If we ask a group of people, who are experts in the field of history, humanities and social sciences what developed Philology, they might all have a different answer. The history of philology may be regarded as one of the most important fields in the study of ancient history. It dealt with the study of ancient texts written in both languages and it is associated with many developments on the culture, society and intellectual life of the ancient people. So, who developed philology? The field of philology has given rise to Philology Association, a professional organization that unites people in different disciplines on philology.
There are many books and articles written about the history of philology. It was first founded in 1903 with the founding of the Philological Association. The first director of the association was Professor Richard Benz. The original idea of organizing such a society was born from Prof. J. A. Siemaszko, who managed to merge philology with linguistics.
In recent years there has been a considerable change in the personnel working in the association. This is due to the fact that there are many linguists who developed different ideas with regard to the study of philology. The most prominent among these were K. A. T. van Zuiden who worked at Elemites University and later at the College of Christ University. He worked on the idea of homogenization, which was later developed into morphogenesis.
John Kay had also worked on the subject of homogenization and later developed his own ideas. The other members of the group were R. A. S. Yoghurt, J. C. van de Grond and J. M. van Zuiden. These men made contributions to the field of philology and after them came J. H. M. van Woerkhe who contributed a lot to the syntax of languages.
The term ‘Philology’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Phi’ which means thought and phonetics. From this word we derive the meaning of the subject of Philology. It was John philology’s great interest in linguistics, which led him to write numerous books on the subject. In his book ‘The notions of grammar and philosophy of language’ he explained how different languages differ from one another. He also explained how these different languages can be differentiated from each other on the basis of word meanings.
In addition to these works he published ‘A study of grammatical phrases in medieval Latin’, ‘On the origin of Greek and Latin’, ‘The manner of pronunciation of Greek and Latin’ and ‘On the evolution of words through their paths’. In addition to all these he published ‘On philology as a science’. This work gave a vivid picture of the process of word evolution. He developed a clear picture of the grammatical development of the languages on the basis of their evolution from simpler languages to more complicated ones.
John Locke said that the study of a language cannot be wholly confined to proving its antiquity, but it should be also try to discover its true nature. For example, it would be absurd to suppose that all the words of a language belong to one class or family, because we frequently meet with words of more than one family in various languages. If we trace back the evolution of words to the early stages of its existence, we shall find that most words have undergone several changes during the course of its long history. The various elements of a language like nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs all underwent several changes during the process of its history.
To know the answer to the question who developed philology is not a simple task. It may be solved in many ways but for a thorough understanding it is necessary to adopt a proper approach. Various schools have attempted to solve the problem by different methods, but at the end of the day it can only be answered in one way – the individuals who created the languages spoken today took care of the problem throughout their lives. In this regard we could say that philology is the science of the arrangement of languages on the basis of similarities of sound.
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