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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5

‘WHERE DOES SPEECH COME FROM?’ A HISTORICAL LINGUISTIC ANSWER; pp. 277–299

Full article in PDF format | DOI: 10.3176/tr.2011.3.04

Author
Fee-Alexandra Haase

Abstract

After an introduction of the state and method of research regarding speech we will focus on the question “Where does speech come from?” from a comparative historical linguistic perspective. Here we will look at the origins of speech in the Indo-European languages and the origins of speech in the other language families. Our guiding question for the review of our material is the question “Is speech a genuine concept or not?” and this approach actually determines our methodological approach of the analysis of speech, considering ‘speech’ as a concept and trying to find out if the concept is genuine or if it can be traced back to other concepts. In the latter case, we must assume that speech is not genuine and the etymological background would tell us something about the history of speech. In case there are no etymological roots, we must assume that speech is genuine. What we know about speech derived from our observations from material taken from different roots of language families. We argue that language as speech, the first and communicative form of language, developed from a permanent replacement of one ele­ment of speech in one language by another element of speech in another language. The historical process of the development of speech is thus a process that can be reconstructed in the comparative studies of different languages. We assume that the dominance of meanings in a language is not only a linguistic feature, but results from the social and cultural developments of the area of languages in speeches. The concept of speech is universal, but its linguistic history of meanings indicates that changes in the genuine understanding of speech occur.


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