The comparative method

Validation of US cerebral palsy growth charts using a UK cohort.

The comparative method

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The labiovelars may be thought of as velar stops articulated with simultaneous lip-rounding. It is notable that the languages that have a velar for the Proto-Indo-European labiovelar stops e.

Earlier scholars attached great significance to this fact and thought that it represented a fundamental division of the Indo-European family into a western and an eastern group.

Nowadays less importance is attached to the centum—satem distinction. But it is still generally held that in an early period of Indo-European, there was a sound law operative in the dialect or dialects from which Sanskrit, Iranian, Slavic and the other so-called satem languages developed that had the effect of palatalizing the original Proto-Indo-European velars and eventually converting them to sibilants.

The comparative method

Steps in the comparative method The information given in the previous paragraphs is intended to illustrate what is meant by a sound law and to indicate the kind of considerations that are taken into account in the application of the comparative method. The first step is to find sets of cognate or putatively cognate forms in the languages or dialects being compared: They have said that they are no more than formulae summarizing the correspondences observed to hold between attested forms in particular languages and that they are, in principle, unpronounceable.

From this point of view, it would be a matter of arbitrary decision which letter is used to refer to the correspondences: Any symbol would do, provided that a distinct symbol is used for each distinct set of correspondences. Linguists want to know, if possible, not only that Latin decem, Greek deka, and so on are related, but also the nature of their historical relationship—how they have developed from common ancestral form.

They also wish to construct, if feasiblesome general theory of sound change. This can be done only if some kind of phonetic interpretation can be given to the starred forms.

The important point is that the confidence with which a phonetic interpretation is assigned to the phonemes that are reconstructed will vary from one phoneme to another.

The starred forms are not all on an equal footing from a phonetic point of view. Criticisms of the comparative method One of the criticisms directed against the comparative method is that it is based upon a misleading genealogical metaphor. No less misleading, however, is the assumption that languages descended from the same parent language will necessarily diverge, never to converge again, through time.

This assumption is built into the comparative method as it is traditionally applied. And yet there are many clear cases of convergence in the development of well-documented languages. The dialects of England are fast disappearing and are far more similar in grammar and vocabulary today than they were even a generation ago.

They have been strongly influenced by the standard language. The same phenomenon, the replacement of nonstandard or less prestigious forms with forms borrowed from the standard language or dialecthas taken place in many different places at many different times.

It would seem, therefore, that one must reckon with both divergence and convergence in the diachronic development of languages: August Schleicher, engraving Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin The comparative method presupposes linguistically uniform speech communities and independent development after sudden, sharp cleavage.The comparative method presupposes linguistically uniform speech communities and independent development after sudden, sharp cleavage.

Critics of the comparative method have pointed out that this situation does not generally hold. Linguistics - The comparative method: The comparative method in historical linguistics is concerned with the reconstruction of an earlier language or earlier state of a language on the basis of a comparison of related words and expressions in different languages or dialects derived from it.

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Montessori educational practice helps children . comparative method noun Historical Linguistics.

Comparative method | Define Comparative method at

a body of procedures and criteria used by linguists to determine whether and how two or more languages are related and to reconstruct forms of their hypothetical parent language. Comparative method definition is - a method of investigation (as of ethnologic phenomena and relations) based on comparison.

Comparative politics is a field in political science, characterized by an empirical approach based on the comparative method.

The comparative method

In other words, comparative politics is the study of the domestic politics, political institutions, and conflicts of countries.

The Comparative Method by Charles C. Ragin - Paperback - University of California Press