreements of the Germanic language group, Bopp in this, his first publication, proved the exact correspondence of the construction of the verb in five main branches of Indo-European languages. He thereby established the science of comparative linguistics..." (PMM 275).
His first publication was regarded as being a very important contribution to the science of linguistics, and it secured him the chair of Oriental Languages at the university of Berlin (1821-64).

Bopp wrote and published very little, but that which he did publish has remained of the utmost importance to the development of the science of comparative linguistics.
With his idea of tracing the common origin of the grammatical form of the five languages, a task that no one had attempted before him, and by analysing those forms, Bopp became the provider of the first dependable materials for a history of the languages compared.

"Bopp's importance lies in the fact that he was no mere grammarian but considered comparative philology to be an essential part of the history of civilization: out of their vocabulary he drew an accurate picture of the material and intellectual life of the earliest Indo-European people." (PMM 275).

Order-nr.: 57724

DKK 3.500,00