lördag 7 januari 2012

Hedvig gets excited over an old grammar review

I'm looking for grammars on a number of languages. A lot of them are available online to me through various libraries I'm connected too. Several of those I've found so far have a text in the beginning stating that is published by the Defense Agency of that country (sometimes Yugoslavia) and that they are not for outsiders consumption. Yeah..

I found this book just now.. right now this is high entertainment for me. It's basically a long review of grammars of Czech and why they are wrong. And it's written by A.R Nyki and his linguistic skyscraper in 1957, if I understood it correctly. I really hope so :)!

It also contains these quotes which are pretty epic:

Unfortunately, America has been lately infected by a Stalin-like notion of "leave your language alone", and looking for linguistic wisdom in the skeletons of the most primitive and unwritten languages, merely to hide a profound ignorance and inability to achieve perfection in Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Classical Arabic and Hebrew, as a basis for achieving perfection in the modern forms of languages and literatures derived from the ancient culture. So long as this stultifying influence of linguistic fakers is allowed to flourish in American schools it would be idle to criticize Stalin's perogruuadas to which the scholars on the Soviet-controlled territory have to pay lip-service, in order to see their otherwise valuable
works printed.

Fortunately, there is some hope that a few isolated nuclei of real
scholarship will be preserved in Western Europe where charlatanism
will not utterly prevail over sound knowledge and truth.
The increasing speedy tempo of contemporary life which makes
long and meticulous research tedious, unpleasant, and unprofitable to
the young people lacking the necessary leisure and experience under
conditions devoid of all stability in a constant flux with the ground li-
terally constantly disappearing from under one's feet, it has become
too common with the present-day students of life who are unable even
to imagine the pre-1914 or pre-1933 "ways of life" tendenciously re-
corded in superficial generalizations,
the increasing deficiency of the human
mind to discern the true from the spurious, mainly because of its in-
ability to absorb a vast body of correct facts brought to its central
evaluating center by a vast net of geographical, historical and linguistic
streams of knowledge.

I've known it for a long time but it must be stated again:
I need to learn more about Slavic linguistics.

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