This chapter presents the preliminary results of a study on the history of linguistics in Italy. Our purpose is to trace the evolution of the discipline analysing, by means of quantitative methods, the changes in its terminology. To achieve that, we examined the oldest Italian linguistics journal, the Archivio Glottologico Italiano, started in 1873 and still published today. Using correspondence analysis, it was possible to split the history of the journal into six chronologically compact periods and to associate each of them with a specific set of representative terms: every phase has a different lexical profile, and the changes in the vocabulary can be interpreted with the support of extratextual information. Two periods (1910–1923 and 1989–1993) are particularly important: they do not correspond to specific moments that mark the history of the journal; however, text analysis shows that they have their own strong identity and that they played an important role in the evolution of the journal. Furthermore, we have investigated the amount of technical terms in each issue of the journal: while the size of the technical vocabulary has proved to be essentially consistent throughout the years, the relative frequency of the linguistic terminology shows a steep increase at the end of the 1980s.

First Steps in Shaping the History of Linguistics in Italy: The Archivio Glottologico Italiano

Urraci, Giovanni;
2018

Abstract

This chapter presents the preliminary results of a study on the history of linguistics in Italy. Our purpose is to trace the evolution of the discipline analysing, by means of quantitative methods, the changes in its terminology. To achieve that, we examined the oldest Italian linguistics journal, the Archivio Glottologico Italiano, started in 1873 and still published today. Using correspondence analysis, it was possible to split the history of the journal into six chronologically compact periods and to associate each of them with a specific set of representative terms: every phase has a different lexical profile, and the changes in the vocabulary can be interpreted with the support of extratextual information. Two periods (1910–1923 and 1989–1993) are particularly important: they do not correspond to specific moments that mark the history of the journal; however, text analysis shows that they have their own strong identity and that they played an important role in the evolution of the journal. Furthermore, we have investigated the amount of technical terms in each issue of the journal: while the size of the technical vocabulary has proved to be essentially consistent throughout the years, the relative frequency of the linguistic terminology shows a steep increase at the end of the 1980s.
Tracing the Life Cycle of Ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3718939
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