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A theory of language development which traces the ‘family tree’ of modern natural languages like English, French, and German back to their historical origins. The central point of interest of such research is to show the common ancestry of words dispersed across several languages. Although a highly distinguished philologist himself, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated the semiotic revolution by arguing against this account of the history of language.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Literature.

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