Summary and Info
The distinguished French linguist Antoine Meillet (1866-1936) was a pupil of Saussure and one of the most important researchers and teachers of the twentieth century in the field of Indo-European languages, counting among his own pupils Benveniste, Dum?zil and Martinet. In this book, first published in 1917, Meillet shows the unique features which mark out the Germanic languages (including English) from the rest of the Indo-European family. Acknowledging that the earliest written examples become available only long after 'proto-Germanic' had split into its various successor languages, he nonetheless supplies evidence both for the original language and for the developments which led to that splitting. His conclusion is that although the Germanic languages are indisputably Indo-European, even the most conservative (modern German) has moved a long way from its roots, and that English - both in grammar and in vocabulary - has moved furthest of all.