Linguistics too has played an important role. From the seventeenth century onwards, the gradual decline of Latin in Western Europe, together with emerging interest in the propriety and antiquity of vernacular languages, led to burgeoning production of vernacular dictionaries. Colonial conquests in the eighteenth

century brought more vernacular languages to the attention of the European public, transferring language from the private to the public domain and gradually strengthening the perception that language holds a central position in human interaction. During the nineteenth century, under German leadership, the theory and practice of linguistics was oriented towards the study of language in history, promoting research on the historical evolution of language rather than on V\QFKURQLFDVSHFWVRIOLQJXLVWLFIRUPV7KHVWUHVVRQKLVWRU\UHƪHFWHGDQLQHWHHQWK century fascination with origins. The goal was the discovery of the oldest, and therefore source, language; a related search for laws governing linguistic change was of central importance.4 The rhetoric of science enabled linguistics to develop a discourse that avowed the concepts of objectivity and ultimate truth. In the Greek context, these developments can best be seen in the work and activities of Georgios N. +DW]LGDNLV Ř WKH OHDGLQJ ƩJXUH RI *UHHN linguistics from the late nineteenth century up to the Second World War. Hatzidakis ZDVWKHƩUVW3URIHVVRURI/LQJXLVWLFVDWWKH8QLYHUVLW\RI$WKHQV+HZDVDSSRLQWHG to the newly founded Chair of Linguistics in 1885 (he was a Reader between the years 1883 and 1885), after studying in Athens, Leipzig, Jena and Berlin. Before Hatzidakis, linguistics had not been an autonomous discipline and the Greek ODQJXDJHZDV VWXGLHGZLWKLQ WKHƩHOGRI SKLORORJ\+DW]LGDNLVZDV WUDLQHG DV D OLQJXLVWLQ*HUPDQ\E\VXFKLPSRUWDQWƩJXUHVDV.DUO%UXJPDQQŘDQG Berthold Delbrück (1842-1922). He acknowledged the latter as ‘ΗΉΆ΅ΗΘϱΑȱΎ΅΍ȱ ΅·΅Δ΋ΘϱΑȱΎ΅Ό΋·΋ΘφΑ’ (‘respected and dear professor’).5 Throughout this period, linguistics continued to focus on the comparative history RIWKH,QGR(XURSHDQODQJXDJHV%UXJPDQQDQG'HOEU»FNZHUHOHDGLQJƩJXUHVRI a third generation of linguists who succeeded Rasmus Rask (1787-1832), Franz Bopp (1791-1867), Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) and August Schleicher (1821-WKHIRXQGLQJƩJXUHVRI,QGR(XURSHDQKLVWRULFDODQGFRPSDUDWLYHOLQJXLVWLFV6 Schleicher, in particular, is recognized as the empiricist scholar who established the methodological foundation of historical-comparative linguistics, on which the vibrant group of Neogrammarians (Junggrammatiker), including Brugmann and Delbrück, later built.7 They were convinced that languages change over time, that is diachronically, and they sought the binding laws governing the diachronic changes that had taken place within a particular language or between languages. 'DUZLQśV WKHRU\ RI HYROXWLRQ KDG GHHSO\ LQƪXHQFHG 6FKOHLFKHUśV YLHZVZKRVH ‘“Glossology” . . . was presumably intended to echo biology’.8 Such biological naturalism was rejected by the Neogrammarians, who upheld the principle of the KLVWRULFDO GHYHORSPHQW RI ODQJXDJH DQG FODLPHG WKHLU DSSURDFK DV VFLHQWLƩF E\ arguing that determinate, all-encompassing laws constitute the basis of language

development. They focused on modern, as well as ancient, languages, on phonetics and on the rigorous explanation of linguistic change. In addition to the phonology and morphology of Indo-European languages, comparative study of their syntax was at the centre of Brugmann’s and Delbrück’s work. The Neogrammarians’ perception of linguistics as a historical science and their empiricist methodology shaped Hatzidakis’ views. In the introduction to his translation of the work of the American linguist, William Dwight Whitney, Hatzidakis emphasized that:

Early in his academic career, Hatzidakis made it clear that he had three main goals: to establish the study of language as an independent discipline within the *UHHNDFDGHP\WRSURPRWHWKHVFLHQWLƩFVWXG\RIODQJXDJHDQGWRGHYHORSUHVHDUFK on the Greek language on the basis of new scholarly principles. Accordingly, he initiated research on the historical evolution of the Greek language that was inspired by the search for origins while also emphasizing the details of linguistic transformation. This research had three interlinked consequences. ,QWKHƩUVWSODFH+DW]LGDNLVVXFFHVVIXOO\FKDOOHQJHGLQWHUSUHWDWLRQVWKDWFODLPHG that the origins of Modern Greek lay in the ancient Aeolic and Doric dialects, HƨHFWLYHO\ FULWLFL]LQJZRUNV VXFK DV'LPLWULRVMavrofrydis’ ̇ΓΎϟΐ΍ΓΑȱ ̌ΗΘΓΕϟ΅Ζȱ Θ΋Ζȱ̈ΏΏ΋Α΍ΎφΖȱ Ώ̆ЏΗΗ΋Ζ (Essay on the History of the Greek Language, 1871). His predecessors and contemporaries insisted on the so-called Ε΍Ί΍ΎφΑȱ ΐνΌΓΈΓΑ, or ‘root method’: that is, they searched for the roots and origins of linguistic elements, on the assumption that these origins provided evidence of the relations between ancient and modern linguistic forms. Hatzidakis, on the contrary, insisted that:

Hatzidakis was thus opposed to any partial study of linguistic phenomena, claiming instead that language should be approached in its entirety as a coherent system subsuming sounds, conjugations, syntax and semantics.11 In one of his major works, ̏ΉΗ΅΍ΝΑ΍ΎΣȱΎ΅΍ȱ̐ν΅ȱ̈ΏΏ΋Α΍ΎΣ (Medieval and Modern Greek), published between the years 1905 and 1907, he discussed the development of the Greek language in various historical periods and insisted that Modern Greek was based on the Hellenistic koine.12