The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0171 Tuesday, 14 March 2006
Date: Monday, 13 Mar 2006 16:03:29 -0600
Subject: 17.0160 Ideas on the Internet
Comment: Re: SHK 17.0160 Ideas on the Internet
>There seems to be little doubt that history records the honor goes to the
>first discoverer . . .
It would be nice if things worked that way, but they don't. A famous
example in historical linguistics: the set of sound changes describing
the regularity with which certain consonants in Primitive Germanic
departed from the Indo-European norm is known as Grimm's Law. The "law"
is credited to Jacob Grimm, of the famous Brothers G.
However, the changes which make up Grimm's law were first announced and
published by a Dane, Rasmus Rask, well before Grimm wrote his version.
I just looked in Google -- entry after entry credited the law to Grimm,
and that is the name by which it is still known, even though Rask's case
Grimm's Law is one of the foundations of historical linguistics -- it
would have been nice if Rask got his due.
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