"Moreover, you scorned our people, and compared the Albanese to sheep, and according to your custom think of us with insults. Nor have you shown yourself to have any knowledge of my race. Our elders were Epirotes, where this Pirro came from, whose force could scarcely support the Romans. This Pirro, who Taranto and many other places of Italy held back with armies. I do not have to speak for the Epiroti. They are very much stronger men than your Tarantini, a species of wet men who are born only to fish. If you want to say that Albania is part of Macedonia I would concede that a lot more of our ancestors were nobles who went as far as India under Alexander the Great and defeated all those peoples with incredible difficulty. From those men come these who you called sheep. But the nature of things is not changed. Why do your men run away in the faces of sheep?"
Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto ▬ Skanderbeg, October 31 1460

J.G. Herder, The onomatopoetic theory of word origin

Diskutim profesional për gjuhën.

Moderators: Mallakastrioti, bardus

Post Reply
User avatar
Arban Blandi
Supreme Member
Supreme Member
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:11 am
Gender: Male
Location: Іllyria, Ukraine
Contact:

J.G. Herder, The onomatopoetic theory of word origin

#1

Post by Arban Blandi » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:52 am

Johann Gottfried Herder, The onomatopoetic theory of word origins
Image
Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803) came from a poor East Prussian family, and was self-educated until enrolling in 1762 at the University of Konigsberg, where Immanuel Kant was professor.With Goethe, Herder was a founder of the “Sturm und Drang” movement in German literature. His famous Essay on the Origin of Language won a major European prize and catapulted him to fame. Against the Biblical backdrop, Herder’s ideas about the origins of words in onomatopoeia, today often discarded as the “bowwow theory,” constituted a brave attempt to give a rational, non-religious, explanation for the origin of words (Herder, 1966 [1772]), and the prize he won for this essay indicates the willingness of contemporary judges to entertain such radical ideas. This theory was also seen in contrast to the “expression of emotion” theory that words developed from innate cries of pain and the like, another non-Biblical idea popular in those times. Thus, the onomatopoeia theory is characteristic of the earliest attempts to bring language and its origins under rational consideration. The core insight of his essay is thoroughly modern, concerning the importance of distinguishing between human language and animal communication:

"I cannot conceal my astonishment at the fact that philosophers... can have arrived at the idea that the origins of human language is to be found in... emotional cries. All animals, even fish, express their feelings by sounds; but not even the most highly developed animals have so much as the beginning of true human speech... Children produce emotional sounds like animals; but is the language they learn from human beings not an entirely different language?" (p. 24, Herder, 1966 [1772])

But if the earliest words did not originate from innate cries, and they are not (as the Bible suggested) totally arbitrary, the theorist must seek some rational basis for their phonological form. Herder accepted that concepts predated, and formed the necessary basis for, words, and his core notion was that vocal imitation, once present, would allow our ancestors to signify all those natural sources of sound (animals, wind, etc.) in a way that would be readily understood by others. The theory of onomatopoeia thus solves, with one stroke, two crucial problems: how the crucial linguistic link between sound and meaning could be made, and how this link, once made, would automatically be understood by others. This idea is by no means absurd once seen in this context. Indeed, many onomatopoetic words exist in present-day languages, across the planet. But most words in modern languages are not onomatopoetic, and even words considered onomatopoetic are quite distant and imperfect imitations of the original (witness the sound supposedly made by a rooster crowing: kikiriki in German against cock a doodle doo in English). Herder clearly realized that onomatopoeia fails entirely as the source of all words in modern language, and proposed onomatopoiea only as a bridge between early nonlinguistic humans and modern language. He thus proposed a candidate for a protolanguage: an intermediate stage between the communication system possessed by our non-linguistic hominid ancestors and modern fully evolved language. As such, it seems a thoroughly reasonable hypothesis about the origins of some early words.

[..]Do words have a natural relationship to their meanings, as in onomatopoeia, or are they instead wholly arbitrary coinages and purely conventional? Plato, through the character of Socrates, concludes that both notions have some truth.[/color]
Our Scribd Channel - History was a damn dim candle over a damn dark abyss.

User avatar
Zeus10
Grand Fighter Member
Grand Fighter Member
Posts: 4192
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:46 pm
Gender: Male
Location: CANADA
Contact:

Re: J.G. Herder, The onomatopoetic theory of word origin

#2

Post by Zeus10 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:12 pm

Herder’s ideas about the origins of words in onomatopoeia, today often discarded as the “bowwow theory,”..
Te hedhesh poshte kete teori,shoqeruar me buuuu, duhet te jesh ose profan ne gjuhesi, ose cinik indo-evropianist, sherbetor i religjioneve.
Jane me dhjetera e me qindra shembujt, qe fjale te shqipes kane burim onomatopeik, prandaj eshte dhe gjuhe e natyres. Herderi ka qene nje studjues i shkelqyer dhe i paperseritshem, jo si formalistet e linguistikes se sotme.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

User avatar
Strokulli
Poster Grande Member
Poster Grande Member
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:37 am
Gender: Male
Location: Albanìa/Arbani

Re: J.G. Herder, The onomatopoetic theory of word origin

#3

Post by Strokulli » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:46 am

«Shqipja, me 36 fonemat e saj, paraqet një sistem tingullor mjaft të zhvilluar me më tepër fonema se shumë gjuhë të kontinentit tonë».
(Kolec Topalli).
«Languages with the most sounds would be the oldest, while those spoken by smaller breakaway groups would utilize fewer sounds as variation and complexity diminished». (Q. Atkinson, Auckland's University, New Zealand) (?..)..

Post Reply

Return to “Linguistikë”