Concrete terms and generic names in the history of languages. Some parallels in ontogeny and history

Main Article Content

Oesterdiekhoff G.W.

Abstract

Especially in the period between 1880 and 1940 it was common in linguistics to describe parallels between the languages of children and those of archaic peoples. This effort was by no means unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the great monograph, which presents these parallels systematically and from the basics, has probably not been written by anyone. Of the many parallels, the following work only examines the phenomenon of the absence of generic names in archaic languages. Research attributed this absence to the lack of abstract and logical thinking in archaic cultures. Basically, developmental psychology shows that even children do not initially have an understanding of generic names and abstract concepts and therefore systematically misinterpret them when confronted with them. It is therefore obvious that the absence or lack of generic terms and abstract terms in primitive languages is due to the peculiarities of children’s thinking. Consequently, the phenomenon is rooted in the peculiarities of archaic thought, which is largely identical to the thought of children.

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How to Cite
Oesterdiekhoff, G. (2020). Concrete terms and generic names in the history of languages. Some parallels in ontogeny and history. Human Evolution , 35(3-4), 175-190. https://doi.org/10.14673/HE2020341073
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Articles
Author Biography

Oesterdiekhoff G.W.

Oesterdiekhoff G.W. 
Department of Sociology
Karlsruhe Institute for Technology
Karlsruhe, Germany.
E-mail: Oesterdiekhoff@t-online.de